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I'm considering hosting a BOLD event next year and it got me thinking about how there are so many people out there who don't really put much thought into how or why we give birth the way that we do - who just see it as this thing that you just have to get through and it doesn't really matter how it happens.
So I wanted to hear what you wonderfully wise women think about the question "Why does birth (or the way we give birth) matter?" What does this question mean to you? Why should we be putting more thought into birth? Do you think the birth experience can cause profound changes in a woman's attitudes and identity? Obviously there are physiological and health considerations here, but I guess I'm thinking more about why birth matters on other levels: sociological, psychological, spiritual, etc.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this!
Michele - mom to Vincent (3), fiancee to Jason, baby #2 due in April 2014
I am a control freak in almost every situation. Birth is no different for me - I do not want to feel bullied, or pressured, or out of control. I like to plan for all situations, but have my eye on one path and I don't like to be taken off my path.
I think birth is a very defining moment - it is the passage to womanhood, whether you've done it 1x or 20x...each experience is a new passage to a new chapter of your life, and you have the ability to decide how your life goes (of course there are extenuating circumstances that may interfere, but if you're educated and prepared you'll know you did everything you could to avoid that circumstance). I don't want to ever feel like someone else wrote my story, I don't ever want to be out of control.
40+2 and counting
Momma to Brylie, Hunter and K3 on the way! Due 12/4/13
It matters because we remember it. It effects us for the rest of our lives. Penny Simkin did a study with 20 women. They each wrote their birth stories directly after giving birth. Penny had them write their birth story again after 20 years and it was amazing how similar they were!
For good or bad, we remember. It has the power to empower us but it can us feel powerless under certain circumstances. Women need to be educated and allowed to make their own decisions to feel empowered. If we are bullied and told what to do we carry that scared, guilty feeling with us our entire lives.
My birth wasn't as i planned, but it changed me as a person. The way i process things is just different. Its given me a lot of confidence. My birth was HARD. But i did it! Such a defining moment. It gives me a whole new appreciation for mothers. I definately agree with the other ladies, that control was important to me. I labored the way i wanted to labor and it was beautiful. The interventions i didn't plan for, all happened after transition... when i just wasn't in control anymore. Being educated on birth helped me to at least have most of my labor the way i wanted. It's definatley something i won't EVER forget. I still remember the tiniest details.
Birth is something a lot of women don't think about until afterward, and then they often feel feelings of regret, anxiety, remorse, guilt, or even feel violated. It was important to me to plan ahead to avoid these feelings, and also to give my daughter the best possible entrance into the world. Birth is our first opportunity to bond with our babies. Not drugging DD during it was the first gift I ever gave her. Now I can look back on her birth with no guilt and no regrets, and know I did the best thing for her even if it was difficult for me.
"Why does birth (or the way we give birth) matter?" Because no matter how we give birth, unless you're knocked out, you're going to remember it.
Why should we be putting more thought into birth? Because how we bring a child into this world can have great impact on mom and baby, and even sometimes the dad. A bad birth can lead to PPD, PTSD, PPP. It can also lead to birth injeries for mother and baby. The only person who cares the most about you and your baby is YOU, not the Doctor who is probably going to forget you within a month. And your the one who has to live with any birth injury or trauma.
Do you think the birth experience can cause profound changes in a woman's attitudes and identity? Yes I do. I had horrible PPD after my first son, and I believe it was largly due to what happened in birth and the hours that followed. I didn't have the best identity back then, in fact I don't think I had any identity. After the homebirth of my second son you could see a huge difference in myself from the two births.
Mama to G, L & twins F & M
Started off 2013 homebirthing suprise twins Fia Celesta & Maddalena Isabella