There are a few momentous occasions in a woman’s life for which she should joyously celebrate with lasting memories: the day she becomes a woman; the day she loses her virginity; the day she gets married; the day she graduates; and the day she gives birth. Each is a transition from what was to what is.
As a natural birth advocate my goal is to help women have healthy birth outcomes. My overall intention is to raise a woman’s awareness of her role in decision making with regard to her birth so that she becomes inspired to research both apparent as well as unapparent options.
The act of birth is as natural as the act of breathing, however many would disagree based on the disturbing accounts of dramatic birth stories and the increasing numbers of women having medically managed births in the industrialized United States.
The cause of this recent birth drama is not due to any change in the birth process. Nor is it due to any change in the women’s body. The cause, if I may be so bold, is modern medical manipulation and deep socialization.
Following are the thoughts, myths, mentalities, misconceptions and mindsets that catalyze the chaos around industrialized birth:
- You don’t have ‘take the pain’
- Medications don’t affect the baby
- Birth is traumatic and unpredictable
- You don’t have to be a martyr
- Take the epidural, you deserve it
- Your baby is too big to push out
- We have to give you an episiotomy so the baby can come out
- I’m a doctor/nurse, you don’t have to worry
- It’s safer to birth in a hospital
- Birth only takes place in a hospital
- Why suffer?
- Midwives are not as qualified as doctors
- Your baby is better off being continuously monitored
- Its safer to labor in bed
- Some women just need a cesarean
The above statements do not support the concept of normal body physiology. Each statement reveals a medical intervention or fear-based thought.
Imagine the following 2 birth events:
A woman endures hours of chemically induced labor …she is forced to take unwanted pain medications…she experiences the stress of watching the doctors watch the electronic fetal monitor with concern…she is coaxed from one intervention into another…she is spoken at instead of with…she is convinced to do it their way…she is told the only thing that matters is a healthy baby…she realizes she missed her birth because she was terrified…BUT SHE HAS A HEALTHY BABY.
In absolute contrast… A woman is free to labor in the position of her choice…she is feeling happy and secure…she maintains her confidence … she has full choice…she feels her body go through its transitions…she is supported by all of her loved ones…she senses how her baby is doing…she feels the power in her body…she breaths the baby out…she experiences a drug and trauma free baby…SHE REALIZES WHAT A POWERFUL BODY SHE HAS ALONG WITH AN ALERT HEALTHY BABY.
Which story would like you to personally experience and share with your friends and family? The choice of your provider and your birth place makes all the difference!
Choose wisely. Choose carefully. Take caution. Research. Ask questions. Have a healthy birth experience in addition to a healthy baby. Create joyous lasting memories.
by Kinyofu Mlimwengu
Contact Kinyofu at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on creating joyous birth memories.