Monday, May 28, 2012

Ending the Birth Wars

I am excited to be part of The Gift of Giving Life Virtual Book Tour! Please welcome Sheridan Ripley, who has written a guest post about moving beyond birthing wars. 

Sheridan is one of the book's co-authors. She is also a Hypnobabies childbirth educator, a birth doula, and a blogger at Enjoy Birth

Sheridan has had a "traumatic" but necessary cesarean, a "normal" medicated VBAC, and a "magical" drug-free VBAC. Read more about her three births here

War and Birth

It has been fascinating being a part of the online birthing world for the last four years. It is fascinating and sad that there seems to be a type of birthing war going on between women:

Natural vs Medicated. 
Vaginal vs Cesarean. 
Home vs Hospital vs Unassisted. 

And what is the main weapon in this war?


That is the crux of most of the Birth War type of posts. FEAR!!! Don’t birth unassisted; your baby will die. Don’t birth in a hospital; you will be treated horribly. Don’t try unmedicated; it is the worst thing you will ever experience. All sides have fear to spread.

I have never really participated in any of the conflict, maybe because I have had 3 different types of births and all were valid in their own right. But I really think I avoid it because I avoid contention.

Contention of any kind - whether it is between countries or between birth choices - is going to create conflict and fear, which will drive away the spirit. How can I be a good educator, doula, mother or friend if I don’t have the spirit of love?

I get that fear sells and gets high readership stats. But does it help mothers on their journey?

I get that fear creates drama, which some people like. But does it help mothers on their journey?

Fear does not allow the spirit to guide. Fear does not allow people to feel their intuition, which is one of our most powerful gifts as mothers. So we need to stop using fear to try and motivate others. It will not help create positive change.

Ending the War

In order for the war to end we have to trust that each family has the power and right to know what is the best choice for them. We need to accept that a mother’s intuition can guide her. That spirituality can be a part of the journey to motherhood.

Does this mean we stop educating women? Maybe we should just stop blogging about birth altogether? NO, we just should educate with love and information instead of fear.

Sharing unbiased, supportive information can help reduce fear, which could allow a mom to open her eyes and spirit to other ideas. What might this look like? Ask her questions, see if she actually even wants more information. If she does want more information then share some balanced sites or books she could turn to. But in the end it is her responsibility to gather information, make a decision and receive confirmation it is correct.

It isn’t for us to decide or judge! It is for us to love and support. It is for us to respect that birth is part of a spiritual journey, that each mom must take herself, guided by her intuition.

In our book The Gift of Giving Life; we support all moms and all birthing types. There are birth stories of elective cesareans, unassisted births, medicated and un-medicated births. But in all of the stories there is a thread of inspiration guiding these moms. The book also includes essays to help mothers rediscover the spirituality of pregnancy and birth.

Visit The Gift of Giving Life site to sign up for our newsletter and to receive a free Meditation MP3 as well as tips to help increase spirituality in your pregnancy and birth.

For Rixa’s readers I have a coupon code for 10% off a copy of The Gift of Giving Life. Click here and after you add the book to your cart use this coupon code: GWFWXR3F. The code is good until Father’s Day (June 17) 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking about the use of fear ever since I read Noam Chomsky's book Media Control. It has become so engrained in our culture to use fear as a means to control and convince others that we often don't realize we are using it. I am slowly beginning to see all the faucets that fear has invaded.
    I can relate to this post well as I have had an unassisted birth transfer and a hospital birth. I was terrified of drs during my first birth because I had read so many horror birth stories. I thought every medical pfofessional was out to hurt me.
    My second birth was with an fp who was amazing. I felt so safe under his care during my hospital birth.
    I am so thankful for my hospital Birth; it was very healing for me to be cared for by a compassionate dr.


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