Sunday, July 17, 2011

Birth Matters!

'Living in the Body: Milk and Honey' 
By Amanda Greavette
Check out her AMAZING Birth Project at

From the foreword by Ani DiFranco to Ina May Gaskin's latest masterpiece Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta:
It confuses me that I, an educated, privileged woman in twenty-first century America, am surrounded by women who think they need saving and, because they are denied the opportunity to know otherwise, may believe it forevermore. They look at me with wide eyes and say, "I couldn't have done what you did [birth at home unmedicated]," and my heart breaks as I think quietly, "Yes, you could have! In fact, I bet you could have done better!" How could all these otherwise empowered young women go so unquestioningly into the role of damsel in distress when it comes time to have their children? How were they convinced that they "couldn't do it"? 

I finally started reading this book and I can already tell it is going to be AMAZING. I bought it months ago but just hadn't gotten to it yet. Ina May Gaskin is one of my heroes. Just reading the foreword and first chapter has me all fired about birth issues again. This really is a topic that I am super passionate about. My goal to be a birth educator is burning within me once more.


  1. Here is my perspective on a natural, unmedicated, no painkiller delivery. So with Leah I went into the delivery with a plan to not get an epidural. But after laboring for over 24 hours I still wasn't dilated at all so I had to get pitosin. I have heard that makes your labor even more painful. Then, after 6 hours of HARD labor I finally got an epidural. I had the baby about 5 hours later. I really don't think I could have taken the additional 5 hours of pain and not gotten an epidural. By the time I got the epidural I was so exausted and was so tired for being in pain for so long. Then with my 2nd I was in labor for 9 hours and the pain was so mild that I was actually laying down in my bed at home, attempting to sleep through the contractions because it was the middle of the night. I only went to the hospital because my water broke. I had the baby 10min. after I got to the hospital, no time for an IV or epidural or anythig. From the second I laid on the bed the nurse could already see the head. I pushed for about 10 min. My "natural" delivery was by far my favorite. I absolutely loved it. I loved the recovery, I loved not having an IV and not having a sore back from the epidural and I liked feeling the baby be pushed out of me. The thing is, I just couldn't have done it with my first baby because I was in labor for so long. So I can't plan on doing the next one natural no matter what, I just have to wait and see how it goes because every delivery is different. If I had both deliveries just like my second where it was not very painful and very quick then I might be able to go through my life trumpeting natural birth and not understanding why every woman didn't do it that way. But I have seen both sides of the coin.

  2. I'm not anti-epidural and neither is this quote. The point of this quote is that the culture of birth here in the US and many other places is such that many, many women hand over their power when its time to give birth. I don't blame individual women for this. Not at all. Most of them don't know better. The system is pretty messed up in my opinion. That is why education is SO important. All women need to work together to change the culture of feeling like we can't trust our bodies and can't birth our babies without medical help. We don't need to fear birth. We need to be smart, educate ourselves, prepare and believe in ourselves. Does that mean that everyone needs to go unmedicated? No. Does that mean that everyone can birth without complication. Of course not. But I think that MANY MANY MANY women that think they can't actually could go without all the interventions.

    Autumn, I'm really glad that you had successful births. Sounds like you made educated, informed decisions and did what was best for you and your babies.