Midwives and Childbirth
In the early 70s, Southern Humboldt’s sole healthcare institution was the Southern Humboldt Community Hospital and Clinic. Many new settlers had a variety of complaints about their treatment at this facility. Of particular concern were the birthing methods required under hospital care. In 1974 a group of poor hippie women organized to establish a clinic that would serve their health needs after several episodes of poor treatment at the Garberville hospital. Soon they rented the back room of the Redway laundromat and by the mid 1980s they built the Redwoods Rural health Center that residents of the region know well. Local women explored the age-old practice of midwifery, natural childbirth and other alternative natal and pre-natal possibilities. In a community committed to natural and home birth whose population was largely in its childbearing years, the demand for midwives was high.