New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giving power back to women

"The state in which I live has a very high infant mortality rate. In late 1994 a major newspaper int eh state ran a series of articles trying to draw public attention to this problem. The articles dealt with a range of issues which the author of the series saw as contributing to infant mortality including teen pregnancy, poverty, lack of prenatal care, and drug use during pregnancy. While the series was running, the newspaper ran an editorial outlining what they thought should be done about infant mortality. The solution was simple: women need to take more responsibility. They need to be more responsible about their sexual behavior. They need to adopt more responsible lifestyles during pregnancy. They need to take better care of their children. Rich refers to this responsibility which women are called upon to accept as "powerless responsibility". Women are held responsible even though they are mothering within a political-economic context which they do not control."

I thought this was an interesting thought. That the way to increase mortality rates, women must take, and be given power over their birthing and mothering experience. So, here's the questions which I'm thinking about:

What are some ways in which our own culture has given and taken away this power?
How have women taken that power to themselves or how they have given it away?


Pam said...

I feel that a lot of women have given up on listening to their innate intuition about birthing, allowing Doctors to tell them when their bodies are ready for birth for convenience sake, instead of trusting their bodies to know what to do. I cringe inside when I hear other women talk of their birthing experiences and how they were induced because such and such. I know that our minds are powerful things and can hinder or help the birthing process. I have done 5 very successful hypnobirthing method deliveries and I attribute that to the understanding that I know and accept that my body truly does know what to do. If we could re-teach ourselves and believe how powerful and competent our bodies are we would see a lot less intervention in the delivery room. That is my 2 cents worth.

Pam said...

To add to that, I do believe that intervention is necessary at times to ensure the safety of the Mother and baby. I am talking about situations when when unnecessary intervention is involved, i.e you are uncomfortable but healthy, the doctor has an upcoming vacation, or event they want to go to etc.

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.