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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Birth culture panel

I am going to be a part of a panel in Aug discussing birth culture among the LDS community. I'm a bit nervous for this as I am very non-confrontational. This panel will stretch me I think. The topic is "NATURAL CHILDBIRTH: THE

This panel will discuss why contemporary
Mormon women have such strong feelings about
this topic, how it defines the beginning of our
journeys as mothers, how it might reflect LDS
dependence on male authority figures in our decision-
making, and the diminishing importance of
midwifery roles within the LDS community from
the early Pioneer days when they were held in
such spiritual esteem.

Up until then, I might use this blog as a way to get my own thoughts out about this. So, for those who are less religiously inclined, pardon my sidetrack as my own religious thoughts will be poured out well as how that relates to how I view childbirth.

First off, I'm not sure I agree entirely with the thoughts presented here, but I do find them interesting. I would love to hear from others (LDS or not), about how religion has played a part in their birth decisions. So stay tuned:)....


Cherylyn said...

This ought to be interesting! I hadn't really thought about the religious impact other than how I've been able to rely on personal inspiration in making my own birth decisions. That alone had a huge impact on my home birth, in a very positive way. I can see how the LDS tendency to trust and not question things could possibly work against independent thinking, and thus keep us from looking for something outside of the accepted norm. However, I feel that the personal confidence in knowing who I am and how important each individual is has helped me to accept and love my body and its ability to birth babies naturally, and to trust in God to help me do so. I could go on, but these are some of my initial thoughts. Sorry if it's kind of disjointed. When and where will the panel be?

Rachel said...

I posted a link to more info on the side bar where it says "other places to find me". Its the sunstone symposium. The whole thing is a scholarly group, but they are focusing on women's issues this year. Some of the stuff I think looks very interesting and others seem way far out there. But I was kind of excited to see birthing issues as a part of it.

Rachel said...

I forgot to particular panel is from 11:15-12:45 on Aug 13. You'd have to call the number to see where it is held. The info is on pg 9.

Christina Bartholomew said...

That should be interesting. I find it laughable, though, that they are trying to tie the birth culture into "male authority" figures -- I would suspect that LDS women probably follow the trends of society at large and that the stats wouldn't be much different than the general population, but I'd be interested in seeing studies.

I think the move away from natural childbirth has more to do with the fact that most of us will do anything to avoid pain! But I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and good luck in the panel!

Rachel said...

I tend to agree with you, Christina, on both those points. I do think Ut. has one of the higher epidural rates though in the nation, but don't quote me on that. And the choice to have an epidural is absolutely more connected to the idea that we shouldn't have to have pain.

What I would like to look at more, though, is why our particular culture doesn't play more of a part in our decision making. I'll go into that I think in later posts. We are very typical in our choices and how we make them.

Sheridan said...

Hmm, I really think this idea is interesting and I am so glad they are bringing birth issues into the symposium.

I wondered if LDS moms breastfed more than non LDS moms and did a survey with survey monkey and got some good replies. Pretty much, while I thought it would make a difference because of support from sisters in the ward, each ward is so different, many moms didn't get the support I had. So I think so much is more WHERE you live than if you are LDS or not.

As far as birth, I certainly depended on the Spirit in my decisions regarding all my births. I have a post about it here.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Sheridan said...

I wish there was a Hypnobabies person on the panel. Because I would think the main reason most women (LDS or not) don't want natural childbirth, is fear of pain. What if we took that fear out of the equation? Hypnosis really can help with this fear and most moms who use Hypnobabies, have no pain at all.

Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.