Tuesday, 1 May 2012

It's birth but not as we know it!

Michel Odent!  :swoon:

To be fair, that's all I have to write for this blog post to be a loved blog post.  I mean c'mon people... Michel Odent.  

Okay, clearly that's not enough for a blog post.  I won't tell you about wanting to drown in the sound of his voice.  The man is 82 and I've never seen so many women swooning in one room.   When I decided to become a Doula, I trained with Michel.  The man made me so excited about birth that I went home thinking that I wanted another baby.  I had five at home.  I didn't need another one. I still have five children.  There are no more.

So, Michel was speaking at the MAMA Conference (yes this is next in the MAMA Conference series) about Womb Ecology and what he said put a chill into my heart.  In his words we are at the bottom of the abyss and it is time to smash the politically correct nature of childbirth.  It is the cultural conditioning that we live with.  He told us some stunning truths (stop me if you miss the dripping sarcasm... not about Michel.  Never about Michel) including how over the last 50 years we have learned that babies need their mothers.  Seriously.  Stop the press!  Michel said "in the 21st Century, it is not about acquiring knowledge, it's about digesting the knowledge we have".  It's time to rediscover common sense.  Think about it.  Babies need their mothers.  Our babies are incredibly vulnerable beings.  They are born without the ability to stand, speak or fend for themselves.  They need their mothers.  Kangaroo careskin to skin is now promoted throughout hospitals.  It does rather beg the question... why on earth was the practice allowed to be forgotten?

Caesareans have become such common practice that Michel told us that he thinks it will impact on future generations and the whole "women cannot birth without assistance" argument will be a self fulfilling prophecy.  Can you imagine that?  Our daughters will be unable to birth our grandchildren without a surgical operation.  And if our daughters manage, then their daughters may not.  How much do we play with when we create a climate of fear around birth?  Personally, I'm tired of hearing stories of Consultants that hand over boxes of tissues to women before telling them the only way they can birth live babies are to do it the doctor's way.  How does that inform women?  Where is the unbiased risk information?  And where pray tell is the space for oxytocin?

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