If we get birth right, the world is right!
Wow! What a mouthful! Gentle births create gentle beings!
If we hope to create
A non violent world
Where respect and kindness
Replace fear and hatred…
We must begin with how
We treat each other
At the beginning of life
For that is where
Our deepest patterns are set.
From these roots
Grow fear and alienation
Or love and trust.
Suzanne Arms, Immaculate Deception
What will happen to our culture/society after generations of NOT relying of the natural hormonal cocktail associated with pregnancy and childbirth?
Michel Odent wrote, “Today, most women have babies without relying on the release of their natural hormones…pharmacological substitutes block the release of the natural hormones, but they do not have their behavioral effects…When a labouring mother is given a drip of synthetic oxytocin, the release of natural hormones from her pituitary gland is inhibited…This intravenous injection will be effective at stimulating uterine contractions, but the drug will not reach the brain: it will not have the effects of a ‘hormone of love’. “And even if, by chance, a woman has given birth to her baby without any intervention and without any drug, there is a high probability that she will be given an injection of synthetic oxytocin for the delivery of the placenta. In other words, her release of ‘love hormone’ will be blocked just after the birth of the baby. How will our civilisations evolve after several generations of women giving birth without releasing a flow of ‘love hormones’?”
We may end up with a society where we have weakened the oxytocin system…where people will become less interactive, less friendly, and more stressed. I, personally, think we are already reaping the benefits of medical intervention with synthetic oxytocin. Look at the addiction to online and computer gaming…living and operating fictional worlds…cell phone usage, texting to someone sitting right next to us, fast food drive throughs–then eating in the car…it doesn’t require person to person interaction. And it’s a pretty lonely world at times! Look at the unrest in our neighborhoods, our culture, in our society, in our nation, in the world! I believe we are already reaping those consequences of interrupting natural birthing.
We so need to reevaluate routine medical interventions with regards to birth and especially in the hospital setting. So much medical intervention and meddling is still routinely accepted and implemented that has been dispelled for decades. Take eating and drinking in labor, for instance. What happens when you take food and fluid away from a pregnant woman? Now ask her to labor without food and fluids! How ridiculous! Yet hospitals still routinely take it away and offer, instead, ice chips! Sometimes syrup flavored ice chips! Where is the protein? Where is the long-term energy source? And IV doesn’t cut it, folks! IV placement merely provides a ready access for anything they choose routinely to put in the IV port–most commonly Pitocin either to induce or augment the labor or after the baby is born to “prevent hemorrhage”. What about the natural release of oxytocin (released in conjunction with endorphins) to facilitate labor’s progress and the increased, more frequent surges of oxytocin as labor continues and as birthing ensues…and, again, as mother gazes upon her baby eye to eye for the very first time, another large surge of oxytocin—the love hormone– is released, facilitating bonding, suckling at the breast with subsequent release of oxytocin and prolactin, preventing hemorrhage and facilitating the natural expulsion of the placenta! Mother nature has you covered on this one!
Why are we so quick to intervene at a moment when mother and baby should not be separated, meddled with, disturbed, poked and prodded??? Nature had such a different plan in mind!
Sarah Buckley said, “Natural birth is an ‘endangered species’ and we need to save it…because the future of our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing as a culture depends on it!”
We need to get back in touch with our birthing bodies and feel confident that birth is a normal physiological process and women have everything they need to birth calmly, easily, comfortably…provided they have a good supportive midwife or care provider that will keep their hands in their pocket and watch nature at its best AND good emotional support from other companions.
