Marianne Littlejohn is a midwife from Cape Town, South Africa. She is legendary for her commitment toward empowering midwives and improving birth outcomes through workshop trainings about shoulder dystocia – situations where a “baby requires an assisted maneuver in order to allow the baby’s shoulders to pass through the birth canal” – and Helping Babies Breathe.
When I was first researching Black midwives in South Africa, I found Marianne’s article Midwifery and Apartheid in South Africa, was one of the few places I was able to find out information about African women’s roles in childbirth from a historical perspective. I also appreciated that she honored a very notable midwife, Albertina Sizulu, for her contributions, especially toward ending apartheid.
I really enjoyed meeting Marianne and seeing her passion for women, birth, and healthy babies up close and personal. She was gracious and granted me an interview.