Sunday, 15 July 2012

Pain free labour for baby? Why not?

I have just read Birth Without Violence by Frederick Leboyer. It has made me think about the way we treat newborn babies within a hospitalised setting during and after they are born. Reading Leboyer is like reading a very long poem. It is very emotive and thought provoking and there are none of the usual references to back up the subject matter. The pictures within the book say it all and he has a lovely soft way about him as he takes you by the hand and guides you through birth from a newborn's perspective.
He comments on how cruel we are to new born babies comparing it to how women used to experience labour by saying:
"The same blindness that made us think women had to suffer simply because we didn't know any better. Happily we no longer believe in the old saying: 'In pain shall ye give birth'. Isn't it time to do for the child what we've been trying to do for the mother?"
What the frell? This book was first published in 1974. Here was another man telling us how to have a pain free labour, the first being my hero Grantly Dick-Read, and obviously being totally ignored, just like Dick- Read was in the 1940s.
What on earth is the matter with us. Why do we believe so blindly in the medical model of care that gives us such painful labours when we have known about pain free labours for years and years. What we need is a modern, easy to read book, that explains in detail why uterine smooth muscle was never designed to cause the sensation of pain when contracting normally. A book that tastefully mixes the funny side of labour, as seen by midwives, with advice on how to survive birth with a lovely big happy smile on your face at the end. There exists such a book, cos I wrote it, but the publishers have been contaminated by the belief system that has kept women from taking charge of their labours and passively following society's media driven model of childbirth. Ask Amy at   why she has got cold feet and is keeping women chained to the epidural trolley.
Two very eminent gentlemen in their field (one with a very sexy French accent) have told us for years that the majority of women going into labour today can achieve a pain free labour if they know the coping strategies outlined within earlier posts of this blog. Why do we find it so difficult to believe when the advantages to ourselves and our babies are so enormous?
Don't make me chain myself to railings on a race track like the super suffragettes had to do in order to drag women out of being second class citizens during the 1800s. Cos I will. If you make me.