by Sarah Miller
Lately my life has been consumed by the birthing process. Last week my sister gave birth to twin boys at home. In her living room. With a midwife.
This is a rare feat in our society these days. Yet less than a hundred years ago, wombyn were still having births at home and nothing was thought otherwise. With the onslaught of modern medicine in this country and abroad, fears and dangers have been projected onto the birth process- an event that has naturally occurred for thousands of years.
Since my sister’s first child two years ago, and his home birth, I’ve been asking my self some serious questions. Is it really necessary to have your baby in a hospital? Is it really a dangerous event that needs medical supervision?
The reality is that very few births actually require any hospital intervention. With a country that insists on medical interference for almost everything life has to offer, it’s a disturbing statistic that the U.S. is still at the bottom of the list in terms of infant mortality rates. This could partly be due to the high number of C-sections done in this country. (Infant death rates are 26% higher with C-section). Countries such as Japan, Sweden and Iceland, who have midwives attending at least 70% of their births, are also the same countries considered to have the highest quality of life and lowest crime rates.
Is there a correlation between birth experience and crime rates? If so, how could that possibly be connected? Birth As We Know It, a look into spiritual midwifery, answers these questions and many others.
Peace in the womb= Peace in the world– Birth As We Know It
Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, a Russian midwife involved with the film Birth Into Being, describes the birthing process as a natural, happy event that can be an extremely evolutionary time for mother, child and family members.
Most wombyn who have experienced a natural birth feel their strong, inherent feminine powers and a new, heightened sense of Self and empowerment. Could this be one of the reasons our society tells us natural birthing is dangerous? Are wombyn being kept from experiencing their innate strengths and profound capabilities as a tool of downpression and submission?
The other side to birthing is less than empowering. It can be a violent, traumatic, drugged event that starts the life of a new being off on the wrong foot. Unfortunately more than 95% of births in the U.S. fall into this category. The medical profession itself classifies half of those births as moderately traumatic and 40% seriously so. The likely hood of a mother experiencing post partum depression is considerably higher with this type of birth as well as more complications with breastfeeding and the health of the child.
Immediately following birth, hospital born babies are taken from the womb and considered a biohazard until they are cleaned and clothed- stripping the mother and child of their precious first seconds of necessary bonding when Oxytocin levels are highest. This “love hormone” is Nature’s way of ensuring the baby experiences the most essential ingredient to life- love– first, before anything else gets in the way.
There is a wide range of thought regarding early childhood development. Limbic Imprinting is a clear explanation of how early experiences shape the rest of our life. When a child enters the world and their first experience is pain, trauma, confusion, stress or unhappiness, the brain gets imprinted with this and stores it unconsciously as a valid experience of love and acceptance no matter how painful- emotionally or psychologically.
For circumcised males, the experience of pain connected to their penis is one of the first to occur. 90% of male babies are circumcised in the U.S. without anesthesia. Sex and violence meet here for the first time and makes a strong argument that a child may have trust issues, sexual concerns, problems with authority or depression since the child learns immediately that this is what the world has to offer him.
Love is a highly coherent field- Birth As We Know It
What if we could change the world just by how we choose to bring beings into the world? What if we could prevent unnecessary experiences of pain and sorrow for our children? What if a child’s first experience was the loving embrace of his mother and father and a love filled room of open hearts and arms? This is the power of a home birth. This is what is possible for you and your child. All that’s necessary is proper information and the conscious decision to do things naturally, traditionally, happily.
For those of us who weren’t so lucky to come to the planet in this way, there’s still the hope of healing past birth trauma. As Elena says in the film, “love can heal anything.”
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood- Tom Robbins
*Statistics used in this article were derived from Birth As We Know It, and may not reflect the most current numbers.