Birth & Midwifery in Israel
Resources for parents and practitioners

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Some of the following sites may not be in English; an online translator may be useful.

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Ilana Shemesh and Mindy Levy

Ilana ShemeshIlana Shemesh, an American-born midwife who immigrated to Israel in l973, is a pioneer and leader in the struggle for childbirth reform in Israel. She received her nursing and midwifery degree in Israel, and has been stroking moms and catching babies since l982. While working for 18 years in hospital labor rooms, she began a private midwifery service providing homebirths and was instrumental in opening the first homestyle hospital birthing rooms in Israel. Ilana specializes in minimal-intervention, women-led natural childbirth and gentle birth for the baby. Her goal is to help empower women through birth by supporting self-expression and choice in childbirth. Since 2001 Ilana is only attending homebirths and births in her cabins in her backyard. She is married to a very supportive man and is the mother of three girls, the last of whom she birthed at home. Her hobbies include being a grandma, arts and crafts and gardening.

Mindy LevyMindy Levy has been a midwife for since 1995, 10 working in the hospital, six as a homebirth midwife. She also owns and runs a birth center called Agoola and has been involved in educating midwives, doulas and childbirth educators for 13 years. She is a founding member a project in which Israeli and Palestinian midwives meet in order to participate in a dialogue where they can discuss midwifery, mothering, birth and life.

Mindy tell us: “We believe in peace through midwifery. I do volunteer work with pregnant and postpartum women who have fled from Sudan and Eritrea, have crossed the Israeli-Egyptian border and are currently living in Israel as refugees. I am also involved in a midwifery project in Tanzania called FLEMAFA which is now committed to building a maternity waiting house in Kisarawe in an attempt to solve the life-threatening problems of a lack of transportation solutions in times of birth emergencies.”

Mindy speaks English and Hebrew.

Birth/Midwifery

  • www.birthathome.co.il—(in English and Hebrew) Web site of Ilana Shemesh, an Israeli homebirth midwife and the author of the only Hebrew book on homebirth
  • health.groups.yahoo.com/group/birthisrael—(in English) This is a group for birth professionals in Israel. Doctors, midwives, childbirth educators, doulas etc.are invited to join us to discuss pregnancy and birth practices in Israel.
  • www.birthisrael.com—(in English) We educate for minimal intervention, family centered, non-threatening birth. Information is presented which allows pregnant women and their partners the opportunity to make their own choices about their own births.
  • The Israeli Midwife Organization (in Hebrew)
  • www.leyda.co.il (in Hebrew)—for anyone interested in birth related subjects, forums, etc.
  • www.leida.co.il (in Hebrew)—for anyone interested in birth related subjects, forums, etc.
  • www.leida.co.il/page.asp?id=85001 (in English)
  • www. doula.co.il (in Hebrew)—especially for doulas
  • homebirthisrael.com—Web site of Barbara Ben Ami, Certified Nurse Midwife and Homeopath practicing homebirth in Israel

Parenting/Breastfeeding