I submitted my article “New Surge In Birthing” to Mamapedia for many reasons:
- To spread the word about such a beautiful birthing method
- To encourage pregnant women to seek something different (for themselves and their babies)
- To bring awareness to the joy, comfort and empowering nature of gentle birthing, rather than the traumatic nature of how birth is already portrayed in the United States
- To write about a subject our country needs to hear about more (for our mothers, fathers, and babies)
- To hear responses from women everywhere (and to honestly and candidly respond with wholehearted appreciation)
I knew it was a risk to allow this article to be seen by women who may not feel the way I do about birthing, but I had no idea I would have such a negative, insulting, and critical audience. The few people who supported my post through your positive words, I really do appreciate it. Most of the comments, while not shocking to me, created a sad feeling within me, because I realized that the way our society has deemed birth to be has so deeply ingrained itself and affected women (to the point that they are defensive about the experiences they had when birthing).
My post was in no way intentioned to insult anyone, to create animosity, or to belittle anyone who had a c-section, an epidural, or an otherwise medicated birth. There is no need for these women to justify your births to me, there is no judgment from me about your birth, and I would certainly hope that my readers do not pass judgment on you either. If they (my readers) pass judgment on you, then they must also pass judgment on me as well, because I had a medicated (yet peaceful) birthing experience, that I blogged about in an earlier post.
As I read the article that Mamapedia so kindly published on their widely read website, I scoured it for the phrase “natural birth”, since some of the women who seemed deeply offended by my post spoke largely about “natural birth”. Nowhere in my post did I speak of “natural birth”, because HypnoBirthing does not tout itself as a “natural birthing” technique, method of philosophy. HypnoBirthing can be used in any birthing circumstance. Allow me to share the birthing experiences of the couples I have taught, and of myself.
- Me – Epidural after 20 hours of unmedicated labor (OP baby)
- First couple – Home water birth, unmedicated with midwife attending (10 pound baby)
- Second couple – C-section after 26 hours of labor and several hours of pushing (OP baby)
- Third couple – Planned C-section (breech presented baby)
- All of my other moms are happily awaiting their babies’ birthing days, with positive expectation
Out of all of the couples that I have taught, only one has been an unmedicated birth, but that does not make that birth or mother any more beautiful and wonderful than the other mothers I have worked with. Nor does it undermine or dismiss the incredibly empowering experiences the medicated birthing mothers had. All of the couples I have taught have had gentle, beautiful, empowering, and incredibly moving birthing experiences. In fact, every one of the mothers I have worked with has said nothing but positive things about HypnoBirthing and the preparation for their births.
I am deeply saddened that in the United States, childbirth “preparation” classes, some providers, and hospitals tell couples that epidurals have no effect on babies. Totally and completely untrue! I am so frustrated by people saying this! Let’s set the record straight. Epidurals are narcotics, and they directly affect babies. The affects of epidurals have been researched extensively, and here are some of the affects on both mother and baby:
- (Mother) Drops in blood pressure (that’s the reason a blood pressure cuff is kept on a mother’s arm)
- (Mother) Slowed labor because of not moving around during labor (mothers need to move during labor to facilitate the easy descent of the baby)
- (Mother) Difficulty in pushing the baby out (increases the likelihood of other methods being used: forceps, vacuum extraction, pitocin, c-section)
- (Mother) Interference with love hormone, oxytocin (often breaks down protective instinct over baby, and bonding can be difficult)
- (Mother) Headaches (postpartum)
- (Mother) Feelings of being emotionally detached
- (Mother) Hip problems from knees being pushed to my ears (Personal)
- (Mother) Void of emotion or protective instinct (Personal)
- (Mother) Increased chance of tearing during birth
- (Mother) Limited positioning options for birthing (decreased pelvic room for baby to emerge)
- (Baby) Trouble latching on for successful nursing
- (Baby) Interference with bonding with mother
- (Baby) Drowsiness at birth
- (Baby) Fetal distress
The above came from the following sources:
While one of the goals of HypnoBirthing is for women to have as few interventions as possible, it also advocates for mothers doing what their bodies tell them to do, and to accept whatever changes in labor that might occur. This in no way indicates that HypnoBirthing is a “natural birthing” method. However, it does advocate for education of mothers and fathers, to enable them to make the decisions that are best for them and their babies. Through education, advocacy, and empowerment, HypnoBirthing very successfully helps couples experience gentle births (even and especially for the babies). You would not believe the beautiful, peaceful, and gentle nature of HypnoBirthing babies. I have the pleasure everyday, of being in contact with the mothers and fathers who gently and peacefully bring their babies into the world. So yes, birth can be peaceful for babies, and it most often is with HypnoBirthing.
Thank all of you so much for the feedback, and thank you eternally to Mamapedia for publishing an article about a subject I am so passionate about.