Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More on Birth

One of my favorite Jewish blogs- Jewish Mom had a post about birth a few days ago. In it, the author, Chana Weisberg, discusses her previous attitude towards birth, which is one of fear and pain. She knows from experience, having had 5 children herself. She describes reading Ina May Gaskin's book Spiritual Midwifery and how it changed her perspective, and allowed her to think about birth as positive and empowering. She says:
"In Ina May’s eyes, birth can be glorious. Birth can be as natural as walking down the street or singing a song. Birth can take a regular woman and make her into a hero. Birth isn’t even so painful, Ina May explains, if experienced with supportive midwives in a loving and positive environment. In fact, under the right conditions and if approached with a positive, fear-free mindset, birth can be a joyful, playful, and even ecstatic experience."
The message in Ina May's book spoke to Chana and she invited others to share their thoughts.
There were many interesting comments, but since this is my blog, I'll just share mine :)
As a doula I'd like to comment. I agree with all the other posters that birth is a very individual experience and that everyone needs to make their own choices. There is no one way that is right for everybody. However, what is universal is the need for a woman to let go of all her fears of pregnancy and childbirth etc. The message we get that birth is painful, something we need to “endure”, etc. is very deeply rooted in most of us. When we are tense, we stop breathing and clench all our muscles. We are essentially fighting the natural process of labor of opening up.If we could find a way to be calmer- with the help of a doula or other support person, breathing, relaxation CDs or whatever works for you- it would allow our bodies to relax and allow the process of childbirth to unfold. Things would go much smoother and we could finally see that our bodies were indeed created for this. Chodesh tov to everyone!
What are your thoughts on birth? Feel free to share here or check the original posting at

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