Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspiring Change

March 8, 2014 is International Women's Day and this year's theme is Inspiring Change.

Birth is a transformational time in a woman's life; not only is a baby born, a mother is born as well. This time is one that should be empowering but many women in America are experiencing birth in ways that make them feel self-doubt, defeat, confusion and sadness.
Is birth traumatic? 
How can we change these outcomes?

By changing the way we view birth.

In my post Say What You Mean, I discuss what has become "normal birth" in our society: induction

Yesterday, I was listening to a frustrated mother speak, and she said
I don't understand why we have to fight so hard for a normal birth!
And it hit me, because what she wants, a natural, intervention free birth, is not normal! She finds herself fighting because she is going against the grain of modern technology and desiring a biologically normal childbirth. While Nils Bergman, MD was working as a mission doctor in Zimbabwe he observed
I was seeing the real biology of Homo sapiens at work, and that what I had learned at medical school was a result of modern culture equipped with amazing technology, but no understanding of human biology
....Read more 

Is all of this technology helping us or hurting us? And what about your epidural? Why is it that we so often hear women refer to this drug as belonging to them.  Women don't take ownership of Tylenol, yet too often, be it from pop culture or whatever, women are staking claim to this method of pain relief without noting other options nor the risks of it, and we are still not claiming our births.  

This year's theme for International Women's Day is "Inspiring Change" promoting equality for women. Being in charge of our birth experiences is the foundation we set for our daughters in equality. As a doula, a recurring theme I see is women asking permission to do something while laboring and giving birth. This paradigm places women beneath their care providers, taking away the magnificence and empowerment of giving birth. You, woman, are strong and in charge of your body and your birth! Any care provider you choose to enlist is working for you. Birth is a human rights issue and it belongs to women. Take charge of your health, your body,  your birth. I encourage you to not ask permission but discuss your desires. 
This is your Journey of Life, make your own informed choices about birth and know that it is not only within your power to do so, it is your right! 

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Jennifer Valencia | Labor & Postpartum Doula | 928.300.1337


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