In 0000030 a new kind of birth house opens its doors in Buenos Aires. Like all birth houses built after the end of the old world, it’s a bit of a universe on its own. Providing various birth spaces with and without pools it creates a “cocoon-like” experience, allowing the women to relax completely. It is also fully equipped with surgical facilities and is run not only by midwives who are by default in charge during delivery but also by medical specialists able to intervene in the relatively rare cases of complications. There is also at any time a group of laywomen and laymen in the birth house in order to assist in various ways the professionals. Most women give birth assisted by their family but in some cases, a woman might be on her own, needing company and support. But this new birth house, humorously called “Embarcadera para las Nuevas Almas”, is a novelty in its approach concerning the arrival of the babies. If the mother wishes so, volunteers organize a welcome ritual in an adjacent dome-like structure full of trees and flowering plants. There is even a little waterfall and pool with fresh, clear water. The ritual can take place right after giving birth or the day after, that depends entirely on the feelings or the medical condition of the mother. Music is always live. Particularly choral chanting is of great importance. But any other form of music from percussion to harp is available. For the mothers giving birth for the first time, it’s also conceived as a ritual of passage as they are “re-born” as mothers this day.
There is no particular medical philosophy attached to this new practice. People don’t expect to see healthier or happier babies due to the ritual. It is much more about sharing and celebrating as a group this particular moment in the life of a woman and a child. It’s about celebrating life.

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