Watch and Pray

Please watch the two videos below. Please prayerfully consider a donation/contribution/partnership.

I am standing with Doula Dawn, Founder of Improving Birth. I invite you to stand with us.We are one woman standing with one woman standing with one woman.  Shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes with babes in arms. Sometimes with hidden scars. Most have overcome great disappointment and physical hardship just because a medical system is floundering in a status-quo mire. Women who are pregnant should not have to fight this fight. New mom’s in their baby-moon time should not have to fight this fight. You and me with our limited time and resources will fight for them. Some will join the Improve Birth movement with their physical support, others with their financial support. Some of us with both. We will stand together on Labor Day, for all the babies, mommies, daddies, families, neighborhoods, societies in our future. As midwife Lonnie Morris says in Debra Pascali-Bonaro’s film, Orgasmic Birth, “Women of Earth Take Back Your Birth!”

Why am I giving my small portion to fight for future generations? First, I believe it’s because I had the delightful experience of undisturbed birth. Our smart, amazing bodies worked to create new life for nine months and then birthed this work perfectly (by the way there is no ‘perfect’). Dawn had this experience after three cesarean births.

Second, because as birth workers, as Doula’s, we witness beautiful, happy birth days as we stand beside a women that is respected, given time, given emotional support and no matter how her baby is born, she is given the benefit of being informed, making her own choices and being listened to. She is birthing a Mommy and she is 100% responsible for (responsive to) her baby. So she should be the decision maker, one would think. And we all too often see the opposite, the disrespected, the rushed, the unsupported and the aftermath. Most of the time the more positive experience happens at homebirth, seldom in a hospital. But women who for whatever reason need to be in a hospital should have the same, if not endearing, at least dignified care. 

I’m reminded of the movie, Dances With Wolves, and the name of the Indian woman, Stands With A Fist. We are fighting to improve birth. Please stand with us. On Labor Day 2012 we will stand with fist.

Improving Birth statement reads:

We are an organization that believes that birth should be “principle over profit” and where secrecy is trumped by honesty, putting mothers front & center and squarely in the driver’s seat of their birth choices. Our purpose and cause is Educating and Empowering mothers so they are able to make informed choices about their births. We believe in you and your body. We also believe that induction and c-sections can be life saving interventions when necessary. 

Susan Dorothea White – Drawing of Baby Paul 1965

P.S.  Today I started reading Optimal Care in Childbirth by Henci Goer and Amy Romano. This book looks hard at the studies that are the foundation of maternal medical care today and it’s honesty is refreshing! The truth is that most studies are not well done, are convoluted. Sometimes the truth is so disheartening but it is from a place of truth where we need to start our work. Improving believes that secrecy is trumped by honesty. This book is honest. Below just one golden nugget from the book. I can’t wait to settle in for this read.  It might take me all summer. These women are brilliant!

“We are now well into the second generation of excessively high cesarean rates. Over time, high rates have come to seem normal for women and clinicians alike and have taken on the force of “what is must be right,” as evidenced by the most bizarre rationale for elective surgery so far:

More than one in four women who do not have a cesarean section by choice will end up having one anyway, and their morbidity and mortality will exceed that sustained by women whose surgeries are scheduled.  It is against this backdrop that physicians must consider the role of patient choice in determining the proper mode of delivery in the circumstance of an uncomplicated pregnancy.

In other words, because obstetricians mismanage labor so badly, women, like Brutus in Julius Caesar, should leap into the pit themselves rather than tarry till they are pushed.  But as Childbirth Connection (2006) so eloquently put it, “All mothers should have access to safest vaginal birth practices.  We should not expect them to choose between vaginal birth with avoidable harms and cesarean section.”

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