I’ve had two natural home-births and one of them happened in the comfort of my home. Now, usually when people hear about this, their jaws drop! Women and men alike comment of my “braveness”, whether they have kids or not! Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth helped me get in the right headspace for the job. If I relied on modern media and societal influence, I’d be terrified. Evidentially this book got a smashing review this week. Here are 5 Quick Lessons from the book of the week: Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
Here is your chance to be exposed to a new understanding of an ancient system of knowledge that you can add to your general understanding of what birth means.Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin
1 – The culture of fear around birth is a form of sexism
Women are the weaker sex afterall, so how in the world can they possibly handle something as intense as birth without the help of man? We know times were different ‘Back then’ and though the battle of the sexes still continues to this day #EqualPayPlease modern society comes from a time when the names of women were hidden in history books, scientific studies and even works of art. Is it really that hard to believe that the fear mongering around birth and labour doesn’t stem from women at all? Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth does a great job explaining the history around the fear of labour… It’s a conspiracy!
2 – Birth can be long
Longer-length births can still occur naturally without intervention or induction. In her 30+ years as a midwife, Ina May has never had to induce labour once. In fact, her emergency C-Section rate stayed below 1.5% which is much much lower than the average rate of 30%. Intervention guarantees the need for even more intervention, leaving the woman in labour in the backseat while the doctors are obliged to sort of ‘hijack‘ the labour. Ina May doesn’t have anything against doctors, many of them worked with her often! But the quick-triggered inductions that happen on a regular basis can make birth outright terrifying for the participating parties. Some births simply take time, Refusing natural birth options for any woman is unfair, and robs them of a potentially intervention-free experience.
3 – Birth can be quiet
We are a T.V. Culture! We can all recall a funny birth scene from a movie or TV show where the woman screams “YOU DID THIS TO ME” to the fainting husband that can’t handle any of it. But the theatrics don’t necessarily ring true. Many women are in a meditative state during labour. Ina May Gaskin’s book shares countless birth stories from all different women, and those that were into hypnobirthing definitely had interesting, meditative and transformative birth experiences.
There is extraordinary psychological benefit in belonging to a group of women who have positive stories to tell about their birth experiences. This phenomenon is exactly what developed within our village.Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin
4. Birth can be funny
Not in the cynical “haha your water broke in public” kind of way, more in the “I am so happy I’m giggling my way through this whole thing” kind of way. Your mindset sets the scene. I was blown away by the stories that involved lighthearted laughter because other than sleeping, its my medicine of choice! Could you imagine having a wonderful time during your own labour?
“Believe me: if you are told that some experience is going to hurt, it will hurt. Most pain is in the mind, and when a woman absorbs the idea that the act of giving birth is excruciatingly painful-when she gets this information from her mother, her sisters, her married friends, and her physician-that woman has been mentally prepared to feel great agony.”Stephen King – Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
5. Stephen King’s Wife had Natural Home Births
In the version of the book that I had, there was a forward from non-other than Stephen King! As a big fan of his books, I wasn’t surprised that he could “handle it” but even that way of thinking is flawed. I am still picturing something scary, not natural! Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth is the reassurance and reminder that women are the becoming of Strength because of labour, no in spite of it. The UK has the most natural home births on record and is completely midwife run! In Canada, we are behind, be with the changes to the midwife wages, we are slowly starting to wake up and smell the babies.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth shows you endless possibilities of what birth can be like! It has many faces, and many feelings including bliss, happiness, empowerment and surrender… not just Fear. Not just Terror. We are the collection of the stories we hear, so pick up this book if you’re pregnant, or want children, or if you know someone that is pregnant as well. It’s like training for the mind before childbirth. Pssst: Men can benefit from reading this too.