What is the best global attitude that is needed to inform pregnant mothers for birthing?
Are we supporting reliance on her inner body wisdom or are we veering more toward an approach where risks, benefits and all knowledge is based on scientific studies that are often hailed as exemplary in the unveiling of natural truths?
These truths that each woman inherently knows within her body, the body that she has been connected with from pre birth and birth. Herstory birth body that follows the mother line – the thread of unbroken wisdom that when trusted provides many answers on the journey.
What happens when we subvert the pregnancy and birth experience and deliberately move it away from the mother and baby “as nature intended” dyad? Do we then look up to a kind of arrogant heroism that in the long run only benefits the holder of science knowledge?
I have been an independent birth educator since 1997 and from my experience, as well as the thousands of women I have shared, taught, worked and mothered with, we are now collectively experiencing a swing away from the ancient birth blueprint. Simultaneously I am also hearing about birth trauma that so many mothers and babies have endured and can even see trauma infiltrating the birth workers energy field. The in house conflict which separates, is taking us all down a rabbit hole. The vagina is screaming to be heard as she is penetrated with unnecessary interventions and distracting discourse that is not helping to set in place principles of respect as the foundations we need in order to build optimal civility in birth for all mothers and babies worldwide.
Are we meddling so much in pregnancy and birth hence creating fear states in mothers where oxytocin cannot flow therefore disconnecting and severing us all from Natures medicine?
The immense frustration I personally swim in at times, is excruciatingly painful, and not a part of my vision for birth. As I stand in two worlds; deep knowing and deep frustration, I acknowledge that they both exist and I need to consciously choose to move forward in deep knowing and not be dragged under by immense frustration. I stand firm in my ever present resolve to share how birth matters, as I am called to maintain my composure to remain effective in my advocacy.
And so again to “the science” – I am all for evidence based research, findings and measurements as I think these can be very useful in assessing many aspects of pregnancy and birth across a wide cross section of mothers and babies. At the same time, I can’t help but worry as I watch the journey into mothering reduced to scientific data as an explanation of reasons behind procedures which I see can easily lead to the control of a women’s biological expression with her baby. We must be mindful if we are too caught up in the web of scientific data over our human origin. All mothers, both new and experienced are affected by data over origin and can feel lost as they drown in a sea of statistics that take precedence over inner knowing and body baby intelligence. We need to ask why is it that we are moving toward valuing “the science” over a woman’s sensory based knowing?
Let’s make a study on the benefits of caring for the needs of a mother and baby that is heart centred rather than head centred and look at all the areas we are lacking in. This is a good place to begin when developing maternal care programs that aim to address such areas as birth trauma, mothers nutrition, socio economic requirements, baby welfare, mortality rates in women of colour, birth environments, informed consent and more.
I hope that we can maintain a semblance of balance and at the end of the day really listen to women and what they want, not as lip service, but as a respectful collaboration where mother and baby are actually placed at the centre of pregnancy, birth and mothering as the experts.
In this regard, let’s then endeavor to genuinely look at maternal care from a place of reverence. I propose we take time to get out of our heads and place importance and value on a mothers feelings, revelations and heart felt musings. This, to me, is how childbirth matters and how walking through the corridors of this rite of passage journey must happen to affect change.
Maha Al Musa