It has always been my opinion that every birthing woman needs a doula! After working with women in childbirth for 17 yrs. I hired a doula for the birth of my first biological son! Was I not aware of the labor/birth process? Did I not know what to expect? Wasn’t I well informed of the many relaxation techniques to assist in making birthing a calm, comfortable experience? And the answer is of course I knew these things! But I was also VERY aware of the vulnerability of a laboring/birthing mother to any suggestions that were given or comments that were made. How grateful I was to have Claire at my bedside reminding me to “Go with how your body feel…” rather than feel disappointment when the nurses with their DATA collection reminded me my progress was slower than I would have liked. And I went back and hired her again for the birth of my second biological son. How grateful I was when Claire entered the hospital room 10 minutes before my baby was born, touched my shoulder…instilling that all-familiar relaxation that I knew from her touch and her voice after having worked with her previously, reminded the nurse that I was already assuming my labor/birthing position of choice and supported me when the phlebotomist came in saying “I need to draw your blood…” when I was breathing my baby down. I turned to the phlebotomist and said, “Oh, no you don’t!” and my doula invited her to come back the next day! I had talked with Claire on several occasions during my next pregnancy and had planned to hire her services..but Eran was born at 33 wks. due to special circumstances. When I called Claire to share with her that Eran had arrived and the circumstance under his early arrival, she cried with me; put my name on her fridge, and immediately contacted her prayer circle friends and had them offer prayers in my behalf and in behalf of my preemie who was at another hospital facility in the NICU. Her emotional support at that time was as invaluable as it was the two previous births!
Yes, every mother ought to have a doula!!! When women birth in a hospital setting, hiring a doula is a must! The mother needs that additional physical, emotional, and psychological support! And she needs another companion who is advocating her birthing desires and preferences as well as her birthing companion!
Doulas are so very helpful for birth center births and home births as well to provide the same kind of emotional support and assistance in maximizing relaxation techniques and positions to further a calm, easy, comfortable labor and childbirth experience before calling the birthing attendants to come or before leaving the home for the birthing center. Usually, the care providers and support persons for birth centers and home births are much, much more supportive of the laboring mother’s desires and in tune to her needs. They are focused on one mother and not many!
Women WILL take back childbirth! And we will realize that when we get birth right, everything will be right with the world.
Yes, “How we give birth matters! What a mother experiences at the very transition from maiden to mother changes her. What our babies experience shapes who they are. Gentle, natural birth unlocks something primal at our very core that makes mothering easier [and] makes families stronger…..If parents would only realize that every single decision they make from conception onward influences the outcome of their birth, they could reclaim what they didn’t even know was lost.” (Kim Wildner, Mothers’ Intention)
May we move forward in supporting natural childbirth…the way Nature intended. Pain IS NOT a necessary component of birth. And the most important decisions new parents will ever make will be in their choice of care providers and birthing facilities. We need to bring birth back home…as the normal, natural physiological process and experience that it is! It is not a medical event!
And if a special circumstance arises…the mother will know! I knew something was not right at 10-11 a.m. the day after Easter. I just didn’t feel good. And I followed the lead of my body in laying down and tuning into my baby and my body. I called for my oldest son to get in touch with my husband and have to come home immediately. Jay immediately came to my side and asked what was happening. I didn’t know, but as I stood to go into the bathroom to empty my bladder, I started hemorrhaging. Though initially I panicked, I soon realized that the panic served no one…least of all me and my baby. I laid down, had my husband call 9-1-1, had him next alert my doctor, then the women’s center…and called upon my HypnoBirthing techniques to breathe love and life to my baby. I didn’t feel my baby move at all as I went via ambulance to the hospital, but when I arrived Eran looked fantastic on the monitor. He had benefitted from my calmness and my relaxing breathing and my tuning in and expecting great outcomes! He was calm because I was calm! And he just “hung out” until help was available. He was delivered by cesarean just before 4 p.m., 2+ hrs. after I arrived at the hospital. When special circumstances arise and mothers tune into their babies and their bodies, they WILL know what to do! And most always they will have time to make informed decisions! I trust that! And I trust birth!
Eran is still my most calm, patient child. He will wait patiently on his bicycle while I visit with a neighbor. He will wait patiently in a chair at the credit union while I make a deposit. He is helpful and kind and shares eagerly! He was very aware that I had different plans for his birth…but he showed me how we can both be flexible and make informed choices when special circumstances arise.
When we get birth right, everything will be right with the world!
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