On the 25/26th March, 2018 I attended the first Doula Conference in Melbourne. It was a wonderful chance to meet so many women whom I had known on social media but not face to face!

I was placed on a panel to discuss the topic…

Trauma, coercion, obstetric violence and rising intervention rates in the birth space.

What are the influencing factors creating this, and how do we help to reduce its incidence?

Melbourne Doula Conference 2018

I had a window in which to share my thoughts to this question and received an enthusiastic response to this, my perspective.

“This is a huge subject with many pathways so I want to address a few things that I see occurring after my 21 years working as an Independent Childbirth Educator. I don’t want to go down the road of misogyny and white male supremacy as I feel there is another view that is often not acknowledged and is of importance.”

We need to ask a vital question here in relation to what is influencing the rise of birth trauma and violence and that is to seriously ask of ourselves, what is birth’s purpose?

And then depending on our answer to that question we will either reduce or see the escalation of trauma and violence.

So let’s ask ourselves – what is birth’s purpose?

  • Is it a medical event?
  • Is it an illness?
  • Is it just a process of getting a baby out of a mother’s womb?
  • Or does it have the potential to be a sacred, potent rite of passage experience? One to be exalted and honoured and one that can raise Love consciousness for Humanity.

When we see maternal care from the perspective of birth as a medical event with its rules and regulations, we become slaves to the system and birth will look and feel very different to seeing birth as a place of reverence. I worry about this constant reference to trauma that becomes the ingrained dialogue and which women believe will, by default, be a part of their experiences.

On the other hand if maternal care providers see birth as a dynamic, unfolding excavation into the deepest exploration of who we are as women – where our psychic nature and connection to the ancient feminine lineage gets accessed in birth and the gifts we are here to bring gets activated – how different may birth be?

Unfortunately most women don’t get the opportunity to touch these places and that is a real shame!

I would like to see birth’s purpose elevated so we can begin to address it as a potent rite of passage experience on the spectrum of a whole woman’s life journey. In my vision, I clearly see that if all maternal care providers were on the same page in seeing birth as a mother baby centred experience with Love sitting at the helm of the birth ship and not one where the authority is in the hands of another, we could change the trauma experienced in one generation. And we would change the kind of care women receive as well.

Melbourne Doula Conference 2018-Maha with Angela Gallo and Katrina Zaslavsky
Maha with Angela Gallo and Katrina Zaslavsky
Melbourne Doula Conference - Maha with Jojo Hogan
Maha with Jojo Hogan

So, we must stop with this dilution of birth’s potency which not only serves to severe a mother from her instincts and create an inner distrust and struggle but also gives the hierarchical model unbridled control, usually with vested interest, to assume power over.

This strangles the birth experience.

Interfering in the delicate art of the heart that is birth sees mothers in a demoralised position of externalising her experience.

It is ludicrous that we have got to a position where a mother seeks permission or in fact begs to follow her mammalian instincts and be told yes, no or maybe.

Perpetuating this idea that an authority is all knowing over a mother’s sovereignty shows that we have a birth culture lacking in emotional intelligence! This can never work and plainly it does not work.

I would sincerely like to say to obstetricians…

Its time to hand birth back to mothers and babies.

Let the mystery of birth’s longing to show itself in her truest Nature be released for the benefit of humankind. This is the antithesis of obstetric violence, trauma and power over.

You cannot take an expansive experience that is birth and box it in limitation. Let birth find its freedom.

Set birth free.
Set women free.
Love our babies.

Stop saying I empower you rather say…

“I inspire you to find the power within yourself.”