Recently I heard two very different birthing stories about two very different cultures which I thought may be of interest to all those new Mum’s to be that are interested in bringing their newborns into the World as naturally and safely as possible.
The first was from a 35 year old Mexican woman, 2 months pregnant with her second child. Over guava, banana, papaya and pear salad with homemade strawberry yoghurt, Isabella told us of the ´maternity ward reality´ of Mexican hospitals. Apparently the general consensus amongst doctors here is that it is better for the baby to be born at the 8th month mark instead of allowing them to grow to full term.
The second shocking fact (which holds true in the good hospitals as well as the poor) is that doctors actually encourage women to have caesareans, often after confirming both mother and unborn child have perfect health throughout the pregnancy only to make up a health problem or complication right before the birth time. This is so common that it is considered normal practice.
Isabella also told us of how she was laughed at by a doctor when she demanded to breastfeed her first child whilst still in the hospital. They wanted her to use the milk formulation the hospital supplied. It is as if the health professionals of this health system have been trained to take the natural out of the most natural process that occurs in life. This kind of story is not restricted to one small Central American country.
Women in the UK have spoken of similar experiences where control of their labour has been stripped from them at a time when they are somewhat powerless amongst the popular opinions of the professionals. Gas or epidurals being given without consent or conversely withheld when demanded, are quite common. It is when I hear these stories that I think of how important it is for women to share their positive stories of natural births in order to pass on their knowledge and the knowledge they’ve learnt from their elders.
Two stories come to mind. One is about a friend of mine, Sarah who recently had a homebirth. She convinced herself that she would have a painless, easy and quick labour… and guess what? She did. It took one and half hours to push wee Amelie out. Could it be the power of positive thinking or a natural fluke?
The aboriginal culture of Australia may agree with Sarah that preparing for yourself birth– mind, body and physical space – goes a long way to making labour a beautiful rather than painful experience. To prepare or and give birth to their children the aborigine women who still follow their old cultural customs go off on their own into the bush to give birth. They dig a pit then line it with Boab flowers, crouching in the hole to allow the baby to come out as easy and painlessly as the body will allow. The reason they us the Boab flower is because it supposedly contains energetic qualities that help the new child cut any genetic characteristics that are not useful or relinquish past life issues that are not serving to their spirit in this life.
If you have any positive, natural labour stories you’d like to pass on to other women please send them to us and we’ll help to share them.