BirthQuake: Shaking Up Your View of Birth
New ideas on making birth a positive, healthy experience.

I once had a bumper sticker on my car that read, “Birth does not have to suck!” You can imagine the number of laughs and conversation that this generated among mothers! While the wind and the rain eventually put an end to the funny sticker, the message lives on, although seemingly an impossible truth if you never knew that there was indeed another way to experience childbirth.

For the healthy woman, a homebirth or birth center birth is an opportunity to have a birth that is peaceful, powerful and even sensual. Having your baby, attended by a skilled, trained midwife, a loving partner, and close, positive support people, is an opportunity to embrace your strength as a woman and to feel the power of your body full force. Instead of thinking of ourselves as “patients” or as “sick”, a homebirth or birth center birth allows us to feel strong and capable! After all, as women, we are powerful physical beings and we can and do tolerate healthy normal pain better than our male counterparts, (there is even emerging research to suggest that very fact!) When we stop thinking of birth has being “suffering” we can instead embrace an opportunity to experience one of life’s most incredible physical and emotional experiences.

After giving birth in an environment that allows you freedom of movement, freedom to eat and drink, and freedom to let your body’s own wisdom take over, many women experience a surge in self esteem and positive self regard. What a feeling of power! Feeling your baby thundering through your body and out in to your waiting arms gives you an endorphin rush that both positively affects you and your new baby. Nature is wise, and knows that the hormonal cocktails of labor help a new mother bond with her baby during the often-exhausting postpartum weeks ahead! Another perk of unmedicated birth is that women who have drug free labors often have an easier time initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

To get the real scoop, talk with women who have had their babies at home or at freestanding birth centers. You may be surprised at what you will hear! Seek out local midwives, doulas or childbirth educators to get in on the secret; birth is hard work, but it absolutely can be an amazing, positive experience. So go ahead, start the birthquake!

Beth Leianne Curtis, Certified Professional Midwife

About the Author:
Beth Curtis - Believe In Birth

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Amanda WartonI had my baby at a freestanding birth center (Special Beginnings in Arnold, MD) and it was the best decision I ever made. I could not believe what an amazing experience it was, the skillfulness of my midwife, how involved my husband was, how comfortable our room was, how quickly I recovered ... I could go on & on. What really sold me is that the typical midwife has attended to far more non-surgical births than the typical obstetrician, and really understands & trusts the normal process of a natural birth. I didn't want surgery, I wanted to have my baby. I wish more women would believe in themselves and choose this option - we were made to do this!
Washington, DC - 7 yearss ago