Saturday, February 20, 2010

Birth Musings

Birth changes everything.
A baby is born, a mother is born, a family is born.
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Our births have a great impact on our lives – including our adult lives.

We generally think of the birth process from the mother’s perspective. Nausea, headaches, hormones, emotions, swelling – all those ‘happen’ to the pregnant mom. What happens to the baby during pregnancy? Baby grows, develops, learns, interacts, hears, experiences trauma... Experiences trauma? Really? Research shows babies with post traumatic stress disorder when moms experience fear, shock or anxiety during pregnancy. That's a pretty big responsibility for a pregnant woman. Then there's the birth. What happens to a baby during birth? Baby is pushed and squeezed, its oxygen supply cut off every 5 minutes for a minute, then every 4 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes etc. The journey through the birth canal is pretty tight and uncomfortable at best.

Yet birth is a most life transforming event. Our births shape us. When mothers and babies gaze at each other in those euphoric moments immediately following birth, the bond is forged. When a mother is filled with naturally occurring oxytocin – love hormones and prolactin – mothering hormones, she is able to love and protect her baby in an instinctive way. These instincts allow her to parent intuitively and with mindfulness. When a baby spend its first hours and days with loving, intuitive parents, the security and serenity allow the baby to settle into a peaceful life. This lifestyle filled with security and love allows the baby to develop into a healthy toddler, child and eventually adult.

How does one arrange for an undisturbed birth, a birth that is free of physical intervention and emotional trauma? Recognize that this is complex and multifaceted. Educate yourself so that you have a deep understanding of the physical birth process.

For more on birth, check out my website: http://www.chanalew.com/

To beautiful births,
Chana

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