Friday, March 18, 2011

Something to consider…

As an advocate for the renewed natural birth movement I want to lend my voice to educating others on the importance of preserving the most natural of all acts the human body can carry out, birth.
Why would you want to suffer?
Unfortunately this is not an uncommon response to the idea of birth without intervention as we have become and have so removed the natural course of birth from our daily lives.  Birth stories here in the United States are often relayed amongst women with a veil of negativity and fear.  I recall sharing my desire to have a natural birth with many people and it was few and far between who offered encouragement or passed on coping techniques and empowerment.  Instead it was,
Why would you want to suffer?
Just get an epidural.
Well so and so said the same thing and it didn’t work.
You say that now but once you get there you’ll change your mind.
These things were said freely and regularly and I was grateful for the positive and supportive light the doulas and midwives around me held birth in so that I could navigate my way through these unknowing threats and maintain what I wanted for myself.
There is much to say on this topic but for now I wish to say, a natural childbirth is not a trial of abject suffering.  It is an incredible test of the human body and a natural act that can unfold on its own without intervention unless it proves otherwise.  Dignity is often taken from women in modern hospital births but when a woman is supported and her body is allowed the time to go through the sequences of birth without haste and unnecessary force it is one of these most incredible acts on earth you could ever witness.
Even if you chose not to have a natural birth or are not able to its important for this function to be not only understood but preserved.  Too many women are making choices based out of fear, lack of information and lack of support.  There is validation in all birth experiences and the goal is to return power to women as birth in this country has become a true crisis.
Through my future education classes and present thought streams I look forward to returning this subject, offering coping techniques, names of books and resources that all combined can help women help themselves.
Here’s a wonderful quote by Grantly Dick-Read who is considered by many to be the ‘father’ of the natural childbirth movement…
It is as great a crime to leave a woman alone in her agony and deny her relief from her suffering as it is to insist upon dulling the consciousness of a natural mother who desires above all things to be aware of the final reward of her efforts, whose ambition is to be present, in full possession of her senses, when the infant she already adores greets her with its first loud cry and the soft touch of its restless body upon her limbs.

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