A Grandmother Delivers Six of Her Own Grandchildren At Assuta Ashdod
Chana Kasten, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Assuta Ashdod Public Hospital, and midwife of 30 years, has helped countless mothers bring their newborns into the world. Chana herself is a mother of six and a grandmother of nine, but what really sets her apart is that she has had the unique experience of delivering her own grandchildren.
It has been almost 11 years since Chana’s oldest daughter, Shira, gave birth for the first time, Chanah was by her side. For Shira, it was a successful birthing experience, and for Chana, it was life changing.
She explained that there is no way to describe how “exciting and scary it is to deliver your own grandchild from your own daughter." Chana added that it was challenging to be in the position of a midwife and a mother, as “I needed to be very professional, but I was seeing my own daughter in pain, so it was strenuous”.
Chana continued, “Despite the challenges of supporting my own daughter, both medically and emotionally, through the birth… once I saw the baby - my own grandchild - and placed it on my daughter’s belly…well, it was one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences of my life.”
As a daughter of Holocaust survivors from Denmark, Chana feels a deep connection and responsibility surrounding the continuation of the Jewish people. During the war, her parents and grandparents managed to escape to Sweden, where they remained for the war’s duration. After losing her mother to cancer as a teen, Chana and her father made Aliyah to pursue their dream of living in the holy land and leading a new life of safety.
At Assuta Ashdod, Chana supports new mothers every day. And when she hugs her grandchildren, she knows that she helped bring (almost all of) them into the world. Chana’s unmarried sons have requested that she continue her career so that, when the time comes, she can help their wives deliver the newest generation Kasten children.