Hello! My name is Elyse Kelly.
I'm a third-year student at Ryerson University studying Graphic Communications Management, with a concentration in Packaging and a minor in Marketing. I am currently living outside of the Toronto area during my studies due to COVID and now reside back home in a small town! With this project I hope to expand my knowledge on a topic that I believe is not discussed often and may even be a little taboo in Western Cultures. I am looking forward to reading about other individual's experiences and opinions. I feel it is important to understand the expereinces of other women and to attempt to understand the choices that they make for both their health and the health of their children.
The general theme of this year's Cross-Cultural Data Literacy project is "Global Health". On the theme of global health, I have chosen to set my scope to the topic of childbirth. The theme of childbirth all on its own is another broad topic that can be interpreted and examined in so many directions. To further narrow my research, I have chosen to set my sights on the topic of Home Births and the use of Midwives - a topic in which I have no previous knowledge. I believe focusing my efforts here will allow me to become more mindful of other women's experiences and other cultural norms. Here in Canada, the social norm and expected place of childbirth is in a hospital alongside Nurses and Doctors. I am particularly interested in the women who stray from this social norm and chose to use a midwife and have an at-home birth. I will primarily be researching women's home-birth experiences that have given birth in the Americas, but am eagerly looking forward to learning about home-birth customs from other counties and cultures.
I would like the chance to be able to interview some women that have either had an at-home birth in the last few years or so or are planning to have one soon. I believe that this primary research will give me a personal look into the statistics of home births. This primary research will help to build a more humane, and human picture of the data. Secondary research will be utilized to fill in gaps and provide more general knowledge.
As a young woman, I feel as though this topic is of increased importance. I believe it is important to understand the options that are available to you when it comes to pregnancies and childbirth. I also feel it is important to learn about the autonomy of childbirth and the decisions women have had to make to get to where we are today. The legality of child-birth is another area I feel very important to discuss in this topic.
While spending time researching home births I became interested in the times and dates surrounding birth - not just home births but of all births. This interest sparked the motivation to study the subtopic of Astrology. I became interested in learning how people viewed this pseudoscience and wanted to see if the time and date you were born played an important role in life in different cultures.
In the following pages you will be able to follow alongside my research journey. Read my key findings from historical, political, feminist, and local perspectives.