New book gives voice to remote Nepali women

23 June 2021

Sabi Kaphle didn't want to be a midwife.

Forced into nursing school by her family as a teenager' the young Nepali woman felt powerless.

But when she saw how the health system was failing pregnant women' and the risk to lives of mums and babies' Dr Kaphle found her passion and her power in giving them a voice.

The CQUniversity Public Health lecturer has published her debut book' Socio-cultural Insights of Childbirth in South Asia – Stories of Women in the Himalayas' based on her experience working with UNICEF' and researching her PhD.

Attend Dr Kaphle's book launch virtual event on Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 12 PM AEST' via Zoom: Password: 159362

Set to be released by Routledge in July 2021' the book analyses the wide range of factors impacting childbirth experiences of women living in remote and complex social settings.

Dr Kaphle said her passion for supporting Nepal's remote women began with a tragic experience.

"Late at night at a remote district hospital in Humla' snow had started to fall and a woman who was 24 weeks pregnant had come from a village about seven hours walk away'"

she explained.

"I was an experienced midwife at that time' but we did not have a blood transfusion or caesarean facility at the hospital. The heavy snowfall meant we could not fly her out. The heartbeat of the unborn baby stopped' and two hours later the mother died."

"That experience really set me on a path to research into these complex cross-cultural settings to understand the realities better' so that lives could be saved."

Dr Kaphle previewed the book' and shared her steps for tackling power imbalance' through purpose and persistence' on a recent episode of CQUniversity podcast How to Change a Life.

Dr Kaphle hopes her book can offer a new model for childbirth that policy makers' practitioners' communities' educators' researchers and other professionals can use to make childbirth an empowering experience for women.

"It is so important' that we share those stories. Yes it's hard' it's confronting' it's challenging' but a story also has a power to turn somebody's life a better way'"

Dr Kaphle said.

Listen to Dr Kaphle's episode of How to Change a Life here.