I know this quote can sound maybe a little harsh. Unfortunately, in my eyes, it is the truth. As long as we think birth is here to work merely around the care provider, we are on the same course we have been headed down for the last 50 years. Example: 32% c section rate nationwide and lots of complications caused by interventions which I won’t delve into here. Since medical personnel have decided they need to control, manipulate, force or actually work against birth in whatever manner suits them or their schedules, birth has wrought against itself as mothers struggle to make their voices heard or take needed actions for positive change.
Birth can be exciting, rewarding, joyful, empowering, trans formative, etc….the list could go on. There are so many wonderful things birth can be and is for many woman and families. If the set and setting of birth is presented and conditioned on those who are NOT the laboring woman, the experience follows suit such as being discouraging, depressing, dis empowering, overwhelming, awful, horrible….the list goes on as well. With the outcome stated above, the care provider is, most likely, telling her exactly what to do and when to do it. I struggle to imagine so many of our natural body functions happening in this manner.
Think of using the restroom. This may be a crass example but birth truly can be no different. Imagine if someone entered the room each time and told you exactly how to do it. Or let you know how wrong you might be doing it. Or told you its too hard you can’t do it and that you’ll need some type of “help” to actually do it right. Its appalling to think about.
What about the act of making love. I’m now talking about the VERY act that creates the child in the first place. Think about it. Someone comes in from the very beginning. Explaining to you how to do it. Informing you of positions or ways that might be easier or better. Or they let you know its just too hard and really any pleasure you might receive from it isn’t going to happen anyway so you might as well just get into a certain position, utilize drugs, etc. I could go on with the ridiculousness of this scenario.
Birth is a sacred, rite of passage that must happen by the woman and for her and her baby. She has been gifted with all the needed know how to be a part of and experience the act of birth similar to each of the examples I stated above. Low and behold, a woman doesn’t really need someone telling her exactly how and when to give birth. What she really does need is education and support to guide and mentor her on the path to what her body already knows how to naturally, effectively and safely do.
If you are a medical care provider and you are reading this, please don’t be offended by what I say. I recognize there is a time and a place for medical assistance in our birth world and HALLELUJAH that you are there to help. My personal research says that is much less than we think it is. My research also says that the less we manipulate, control and force birth with the use of medical interventions, especially on a low, risk healthy woman, the more likely her body will do EXACTLY what it already knows how to perfectly do.
Those care providers who are learning to understand the concept that when it comes to birth less is more, please keep practicing and applying this idea. I promise you’ll gain a renewed faith in woman and inherently birth itself. There are those times and places where pro activity is vital for the safety of Mom and baby though my experience and research says those cases are few and far between.
As Karen Strange says in her NRP course, all care providers should know what normal, natural childbirth looks like to better understand what is a variation of normal or an actual complication. Once you understand this completely, I believe you can move forward taking whatever measures might be needed, if any, and creating the blissful birth experience for all your clients to the best of your ability.