“Birth – as experienced by the mother – is the Mount Everest of physical functions in any mammal. Unless we have seen it before, we can barely imagine that something so relatively huge can come out of a place that usually looks so small. And yet it happens everyday.” -Ina May Gaskin from “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”.
Last weekend Stephanie Larson facilitated a training in Bermuda, and witnessed first-hand how little choice women there have in childbirth (one hospital only, no birth centers). Her new Dancing For Birth (DFB) sisters are tirelessly championing the cause of freedom for birth in Bermuda. While she was there, she taught a DFB class to 15 women who were so receptive. One gave birth 48 hours later at home and said that she danced through her whole labor, gave birth in “powerful woman” position and had an orgasmic birth at home alone with her husband and doula. She was so grateful for DFB. She was invited over to meet the new mother while the birth was so fresh baby Lotus was still attached to her placenta. Oxytocin was palpable. Our hearts are full. Our gratitude for Sophia Cannonier for advocating for birth and Dancing For Birth to come to Bermuda. It was a wonderful experience.
Gaskin points out that “The problem is that doctors today often assume that something mysterious and unidentified has gone wrong with labor or that the woman’s body is somehow ‘inadequate’ – what I call the ‘woman’s body as a lemon’ assumption. For a variety of reasons, a lot of women have also come to believe that nature made a serious mistake with their bodies. This belief has become so strong in many that they give in to pharmaceutical or surgical treatments when patience and recognition of the normality and harmlessness of the situation would make for better health for them and their babies and less surgery and technological intervention in birth. Most women need encouragement and companionship more than they need drugs.”
A local hospital in Bermuda has added new operating rooms, calling it a “…great step forward in improving the safety and comfort of mothers, along with their newborn children.” You can read the full article >> here. However, since c-section rates in many countries have risen dramatically in the last 40 years and are reaching epidemic proportions, it behooves hospitals to reduce medicalized birth and increase normal physiologic birth. Doctors and other care-providers whose education focused primarily on the pathology of birth now need to be educated in natural birth and how best to support it.
Dancing For Birth is pleased to be a part of the birth movement in Bermuda and hope to hear of many more successful homebirths and powerful women. Together we can create movement for better birth.