I have recently been reading a book, called: Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. It was initially published in the 70s and although its language is fairly hippyish, it has a lot to offer to any pregnant woman. The main bulk of the book is a collection of home birthing stories from women, their partners and midwifes in 70s’ America, in times when home births were not necessarily even considered as an option.
Reading this book has made me re-think about my first time of giving birth and childbirth in our society in general. I feel that in our society child birth is often far removed from the rest of the reproductive process and often highly medicalised and driven by the fear of pain.
I am not saying that medical practice is not needed. However, I believe that our society is not necessarily focusing on empowering the labouring women to believe in their capabilities to labour naturally and perhaps prevent some unnecessary medical interventions from happening during the labour. From my experience of giving birth to my son, the progress of labour is very much linked with our current mental state and if we believe that we can/can’t do it.
I am nearing the labour of my second child and this time preparing myself mentally and physically for it in a very different way. I am planning to go with it – whatever this might be – and not fight against it. This time, I am also hoping to get to enjoy the experience of my child being born.