The Birth Machine (Brazil)

By Marcia Zanelatto, translated by Mateus Ciucci

Brazil has one of the highest rates of Caesarean section in the world. The World Health Organization recommends that no more than 15% of births should be carried out by Caesarean section. Yet in Brazil, they account for 45% of births in public hospitals and 85% in private hospitals.

Marcia Zanelatto, one of Brazil’s most celebrated political playwrights, explores the long and winding history of childbirth practice in her home country. By weaving her personal history with the social history of her country, Zanelatto explores the issues of over-medicalisation of childbirth and the lack of empowerment of women to choose how and where to give birth.

“Within my family’s delicate history runs my motherland’s colossal past and present and today I will tell you, inspired by my own relatives, how the birth machine works in my country.”