In 1996 when I was pregnant with my first son Kailash, I was living in the capital of Australia’s home birth scene, Byron Bay.
At the time I attended a voluntary pregnancy support group that had supported hundreds of families over 15 years since its inception and continue to support them to today. As expectant mums attending this group we had the choice of about 8-10 home birth midwives to choose from in our pre-birth lead up time. I distinctly remember feeling into each midwives essence and presence with my baby to get a feel for who would suit us attending the most transformational and enriching experience we were embarking upon.
At this time there was no imposed birth fear placed on us as mothers and actually the opposite was true – a beautiful supportive community of genuine love, care and support guided and encircled our choices. There was option for home or hospital birthing where the focus was on mothers and babies emotional and physical well being.
My work in EmbodyBirth™ grew from this garden of Love for a mother’s right to choose and there was never a pervading sense of feeling demoralized, abused or vilified for choosing a place of birth or care provider.
Through our town we had the pleasure of hearing lectures on birth subjects from my amazing mentors – Jenannie Parvati Baker, Rachana Shivam and Dr. Sarah Buckley. We were blessed with an open hearted spiritual community that upheld a strong desire to see out the best possible birthing ways.
Yes, there definitely was a lean toward home birth and one of the doctors in the area Dr. David Miller who attended home births for 25 years was a strong figure in our community and a doctor who encouraged women to choose their place of birth in order to feel safe and secure rather than to please or make a birth professional comfortable.
I am so grateful that I gave birth in this climate and it is one of the reasons I keep speaking up and out today so other women can experience the true respect and dignity that birth should afford us all. It truly was a mother knows best attitude that perfumed our community.