Sunday, March 4, 2007

Great Reading

I just finished two wonderful books; one fiction and one non-fiction. Both great reads. One was written by a woman who moved into a former birthing house in Nova Scotia and she gathered accounts of locals who were born in her home. It was intriguing to think of midwives in the early 1800's who were out there on their own working as strong, courageous women even when times got tough. This book is called "The Birth House". Check it out.
The book I just finished a few nights ago is titled "Birth". It is a non fictional account of the history of everything to do with being born. I have never read a history like this one...very well researched and informative. Her bibliography goes on for pages. I really enjoyed the rich history of midwifery which she includes and how the Catholic church was responsible for making midwives out to be witches and burning them at the stake, etc. It gave a lot of detail about the tools male doctors used right from the start when they began delivering babies. Interesting that they didn't watch and learn from midwives but that they were there to make things faster or less painful or spare the woman hours of labor. From the beginning male doctors have always looked for tools or procedures that interrupted the natural process of birth. Midwifery has been under attack from men and religious leaders since the 1400's and thousands of midwives were burned due to so called potions they used or magical powers they posessed.
With the recent licensure regulations up for debate on Capitol Hill this past session, it made me very aware that even in the 21st century we are still dealing with a medical community that isn't supportive of midwives and who think that their standard of care is superior to the midwifery model of care. They seem to think they deserve to run the entire birthing show without any input from those who have skills in normal, natural childbirth. Why does this situation still exist today? Seems very likely that we haven't done enough educating about midwifery and natural childbirth and that women need to speak their minds more clearly and choose midwives more often. Currently women today are scheduling C-sections by the thousands and doctors are calling it an epidemic. It is a reflection of what women have been told about their bodies and their lack of trust in themselves. Doctors are telling women that they are not fit to have a big baby or that they are at high risk or overdue and putting their baby in danger. I don't believe our species has evolved that dramatically in the last 30 or 40 years to where we have to deliver our babies by cesarean so often because of extenuating circumstances. It is about doctor's convenience and money and lack of trust in a woman's body to give birth naturally.
When you delve into the facts of birth you will find out that what we believe and are being told today by the masses is in fact driven by fear and lack of education. Just like anything else its always best to do the research and find out for yourself...the truth is never as loud as the lies.

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