Article by Stephanie Green, Sacred Pregnancy Class instructor,
I’m a Mummy of two, MakieDo.com blogger and now I’m more than that: I’m part of a movement and we’re going to change the world. Well, alright, it’s not going to happen straight away and it’s specifically the world of pregnancy and birth… but for me it’s the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey – you can join in too if you like.
I know once upon a time women laboured and gave birth, witnessed and supported by other women. If a woman doubted her ability to give birth she could simply look at her mother, her sisters, her aunts, her neighbours to know that her body could do this, as they all had. There was no TV, hyping up screaming labours and emergency c-sections, women laboured standing, squatting or on all fours – not reclined in bed: more than that a young woman would have seen animals of various types go through this natural process too.
Hang on don’t stop reading: I’m not a ‘doppy dorris’ looking with rose tinted glasses at our pre-industrial sisters –I also know back in the day – childbirth was all natural, yes, but also surrounded with darkness – with high levels of infant and maternal mortality.
So then came the industrial revolution: hospitals filled with very clever doctors who definitely knew better than a bunch of village women: couple that with the demise of the extended family – as people moved to work in the factories – and hay presto – childbirth was out of the hands of women, into hospitals and generations of lay knowledge and female empowerment ebbed away. Hospitalised labour, routine episiotomy: shave you, strap you down, medicate and monitor you: that became the norm.
Now, in the UK we are lucky; the NHS listens to the strong voice of women and so this model has evolved to become much more considerate; aiming for the gold star of service: “women centred birth experiences” and sincerely, let’s not forget the lives (mama and baby) that have and are being saved when intervention is necessary.
So, you might well ask what change do we need?
Well here it is: we need to RECONNECT. We need to sit with each other again and talk about childbirth + womanhood: and we need to pray, meditate + contemplate what pregnancy and birth REALLY MEAN to us. It is critical we take back birth, and I don’t mean you have to labour at home standing up chanting empowering mantras: although go mama go if you want to: but I do think EVERY single woman should know that that is a practical, normal option. This is YOUR body + YOUR time. Time to reach out and find like minded women who you can talk to and turn to throughout pregnancy and afterwards.
So here’s what I want to see change: I want women sharing EMPOWERING stories, being free and loved during pregnancy + labour: and above all taking TIME to connect with themselves AND their sisters: if we can really understand ourselves and nourish our souls during pregnancy as we make that once in a lifetime transition from maidenhood to motherhood: then we can raise children with the same presence and purposefulness: creating connections and rebuilding that sense of community and sisterhood lacked by so many.
I want to talk to the institutions too – lets shake up those NHS classes that just rattle through what medication you can have, lets add in positive positions + massage + feelings. I’m not just passionately campaigning for change: this is going to be my job! I’m going to become a certified Sacred Pregnancy Class Instructor so I can share this joy, empowerment and intention in my classes. Classes are packed not just with ideas to mull but also with practical, fun, arty and meaningful things to do whilst travelling on your own special pregnancy journey.
Come on Sisters lets rattle the cage, have some fun, reconnect and really get this pregnancy conversation flowing.
About the Author
Stephanie Green, Sacred Pregnancy Class instructor – www.sacredpregnancy.co.uk I am powerfully committed to feminism, empowering women and enabling spirituality during a precious and sacred time: in the transition from maidenhood to motherhood. Mummy of two lovely girls I’ve had a range of birth experiences from a lovely, natural birth to an emergency c-section: the latter of which affected me so significantly that I felt I just had to get involved in the birth conversation in the UK.
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