Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Outlet for My Passion on Natural Childbirth

To say that I have a passion for natural childbirth is an understatement. My passion for natural childbirth (which I define as unmedicated and without the routine use of interventions) causes me to be so strongly opinionated that I simply must have an outlet!

That's where this blog comes in. I care for my family and friends enough to not want to rock the boat too much on this subject if it seems we are not on the same page. (My hubby is usually much more expressive of his opinions on birth than I am--he volunteers enough information for both of us. It tickles me how passionate he is.)Of course, I am more than happy to discuss the subject with anyone who genuinely wants to learn and asks me (and if you have done this, you have probably received much more than an earful--sorry).

However, I will not usually initiate much when it comes to a woman's (family, friend or acquaintance) pregnancy, except to ask who her provider is and where she will birth. This usually starts a conversation that does not necessarily include me sharing any of my opinions, though I may mention that I know someone who has used that provider, etc. Through just a couple simple questions, I am able to see a little of the woman's birth ideas. Sometimes, I will continue to ask questions to get a feel for what kind of philosophy she has regarding pregnancy and birth.

If she is cavalier, disinterested, ill-informed (and content to remain so) or in other ways seems to have an attitude of "I just do what the doctor tells me," I will often just leave the conversation at that. If she shows interest in learning all she can and researching her options and the benefits and risks that go with them, my side of the conversation may turn a little more into the information-giving kind, as opposed to just information-receiving. Again, those of you who have fallen into this category will probably note that it can turn into a whole-lotta information giving once I get going. (I am trying to regulate and express myself more via other means in order not to do this so much--see below!)

Yes, I am a strongly opinionated person when it comes to birth, and yet the majority of my casual friends or acquaintances have no idea my feelings on the issue. (In order to be perfectly honest, I should mention that this may have changed slightly in the past few months, as I have started the certification process to become a Bradley birth instructor, and have mentioned this to a few people, but even then, I haven't usually introduced the subject.)

Most people who are not close friends of mine have no idea that I have birthed three children naturally, very few know that I have birthed my last two babies at home, and even fewer know that I feel so passionately about the subject that I continue to read, research and study about it even when I am not pregnant. In fact, my husband is more than supportive of my pursuing certification as a Bradley Affiliate, since at least then I will have something to show for all the time I put into researching birth (besides my own satisfying birth experiences, which is worth it to me)!

When given the opportunity, I will not shy away from discussing the issue, but I work hard to get a feel for a woman's interest in informing herself before laying it all out there. In fact, most women will have to come out and ask me about my thoughts on birth. Sharing such things is rarely unsolicited. And when I am asked, it is not uncommon for me to give a bit of a warning on where I'm coming from (that I feel strongly and don't mind telling it like it is).

God willing, a few months from now, I will have another means of sharing the information I continue to learn on a daily basis. My excitement in becoming a birth instructor grows as I study and research more and more (yes, Casey, it is possible for me to research more!).

As to my specific birthing philosophy, I will need to do a whole other post to express the why of my passion. I don't believe in going natural for the usual and customary reasons (a women's rights issue or a get-in-touch-with-your-inner-animal idea, or to prove toughness or achieve a rite of passage, to name a few).


  1. Sarah - you onced left a comment on my blog about having 4 kids vs. 3...did I answer you?

    Also, I did finally post my birth story today, after that exhausting prodromal labor. Just wanted you to know.

    Your email is attached to your comment, so I couldn't write directly - you can email me at notbefore7 at gmail dot com I'd be happy to answer your question if I haven't.

  2. Sarah - I don't get to read your blogs as often as I would like but am so excited to hear you are pursuing becoming a Bradley instructor! I am both excited (and a bit jealous!) as I also have the passion for treating childbirth as a natural event in ones life instead of like a medical condition. I am due in a few weekly with another boy! We hope to have the same Bradley birth experience we did with Nathan (minus the Episodomy this time which was against my original wishes, but necassary from my husband and midwifes point of view!). I'll keep you posted!

  3. Well, as one who has benefited from the whole-lotta-information part, I'm truely thankful for all your time you put in studing natural child birth and the time you take to share! I always feel more comfortable with the idea of delivering our first baby naturally after talking with you. Since that is not coming until February, Lord willing, and all goes as expected, I look forward to learning more from you and being part of your first Bradley class!!!! I'm excited and praying all goes well in getting your certification. Lova ya. :0)