This past weekend, I spoke at the Living Temple in Huntington Beach and it was a wonderful turnout. One of the questions I asked the pregnant mamas was, "What makes you different from my client who had a natural birth at a birth center on Saturday?" I was speaking to women who were birthing their children in the hospital. The talk was about bringing holistic birth to the hospital setting.
This particular client interviewed with two OBGYNs and two different hospitals and was not happy with either of them or the feel of the hospital. She just felt uneasy. She tried to ignore the feelings and justify the doctors' behavior (the lack of time) spent with her. But, as she progressed early into the second trimester, she decided that she would honor her uneasy feeling and began to research other places and ways to birth. It just did not feel right for her. That is how she ended up at a birth center.
Many have problems with hospitals. I understand that. I happen to see the benefits of both kinds of birthing places. You just have to understand when birthing in a hospital what you are walking into and understand the protocol with knowledge, instead of resistance. Understand, it is your birth and your choice and honor that.
Okay, back to the question at hand. "What is the difference between you who may be choosing a medicated birth and my client who chose a natural birth?" One mama-to-be answered, "Mindset!" Another participant, a first time father-to-be, answered, "Preparation!" EXACTLY! There is no difference between a woman choosing a natural birth and one choosing a medicated birth other than the choices she makes, her mindset and hours of preparation she invests in herself and her child. As one woman emailed me to say that she thought she knew what she was doing, she "thought" she understood all that she needed to know. I helped give her something to think about. And, that's a good thing.
May we get to a point, where we do not judge any woman for how she chooses to give birth. What I want to do is educate and affirm pregnant women and let each know that with acknowledgment of your feelings, proper support during pregnancy and during labor, you can go for it! Why not set the powerful intention of a natural birth and then build yourself up during your pregnancy to support that intention? If you begin to build and nurture the love vibration of birth and keep your attention there instead of on the fear and horror birth stories, you can elevate yourself to a new level in consciousness. Conscious support during pregnancy and childbirth are key.
Now, I am fully aware that there are risks to every birth natural or medicated and that the unexpected can happen in either case. However, I believe the best thing to do is go full out. You will never get this opportunity again to be pregnant with "this child." You may have other pregnancy but never again with this child. I also know that some births do not go as planned. I have had some that have not gone as planned and it can be very disappointing. Never give up, never stop.
So, mamas, when you birth in a hospital, home or birth center, give it everything you've got! Go for it! I hope that you prepare yourself and have really great birth support around you (your partner, a doula, close friend or family member). I have found in my ten years as a birth doula that women who have natural births have two committed support people by their side fully supporting their choice. And... that means, that if within the midst of labor she looks to either one and says, okay, that's it, I need some pain relief, one of them goes to make sure her request is fulfilled. Do your best mamas, lean in, ask for the help of your female ancestral lineage and the countless women who have birthed before you.
May you bring the consciousness of a home birth mentality to the hospital setting. Women who choose natural birth know that medication is not an option for them. It simply is not a consideration. With that belief, they welcome the birth process and all that it brings and allows them to feel.