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Home Birthing in Santa Cruz County

This short video documents the history of home birthing and midwifery in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1970s.

PUBLISHED APR 25, 2022 12:00 A.M.
The Santa Cruz Mountains were the cradle of a radical home birthing movement.

The Santa Cruz Mountains were the cradle of a radical home birthing movement.

Image from video

It might have been Ina May Gaskin’s 1975 classic tome, “Spritual Midwifery,” a well-worn member of our bookshelf for years—decades—which decided Peggy on midwife-assisted home birth when it was time to start our family.

By the time all three of our kids were born at home in the 1990s, one on Palm Street and the other two a couple blocks over on California Avenue, Santa Cruz County was home to four of the approximately 100 midwives attending home births in the United States at that time, a remarkable concentration for such a small place.

Or perhaps not so remarkable, since the rise of the midwifery and home birthing movement began, in part, in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1970s, as documented in this little gem of a video presented by the San Lorenzo Valley Museum.

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