This profile was prepared when Zuzana Stromerova was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2001.
The New Idea
Zuzana is instituting radical changes in the birthing process, affecting the relationship between mothers-to-be and obstetricians and public attitudes about pregnancy in general. As a result of Zuzana's work, pregnant women's perception of childbirth is shifting from one of risk, endangerment, and passivity to one of ownership and empowerment. Zuzana uses a model "birth house" as a means of promoting best practices in obstetrics, focused on full-care and family participation in the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum periods of the mother and child's life cycle.