Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Before I was ever pregnant, I watched "Baby Story" on TLC and found birth stories fascinating. Why do some women soar through natural birth? Why do some women say they want a natural birth but freak out after a few contractions? Why do some women automatically say they want absolutely no pain? While pregnant I did a lot of reading. I decided that birth is not a medical event. It's only been in the past 125 years that it has become a medical event, starting back when the medical establishment (ie---men) decided that women, the weaker sex, could not be smart enough to birth their own babies and they must intervene. Over the next few generations, the collective knowledge of the physiological power of childbirth was almost lost in western society. First, women were given no option but to be put into 'twilight sleep' to give birth. Then, with the advances of the epidural, no pain as a birth option was highly regarded. Why should you 'torture yourself' if you can have absolute pain relief?

I'm not going to get into why you shouldn't have an epidural, other than it TOTALLY disrupts the natural physiological chain of events and TOTALLY puts birth in the hands of a third party. Someone who most likely will forget your name by the time of your 6 week check up. I didn't want others controlling what my body intrinsically knew what to do. I didn't even want to be controlling the events; I wanted to give in to my body. I would have REALLY preferred a midwife birth, but not possible here. I would have really preferred a home birth. I never knew about it back then, but there is a movement called "Unassisted Childbirth". Perhaps a bit radical for me (yes, I'm not a total nutjob....and neither are those women!), but the stories are very fascinating. I knew I wanted to birth my child gently, with peace and dignity to both of us. I almost got that :)
All this rambling is leading me to this....LOL.... I was over at the website under my links "Attachment Parenting Comics" and saw she had a book list for pregnant/new moms. You don't have to be crunchy, Birkie wearing momma-to-be to read these books. Shouldn't you be well informed about such an important event? Many women spend more time planning their wedding then they do their birth. You can read all about non-violent (ie--modern, North American births) births, all about midwifery, all about a commune of women and their birth stories, and still decide that you want to drug your baby before it's born because you are afraid of pain. Fear creates what you are afraid of. But at least you go into it knowing that giving birth without medicine, without monitors, without hourly checking, without time-lines, is totally do-able, totally normal, and totally within your grasp. I am a pain wimp. My dentist knows to automatically give me extra freezing. But I had almost pain free births.

Oh...I especially wanted to point out two books. "Birth Without Violence" is a fabulous book, and "Milk, Money, and Madness" is a book I'd like to read. It sounds fascinating. It's not a book on how to breastfeed, but on the politics and socio-economical effects of the formula industry. The big, bad, business based on the by product of cheese making :) (Whey. A main ingredient in formula, is a by product of cheese making. Ever looked at the ingredient listing on a can of formula? I cannot understand how women purposely choose this. And I'm not talking about you b.f. soldiers who gave it your all for weeks on end!! I'm talking about those women who 'give up' after two weeks, or never even try because b.f. makes them feel like a cow....and then they give their baby formula that is based on baby cow food....).


z said...

if we're ever ever lucky enough to ever conceive again i'd really like a home birth. to the point that if i have to, i'll stay home when labour starts until it's "too late" LOL.

on the breastfeeding thing... i didn't breastfeed. i was told that i couldn't (because of the breast reduction). i did become engorged... and still told i wouldn't produce enough milk, so don't bother. i didn't put much effort into it for a few reasons (some of which i'm sure are viewed as unacceptable to the pro-bf camp), that being one of them.

i hate being made to feel guilty about it. not saying that's your intention... it's a general feeling i get from many pro-breastfeeding mamas... a feeling that those of us who formula fed are ill-informed and irresponsible. there seems to be little real understanding/compassion when it comes to this topic.

my kids are healthy, i'm not going to dwell on it and feel bad ;)

TracyKM said...

Once again, I'm commenting on my own blog so I can log in!
I don't want Z to feel bad about not nursing after a breast reduction. Her doctor should fee bad for telling her she couldn't as you never really know if you will be able to or not. It must be difficult when 'the experts' tell you something like that...we put so much faith in doctors and modern medicine...that's why a couple generations of women were told to formula feed--science had created something so much better than what an uninformed female's body could make, LOL. There is a movement called "Bottle Feeding with Love" (and other names). What you feed your baby doesn't indicate how you love your baby :)