After years of being doulas and teaching from all kinds of different philosophies, but never fully connecting with any one method, we knew…we had to find a new way. We love the idea of so many different techniques, but none seemed comprehensive enough. There always seemed to be some pivotal part that needed filling in. The biggest missing piece was that none of these programs acknowledged the other. Each one was peddling the next big cure to all of your labor woes. We have found, that finding real birth satisfaction and empowerment comes from having plenty of different tools at your disposal. When one thing doesn’t hold up under the pressure of the real deal, you shouldn’t be left floating down shit creek without a backup paddle! When women and their partners own their birth, they have the power to change the game when the situation calls for it!
Pregnancy is not the experience. It is the beginning of the experience. Pregnancy is the beginning of a long journey into parenthood. Labor is a time of learning. As the birthing woman you are learning endurance, patience, tolerance, and acceptance. You are learning to put your baby before yourself and it is a hard lesson. As a partner you are learning to help someone who is struggling. You are learning to witness pain and you are learning what it feels like to be helpless. You are both learning surrender. This is what it means to become parents. These are the first steps into a lifetime of giving, grieving, and rejoicing.
A positive birthing experience is different for everyone. For some people it means an un-medicated vaginal delivery in a field of daisies. For other women it means a planned surgical birth in a hospital. Neither of these choices is wrong or better than the other. They both have merits. Both of these women are mothers and their choices are valid and should be respected by her peers and family. The goal is to learn how to have the most empowering and positive version of your personal birth story.
As Americans we are used to giving up our healthcare decisions to people who know better than us. People who have more education. People with power. Obstetrics is one of the few times a woman is admitted to the hospital, watched and treated as if a catastrophe may happen any moment, even though she is completely healthy. Here in the United States our national surgical birth rate is a staggering 32.8% according to the CDC. That means one in three women will not deliver vaginally in the United States. The World Health Organization recommends cesarean rates be less than 15%. One way to bring your personal risks down for unwanted intervention is to take back your birth. You have to empower yourself with knowledge, but not just book learning here, folks. You need to know yourself. You need to understand the hardship that is childbirth: the emotional, the physical and the abstract. You need to know and understand your fears and your strengths. You need to speak the language – which might as well be Latin to most families. You need to pack your tool bag with an arsenal – maybe you will use one tool, but have every tool: relaxation techniques, hypnosis, music, aromatherapy, acupressure, rebozo techniques, positioning techniques, how to use the hospital bed or squat bar, water therapy, a birthing stool, a birth ball, massage… We could go on. Lastly, and most importantly, you have to learn to say:
No, thank you!
Rebel Birth was created by Kathleen Wilson and Joli Ammons – Doulas!