Birthowl’s natural childbirth


Conception, Pregnancy and Birth

Whether birth is difficult or easy, painful or pain-free, long-drawn-out or brief, it need not be a medical event. It should never be conducted as if it were no more than a tooth extraction.

For childbirth has much deeper significance than the removal of a baby like a decaying molar from a woman’s body. The dawning of consciousness in a human being who is opening eyes for the first time on our world is packed with meaning for the mother and father, and can be also for everyone who shares in this greatest adventure of all.

There are many women who hope for childbirth in which they, not the doctors, are in control. They want to have the information that will enable them to make their own decisions, to prepare themselves for an experience in which they participate fully, and do not wish labour and birth to be taken over by managers.

They know that it is easier to do this on their own ground, in a place to which the doctors and midwives who are their care givers come as guests. They would like to give birth outside a hospital. This may be either in their own home, or in a birth centre in which the rhythms of a labouring woman’s body are honoured and waited on, and where birth is non- interventionist and centered on people instead of on mechanical processes.

Hospitals exist where all members of staff share this attitude, but they are few and far between. You need only one person who is out of tune with such ideas, who believes in the aggressive management of labour, who, instead of being client- oriented, sees a woman as a patient who must obey hospital protocols, one person who is anxious and afraid, and who cannot trust women’s bodies, for the environment in which birth takes place to be poisoned, and completely unsuitable for the focused concentration and inner confidence that is needed for a good birth.

Extract from “Homebirth” by Sheila Kitzinger
A fully revised and updated version of this book became available under the title Birth Your Way in Feb 2002


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