When Welcome Baby Care launched the It’s My Baby blog, the goal was to positively impact the birthing culture with expert advice and real-life experience. After learning of this website and activist endeavor, One World Birth, I started thinking about birth culture and activism and what we’re doing about it.
It’s a good way to start some healthy discussion about activism as it relates to birth. What needs to change? What are we doing about it? We have readers of all different stages of their parenting journeys—pregnant moms, expectant fathers, parents of small children, parents of big children, doulas, midwives. But this isn’t just an issue for moms or birth professionals. As this video-based site will attest: the health of birth is directly related to the health of humanity. The cultural perspective on child-bearing and the empowerment of parents is not simply an issue that affects the expectant constituent—it is an issue that affects humans.
No matter what stage of your journey, you have a voice. You have a role to play in changing the way babies are born in this country, and maybe even the world. So what are the issues? Where is the conflict?
One World Birth has published a series of videos that address the issues facing parents and the birth culture nationally and internationally. We couldn’t say it any better so head on over there and watch a few of the videos. But here’s a basic breakdown on some of the issues:
Societal perception of birth. Birth has changed from being a natural process to a medicalized pathology. Why is this? What are the implications? Many women experience profound fear, dread, and trauma around birth. How have societal and media images contributed to such negative emotions and reactions? Where do your images of birth come from?
Positive experience and perception of birth. What kind of changes need to happen in the way women have their babies in order to regain a positive experience in birth? What does a positive birthing experience look like?
Medical birth. What are the implications of medical procedure and the dependence on technology in the birthing process? Is it helping or hurting women? Is our current technology superior to one’s natural ability to give birth? What do we believe? Why has medicalized care become the rule rather than the exception? What does it mean to humanize birth?
Quality of life and birth experience. What does it mean to thrive? What needs to change so that parents and babies flourish? Can birth be more than something to ‘get through’?
Human rights. How does medicalized birth or negative birth perception affect the women? How does it impact their human rights? What issues are specific to poor and disenfranchised communities? How do we fight for justice? How do we ensure that women are educated and empowered to make the decisions that are right for them and that they receive the highest quality care for their birth, no matter where and how it takes place?
Getting involved. Healthy involvement starts with you. Educate yourself. We realize this isn’t easy, especially is you have a newborn! Empower other mothers by encouraging them to seek answers and to learn to trust their body and intuition. Check out the One World Birth website and blog to learn more about the issues that impact birth culture and what people are doing about them.
A few choice quotes from some of the videos:
“Birth isn’t something we suffer, but something we actively do and exult in.”
“Change birth and change humanity.”
“Every mother should have the birth she wants.”
How are you involved in positively impacting birth culture? How do you want to be involved?