Saturday, September 21, 2013

It  is a wonderful thing to be able to have children.  You can have safe sex or have sloppy sex but it is still a miracle of nature if she gets pregnant.  Then you go through the realization  that your lives will forever change because there is a new love in your life, your  child.  Many people are selfish these days and choose to not have children.  It is too long and expensive and time consuming to raise them.  We don’t have the time.  Do we want to constantly pay other people to teach them and raise them daily simply because we are lucky enough to have a job?

There  are even different opinions on how the birthing process should take place.  Years ago the father went through a few packs of cigarettes waiting for a way just to know if it was just a boy or girl while his woman was tied down; legs and arms in a bathroom like delivery room all tiled and white.  Now even in hospitals there are rooms that look like a bedroom with curtains and all and your woman can move freely till it is all over.  Men are there taking home movies of the process and it is all very expensive.
Some American mothers are choosing to go back to nature by choosing a mid-wife to help her give birth.  They will not go to a hospital or call their doctor.  They might go to a farmhouse and seek the assistance from an old school practitioner.  Birth is not an illness that needs to be done in a hospital according to them..  There is a growing number of mothers looking forward by looking back.  Mid wives provide highly individualized care and provide support for weeks even after the woman gives birth.  Hospitals discharge you sometimes the very next day after giving birth.

The word itself is from old English meaning with woman.  Mid wives were once a standard part of routine delivery.  By the 1880’s the field of obstetrics began to develop.  Pregnancy was seen to be a medical issue to be managed by doctors.  Mid wives in America became rare.  Today they attend to just 8% of all births.  But, In some countries mid wives remain the norm.  In the United  Kingdom they deliver the majority of babies.  The maternal and infant mortality rates are much lower than in this country.  What exactly do they do in Britain that saves more babies lives?

The American leader of mid wives in this country is Ina May Gaskin who has written a number of books on the subject.  Books called Birth Matters, The Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery.  Her books have sold more than a million copies and have been passed from woman to woman.  Over the past 40 years she has delivered more than 1,200 babies on her farm. Women will travel for hours to be near her when it is time for them to give birth.   
Ina May, the midwife hates the chaos the media associates with the child birth process like in the horrible scene in the  2007 movie Knocked Up staring Catherine Heigl and    Seth Rogen.  Giving birth is a natural event and should not be portrayed as a nightmare.  Hollywood likes drama and that is exactly what is not needed in childbirth.  No woman wants to anticipate a horrible event in their lives.   

Watch instead a new documentary called  Birth Story that is about Gaskin and her fellow farm mid wives.  They emphasise closure where fear is not going to be a part of the process.  The newest thing is to try to have mid wife care but in a hospital where if complications arise, the benefits of a hospital can be attained..  Now in the United States nearly 90% of midwives are nurses with masters degrees.  They look to comfort the mother but also keep their eye on the science of things.  

Doctor Julie Cantor of UCLA Medical School lectures on women’s medical health issues and stresses that mid wives participation does not mean a medication free birth or an out of hospital birth.  Mid wives use technology judiciously with high touch and low technology.  Still in this country Americans view a mid wife birth as risky.  After all, obstetricians are medical doctors.

Less is more.  There are too many drugs, too many c-sections too many inductions and not enough post par tum care in hospitals.  Let the girl rest a while in the hospital after giving birth.  It is a long time before that new born kid is 18 and on his own.

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