Got your attention didn’t I? I can’t really guarantee you a pain free birth. But read on and I will open your eyes to your hidden female power that which makes you perfect for birthing your child(ren).
Women were created to give birth. It is not a talent that some people have and others do not. It is a gift from G-d. Sadly, this generation has been taught to believe that we cannot do it; we feel we must rely on our doctors to tell us what to do, how to do it, and when to do it!
Over the last several months in my practice as a lactation specialist, I have encountered one new mother after another who were told, “You are overdue—we need to induce labor”, “you don’t have enough fluid in your water bag” or “you should take the epidural as soon as you get into the delivery room”. It is amazing that one of these lines is told to 90% of laboring women these days. Somehow, the medical community has taken it upon themselves to deprive women of a natural experience.
Women are being induced at an alarming rate. Many of my clients have suffered through unnecessary C-Sections or horrific episiotomies that caused infection and poor health, further exacerbating difficulties in bonding and breastfeeding.
So, about the pain … yes, it will hurt! We need not be afraid … we just need to be prepared! We need the truth! Even women who receive synthetic pain relief still feel pain during the labor process. If you have known anyone who experienced a natural labor and delivery she remembers the pain and the exhaustion, yet before she knew it the appropriate hormones kicked in and turned her attention to her newborn and the mothering task at hand. The pain is a rite of passage. It is painful, yes … but a gorgeous, real, amazing experience that can bring about great wisdom and maturity in the process.
Modern scientists believe that human beings use less than 1/3 of our brains and that our mental capabilities are much more enormous. When we believe we can do something—we can. Mind over matter! When women believe that they can birth their babies naturally—without intervention—our brains prepare us and guide our bodies to birth. Natural chemicals, endorphins, are released into our bloodstream to make us powerful, capable, determined, and committed to bringing our babies into this world.
Anyone who has ever attended a natural birth—one with no medical intervention—will likely tell you that there is a point in the labor when a woman’s brain just shifts into a place of power that is almost blissful; it takes control of her body and mind—and miraculously, birth occurs, babies are born. This place inside of us—this gift—has shaped us for this work. We can do it! We just need to learn to tap into this magnificent part of our brain.
There are many options available for birthing babies, including using a doula (an experienced birthing coach), a midwife, an OB-GYN, home, hospital or birthing center for delivery, and the choices are up to us to make. DO NOT let your practitioner tell you what kind of birth you are going to have. If you are healthy and have no significant medical history and are not having a high-risk pregnancy, you can choose a natural delivery.
I believe very strongly that during labor, women need the support of other women. We need the experience, kindness, and encouragement of other women reminding us of the amazing power within us. We do not need to be told by the medical establishment that our bodies need “help” to give birth.
It can be very frightening for us to hear about other women’s difficult deliveries, but I firmly believe that if every expectant mother had the opportunity to witness a natural delivery—I mean a real natural, calm, pleasant, wonderful, miraculous birth, in an environment that reflects the woman’s own style and comfort—we would be able to deliver our babies without the fear and medical complications that occur so frequently. These beautiful, natural, births actually exist—I have attended and experienced these kinds of births!
You may ask, if medicine exists to take away the pain of childbirth, why not use it? These days, when so many women are encouraged to reduce their pain, they are not told that it will inhibit their breastfeeding. While the pain of birthing is relieved for the duration of labor, pain is intensified for the weeks of early breastfeeding. Studies have shown that epidural drugs enter the baby’s body during labor, creating an inability to coordinate the suck-swallow-breathe that is required to nurse properly, and these drugs can stay in the newborn’s bloodstream for up to two weeks. Babies may get good scores on their APGAR tests, but hospitals across the nation who have begun using the breastfeeding assessment scoring right after birth have found that most epidural babies fail this test miserably and naturally birthed babies pass this test with flying colors!
There was a study done with dogs that found when the dogs did not experience pain during labor they had trouble connecting with their pups and feeding them properly! Labor is called labor because it is work. But, we women are used to working. We work hard at everything in life, but we have it all mixed up. Yes, we need help with a lot of things like cleaning our homes, but with labor, we need to sweat and do the work ourselves!
Now that I have depressed you … let me inspire you! I have fabulous news!!! There is a way to shift your conscious thought process to the part of your brain that knows how to birth your baby! From the moment that labor begins, we as empowered women know the truth of the birth process and we choose to surround ourselves with positive, knowledgeable people to assist us as labor begins. Positive thinking—”yes, I can do this” and “I was created to do this”, and “my body was created to do this”—is vital to the process. It is also important to have a woman nearby who knows many birthing positions, who can help you into the most comfortable position for laboring and pushing, and get you things like water, ice, a heater, a fan, music, massage, showers, and help to maintain your positive thoughts with encouragement and blessings being whispered in your ear. These small plans and preferences will allow YOU to feel safe and allow your body to do what it knows how to do—have a baby naturally!
Let us reclaim our power and strength! Let us believe in the power bestowed upon us! Let us be inspired by people around us! Let us use our feminine power to birth our babies the way our bodies were created to birth them! You can do it! I know you can!
By Sara Chana Silverstein, IBCLC, BA, Herbalist and Student of Homeopathy. She is a licensed Lactation Consultant helping women and babies with breastfeeding problems. She also works with children and adults with chronic ear and strep infections, stomach problems and emotional issues. She can be reached at 718-467-1455.