How Natural is our "natural" birth? - Part 1

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I woke up this morning with a thought on my head and it just wont go away. How natural is our natural is our birthing process today? Really I mean it. Women say they are having a ‘natural’ birth and then go into a hospital?

Now let me get it said from the start….I do believe that there is a time and place for hospitalization and for the wonderful Doctors and Specialists in the maternity wards. What I dont get is that EVERY woman does not need these interventions, infact most dont o why do we all run there?

In this day and age we have given up on our ability to give birth. The western woman seems to have lost her trust in her own body to birth the wonderful life that she has nurtured and grown for 9 months. It is an almost sad and worrying situation. If you look at some of the native tribes they have traditions of women labouring alone, ok not necessarily ideal either, but at least they are letting their bodies do what is natural.

One need only look at mammals as a whole to see that we have it all wrong. If you look at a cat, or even a wild animal, the first thing the female mammal does is prepare her birth place. She goes off and finds a place that is calm, dark and makes it cosy. Anyone who has ever seen a cat give birth will agree with this, it is not unheard of for cats and other animals to go ‘missing’ and be found hidden at the back of a cupboard with her kittens or under a bed in a dark place. This is done for no other reason then the cat wanting privacy and the ability to ‘relax’. Yep you read me right, it has been found that wild animals in labour do the same and should that animal be threatened then it will actually ‘pause’ the birth and labour and in some cases the cervix will contract closed until the threat has passed. So then why do we are more advanced mammals, who can talk and make rational decisions, why do we labour in wards with strangers watching and bright lights? With people coming in and out, with noises and interupptions we are expected to allow our bodies to open up and bring our new innocent baby into the world.

Ina May Gaskin talks about the ‘Spincter Law’ , where she explains this law of the cervix closing and just how it works. Well worth a read.

Environment then is the first key to our births being more natural and less medicalized ailments that need to be seen to in a hospital ward! So where ever you birth, get cozy, make it ‘home’ but best of all would be to birth at home in your space. I know that for some you are more scared at home then in a hospital, if this is you then make your hospital room as relaxing as you can with candles, dimmed lights, your own pillows and some music.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. More to come on this topic so keep on visting.