Ecobirthing - Bringing it Back to Natural
I’ve been asked where the term ‘ecobirthing’comes from. As far as I know, it is my own creation!
While assisting my daughter Ceara during the birth of her second child, I found myself marveling at the inherent wisdom and beauty of this magnificent birthing woman. She had the added challenge of this being a VBAC birth. Her commitment to trusting the process of her labour and the strength it took to find her way through the pain was awe inspiring.
Out of witnessing this birth the term ‘ecobirthing’ surfaced. Ceara was able to find her way through her labour using her strengths and courage while being supported by her loving partner, her midwife and her mother! She was ecobirthing… bringing it back to natural.
Eco– the relationship between living organisms and their environment; not harmful to the organism or the environment.
Ecobirthing– giving birth without causing harm to mother or babe through unnecessarily interfering with what is natural. It is ‘trusting birth’.
Dr. Michael Klein has described the current North American birthing environment as “chaotic and industrialized”. The medicalization of childbirth has taken us away from what is instinctual and ‘natural’. I have been attending births for the past 32 years and have witnessed the pendulum swing away from believing that birth is natural and that problems are the exception rather than the norm, to birth being a medical event fraught with danger. Understandably, some women are feeling fearful as they wend their way through pregnancy towards the birth of their child.
I know that there are times when medical intervention will save a life and I am profoundly grateful when this is the case. I also know that unnecessarily interfering with the normal progression of labour through the use of opioids and epidurals will change the outcome for many women.
My dream is that we, as women, can bring the ‘natural’ back to childbirth, that we can begin to trust the inherent wisdom of our bodies and allow ecobirthing…. gently easing our way back to natural. That we will have the wisdom to know when our bodies are able to surrender to the process and have a natural childbirth and to accept that, at times, medical intervention is necessary.
As a Birth Doula, I want each and every woman to look back at her birthing experience and feel respected and supported – whatever her choices. Which brings us to “What is Informed Choice?” Stay tuned for my next blog post…
(Mama Bear photo credit: Adrien Mullin)