Greta Rico

Just seconds after giving birth, Nancy holds her daughter Maya. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico

April’s featured photographer is Greta Rico

Mexican documentary photographer, journalist and educator focused on gender and human rights issues. Her projects are based on exploring social boundaries and rehistorizing the body in a situated way. Through her images she reflects on coloniality, gender culture, violence, and trauma.

Her work has been published in magazines, print and digital media such as; The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Women ́s Media Center, The HuffPost, El País and Lado B, among others. She has collaborated with UN offices and with various civil society organizations. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in various regions of Mexico and in cities such as New York, Rome, Valparaiso, Paris, Tokyo and London. Greta is part of the Women Photograph Advisory Committee, also part of SheSource a panel of experts of the Women ́s Media Center, a full member of Diversify Photo and has a Master Degree in Women Studies.

Urban Midwives

Urban Midwives portrays the almost unknown work of Midwives who provide attention in one of the biggest cities in Latin America, Mexico City. In the Metropolitan Area, a place where more than 20 million people live, there are only 2 Midwifery Houses and only 12 Midwives attending births at home.

Based on preliminary data from the Information Subsystem on Births of the Ministry of Health, during 2020 the rate of c-sections in Mexico reached historical levels above 50% for the first time. These figures keep Mexico in the first places worldwide in c-sections without medical indication, despite the fact that these represent greater risks to the health of women and are well above the 15% recommended by the WHO.

Mexico City was the epicenter of the pandemic since March 2020 with the arrival of the coronavirus in Mexico, women sought to flee from infections, unnecessary c-sections, obstetric violence and the lack of companions when they went into labor. According to WHO data, 85% of women in the world are candidates for a home birth. Thanks to the Urban Midwives, women manage to avoid unnecessary interventions, excesses of medicalization and a hospital system that insists on controlling and colonizing their bodies.

Midwives come to attend home births with childbirth chairs, a first aid backpack with medications and medical equipment, an oxygen tank and a labor bathtub. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
Andrea listens to her baby’s heart rate as part of routine check up. Midwives’ attention is focused on women. They explain all the procedures they perform, answer all their questions and help women to feel owners of their bodies and their birth processes. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
One of the reasons Angela decided to give birth at home was because she wanted a birth accompanied by her friends. In the image one of them brushes her hair during contractions. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
The midwives show Maria the head of her baby to give her strength and to be able to continue pushing. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
Hannah and Kay, Midwives, and Regina, a student midwife, help Brenda hold and receive her son, who is only seconds old. Oscar was born with a tangled cord, but this did not cause any complications. At her last checkup at the hospital, Brenda was told that she was running out of amniotic fluid and that a cesarean section was urgent, however, at her monitoring the midwives determined that her health and the baby’s health was optimal, so the home birth could continue. Lack of amniotic fluid is one of the most common arguments used in hospitals to force women to accept a cesarean section. Several studies have found that even if the fluid decreases in a full-term pregnancy, as long as mother and baby are well, there is no need for immediate intervention. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
Sandra, apprentice midwife, helps Maria to hold her baby during a postpartum bath. Midwives offer this service to women to help them close cycles and start a new one as moms. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
Just a few minutes after activating the emergency protocol, Fernanda and her partner, Sebastian, joyfully enjoy the recent birth of their daughter Lola, in the company of their midwives. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
As long as mother and baby are in good health it is not necessary to include a pediatrician for a home birth. Midwives are trained to perform initial examinations of babies, check that their proportions are normal, that their reflexes are fine and that their vital signs are within the norm during the first hours after birth. All of the above in the presence of the mother and the family, even in the mother’s arms, if they so desire. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico
Midwives provide care before, during and after childbirth. One of the oldest practices they perform is the postpartum bath, which they recommend to women 4 to 6 weeks after the birth of the baby. The ritual consists of a massage to align the hip and finish closing the bones that opened during labor. From the series, Urban Midwives ©Greta Rico

To see more of Greta’s work, here.

La fotógrafa del mes de abril es Greta Rico

Greta Rico es fotógrafa documental, periodista y educadora enfocada en temas sobre género y derechos humanos. Sus proyectos tienen como eje explorar fronteras sociales y rehistorizar el cuerpo de manera situada. A través de sus imágenes reflexiona sobre la colonialidad, la cultura de género, la violencia, y el trauma.

Su trabajo ha sido publicado en revistas, medios impresos y digitales como; The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Women’s Media Center, The HuffPost, El País y Lado B, entre otros. Ha colaborado con oficinas de la ONU y con diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil. Su trabajo se ha expuesto en galerías y museos en México y en ciudades como Nueva York, Roma, Valparaiso, Paris, Tokio y Londres. Greta forma parte del Advisory Committee de Women Photograph, también es integrante del colectivo Diversify Photo. Además, tiene un Master en Estudios Feministas y forma parte de SheSource, un panel de expertas en género del Women’s Media Center.

Parteras Urbanas

Parteras Urbanas retrata el trabajo casi desconocido de las Parteras que brindan atención en una de las ciudades más grandes de América Latina, la Ciudad de México. En el Área Metropolitana, lugar donde viven más de 20 millones de personas, existen solo 2 Casas de Partería y 12 Parteras que atienden partos en casa.

Con base en datos preliminares del Subsistema de Información de Nacimientos de la Secretaría de Salud, durante 2020 la tasa de cesáreas en México alcanzó por primera vez niveles históricos superiores al 50%. Estas cifras mantienen a México en los primeros lugares a nivel mundial en cesáreas sin indicación médica, a pesar de que estas representan mayores riesgos para la salud de las mujeres y están muy por encima del 15% recomendado por la OMS.

La Ciudad de México fue el epicentro de la pandemia desde marzo de 2020 con la llegada del coronavirus a México, las mujeres buscaban huir de los contagios, las cesáreas innecesarias, la violencia obstétrica y la falta de acompañantes al momento del parto. Según datos de la OMS, el 85% de las mujeres en el mundo son mujeres sanas candidatas a un parto en casa. Durante este periodo, gracias a las Parteras Urbanas, las mujeres lograron evitar intervenciones innecesarias, excesos de medicalización y un sistema hospitalario que se empeña en controlar y colonizar sus cuerpos.

Para ver más del trabajo de Greta, aquí