Saturday, March 14, 2009

Natire Enchantee: vocalization during birth

Thanks to Pamela for bringing this lovely birth video, Naitre Enchantée, to my attention. It's a recent birth of a French woman named Magali Dieux--a home birth most likely, since I see a cat wandering around at the bottom of the screen. I love the reverent atmosphere that never breaks even after the baby is born. (I could do without the multi-lingual voiceovers, though). I wish there were more background information about the birth. I have done a quick and somewhat rough translation of the two commentaries supplied with the movie. If anyone has a better translation, please send it my way!

A method of gentle birthing by using sound and vocalization

“To me, utilizing the power of sound and vocalization are indispensable for easing pain and for enhancing the progression of labor during a birth. Magali Dieux shows us how birth can unfold in the best possible conditions." Corinne Adler, midwife.

“At a time when, in France, 90% of births are anesthetized and totally controlled by medicine, Magali is one of the pioneers of the future of birth—one who reveals the formidable powers hidden within each of us as human beings. Powers that can be tapped, if you desire them and work to access them.” Patrice van Eersel, Mettre au monde éd Albin Michel Essai Clé.
You can watch the video here.

I also appreciated Pamela's commentary about not wanting to make women feel bad if they don't birth quite as "calmly" as this woman. She wrote:
Sometimes I hesitate to post birth videos that are so romantic and calm and quiet and what we all deem to be “perfect with the woman in control”; simply because few women actually birth this way and it creates a feeling sometimes of “why can’t I birth like that? there must be something wrong with me!”. However, I wanted to post this birth video for the simple fact that the midwife in attendance is so respectful of this couple’s privacy, their need for quiet and calm, and a gentle entrance for their baby.


  1. I am glad Pam posted that most women do not birth quietely. And that is OK. Birth is a ride that is going to take you somewhere.

    I gotta tell you I am tired of business as usual with all kinds of medcial systems in the United States. I am sick to death of patients being made to feel bad for their choices. This does not just include pregnant women. Every patient in America today is caught in a system that does not work. I am hoping this will change with the Obama Presidency. He has already put a lot of money into changeing health care and education. Seeing that I intend to teach Nursing Students, I have my ear pressed right up against that wall.

    Tell me, what would a hospital look like to you that did serve peoples needs?

  2. Pinky--a huge question and hard one to answer for sure! I think foremost, we have got to get to a point where we need hospitals less. I'm talking about basic things like eating nutritious food, stopping smoking and other addictive/harmful activities, exercising regularly, and generally taking care of your body. We spend so much money on conditions that are heavily influenced by lifestyle & diet.

    I don't really know where to start with hospitals in general, but I definitely have certain ideas about hospital births and what we could do to better serve women. Beginning with implementing the Baby-Friendly and Mother-Friendly initiatives. One-on-one nursing care for all laboring women. More midwifery care available in hospitals so that all women have that as an option. More knowledge about physiological birth and how to support that. No VBAC bans.

    And there's the huge problem of malpractice suits, real or perceived. And the fact that 1/3 of Americans don't have insurance to pay for care. And institutional inertia and bureaucracy that can get in the way of caring for real people.

    Anyway it's dinner time so I cannot write much more...

  3. a universal health service is a great place to start. Make preventive care a much more realistic option and removes the notion of health care as a luxury good and a profit driven service.

  4. I don't have much to say about the politics of birth, but I have to comment about how beautiful that particular birth was. I don't think I've ever seen a birth (and granted I haven't seen many) where the mother wasn't vocalizing throughout the pushing stage. I know that I vocalize a LOT because it's so intense. That was truly a beautiful birth, and it looked like the perfect entrance into the world for that baby. Wow.

  5. This is off topic, but was wondering if you've seen this month's Atlantic Magazine which has an article entitled "The Case Against Breastfeeding." Maybe some readers here could make a response more thoughtful than what my stuffy head is coming up with right now. The author does make some valid points about the demands breastfeeding places on the mother (it's true I don't pass off feedings to my husband, and so creates an inequality in our parenting, but then again, I never expected that we'd be putting in equal time on this endeavor) but I think really misses the mark on so many aspects of parenting, and in her reading of the science for breastfeeding.

  6. Wow, SO COOL. Sounds like Buddhist chants.

    I wonder if mom is a dancer. She was so graceful in her movements. And that pose she took while pushing! It's birth ballet!

    I wonder what the cats thought. :P

  7. I haven't read the article, although I have heard about it. About the fact that it's harder on the mother because she can't pass the baby off to eat--well, frankly, I think it would be so much more work overall to bottlefeed. I mean, open your shirt & nurse compared to sterilize the bottles, heat up the water, feed the baby, rinse the bottles, buy more formula...bleh, who would want to do that? So what if the dad can't nurse the baby? It is pretty easy to nurse a baby. At night you can just do it half-asleep in your bed, and during the day it gives you lovely breaks where you have to sit down and take a rest (catch up on some reading, watch TV, chat on the phone, whatever).

  8. I was able to see this video via a Facebook friend before it was removed. Truly amazing and inspiring!

    I'm wondering if you, or anyone reading this, has a way to get in touch with the mother, the miwife, anyone involved with this birth. My husband and I are getting ready to try for another baby soon, and I am very interested in learning more about this and possibly using it during my next labor. I've read a number of online resources concerning vocal toning, but they don't say much about toning during labor, other than that it can be helpful.

    The video mentions special training in vocal toning during labor, beginning in the fourth month. I don't want to be one of those women who has grand aspirations from reading a book or an article, but completely throws them out the window during labor because she doesn't really understand how to put the information into practice. Any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  9. For anyone still looking for this video it can be viewed directly here:


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