Sunday, 6 February 2011

Birth Genius

Birth is amazing.

Women's embodied wisdom about birth is brilliant and babies ability to be born is stunning. Both geniuses come together when they are supported wisely in an optimal environment to express their innate ability and intelligence. 

Trust, both of self and the others in the birth environment by the woman is a powerful mediator for birth to go well.

The others have to be trustworthy though.

This video gives an excellent example of genius in action.

I would have loved to see the woman hold the baby, the cord to have been left intact and the film to have shown the placenta being born.  I do love seeing this video of the birth of this footling breech baby with the cord around it's neck three times. I've watched it quite a few times!

There is something exquisitely satisfying about an example of everything being right with something that others say is wrong or dangerous. An example of natural intelligence in action.

The gentle way the practitioner held and touched that baby was delightful and reverent, as it is meant to be.

I couldn't help but compare that behaviour of the doctor in the video to the behaviour I saw recently at a birth.

The doctor kept poking and pushing at the baby's head as it was being born.  The doctor then pulled the head around, twisting the neck the wrong way ( I said where the back was on palpation; that information was ignored).  Then, obviously worried about the possibility of shoulder dystocia, the doctor proceeded to tug the baby out.

The woman tore and needed sutures (not as bad as last time apparently!).

I felt strongly that the meddling caused the tearing. She had been labouring in a quiet, self managed way and if she had been supported to push that baby out with her urges, with patience and direction to push gently between contractions, she could have avoided the tear.

I guess surgeons don't have a problem with suturing, after all, it's their bread and butter.

For the woman, however, it's her body and good to keep intact.

I also recognise that the recumbent position leaves women open to being 'manhandled' during birth. An upright position makes touching so much more difficult. I suspect that the vulnerabilty inherent in the recumbent position makes touching and manipulation 'ok' whereas when a woman is upright, she is more in her power. I wonder if her size in an upright position appears bigger and therefore less vulnerable?  Lying down was her choice and of course, should not be an invitation to unnecessary interference.  I wonder if lying down on our back triggers the primitive brain region to assume dominance in those that are upright?

When Tracy Donegan read this post, she sent me an article about positions of power posing and neuroendocrine effects.  Thanks for this information Tracy!

Another beautiful example of breech birth is given by Lisa Barrett on her blog. One of my favourite photos of birth is in the photo essay.

Lots to think about here.


Anonymous said...

Amazing video, didn't you post an article to FB last year about 'power' positions and how it effects physiology?


Carolyn Hastie said...

Thanks Tracy for the article. I've updated the post to include the article in the discussion. I really appreciate you bringing my attention to it, blessings, Carolyn

KathyMorelli said...

Amazing video, I am not a midwife, so things do scare me abt the cord, around the neck, but this is an eye-opening video, thanks! Kathy

Carolyn Hastie said...

Kathy, you are only scared about such things because our culture is full of fear about birth. Shows such as One born every minute etc do the best they can to paint birth in a horrific and 'dangerous' light. Yes, things can go wrong, BUT, women are far safer giving birth than driving their kids to school. Given the way that birth is demonised, no one except those of us who work in the way I do know that. People 'buy' the reality TV version, edited and reconstructed to suit the fear mongers and program sales people as it is :(

Kathleen said...

Carolyn, this is quite a good birth but there is too much of the hands on and even a bit of pulling (risky for extending the neck). Like you I think the baby should have gone straight between the legs to the mother.


Carolyn Hastie said...

Thanks for your comment Kathleen. Yes, far too doctor focussed and meddlesome, I agree. I'm just entranced with the way the natural intelligence of birth is in action even with that 'intervention' in the process. The mother must have been very focussed on what she had to do.