Friday, July 11, 2008

Natural delivery of the placenta ~ a response to channel Five's OUTLAW BIRTHS

One of my main concerns when watching Outlaw Births the other night, was the portrayal of how high the risks are for a placenta not coming out/or haemorrhage.

I felt so frustrated that something like that could be aired without any ‘traditional’ knowledge being mentioned. Clearly, it’s another example of tv production companies simply not doing their research/wanting to sensationalise the drama! A slow delivery of a placenta does NOT have to be dramatic or life threatening...

Our ancestress didn’t have to whiz off to hospital and be ‘shamed’ by a medical profession as the young American woman in the documentary was. In fact, our tribal sisters rarely had any such complications, primarily because their lifestyles were so very different from ours:

[] they didn’t sit around on their bums all day, they exercised every muscle in their day to day work, including in pregnancy and right up to the very end.

[] their diet was a simple vegetarian one, devoid of fats, meats and dairy

[] they trusted their body to give birth

[] most tribes didn’t socialize birth, that is, they birthed unobserved or were held by a birthing partner from behind ~ by being alone they were able to birth from their mammalian brain rather than trying to do it from their neocortex (the part designed for intellect, not instinct or birthing)

[] by catching the baby themselves, and bringing him/her up over the pubic bone and to the breast, the birthing mother's labia and perineum remained intact.

[] all tribes routinely used ‘heat’ after birth ~ that is, a birth fire, heated sand pit, hot ash in a cloth ~ all sorts of things to bring warmth to the abdomen

[] massage of the abdomen was also routine ~ this always helped with post partum healing

[] *if*, despite all this, a placenta was slow to come down, they tried one of three things:

~ sneezing (black pepper, dust, etc)
~ blowing (as in, blowing into an emptied egg shell
~ gagging (the mum would have an awful concoction of something or other)

These actions get the muscles going and send the placenta on its way…
HOWEVER the most obvious way (and Nature’s way) to get the placenta out is to
put baby straight to the breast because nipple stimulation contracts the uterus.

Despite my apprehension watching the documentary, and wanting to throw things at the tv screen, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my friend Laura Shanley and admired the three women who put themselves ‘out there’ for public consumption ~ no easy thing to do!

Clio’s birth reminded me of Bethany’s. It’s the way birth was designed to be…

Our medical profession has a long way to go…to understanding our mammalian birthing needs. And birthing women, I pray, will wake up from the cultural mass hypnosis that birth is dangerous, deadly and meant to be painful.

VACCINE PETITION ~ Big Brother all the way!

And another petition...this time against the plan to make vax compulsory in the form of, "if you don't vaccinate your child, we won't let him/her in school or give you child health benefits!"


Amy Philo said...

I am so excited to find your blog and magazine! I have been looking for another magazine and forum with people who tend to feel more the same as I do. I appreciate all the links from your site as well. I would love to discuss a few really important topics with you and get your take on them pertaining to health rights, breastfeeding rights, human rights really... as well as the treatment of new mothers in our world and what Big Pharma is trying to pull right now. Write to me at

I live in the U.S. and would love to talk!

Anonymous said...

Haven't you ever researched old Native American tribes? What about old paleo-Indians who hunted wooly mammoths and generations of Plains Indians who depended on the buffalo for survival? There were many hunter/gatherer tribes who weren't vegetarians. An old Native American friend of mine told me that some Indian women smoke peyote during labor. It was painful for them, too!

Veronika said...

My comments and indeed my book are based on a study of 500 tribal cultures (no small sample!) ~ those who have easy births are vegetarian.

Veronika said...

In regard to the question I received regarding Placenta Previa.

The complications of pregnancy and birth were often not experienced by our ancestors. According to Childbirth Wisdom by Judith Goldsmith, for example, the Arikara tribe, as recently as the 1930s, didn’t have any incidence of placenta previa (where the placenta lies in the lower part of the uterus, and separates prematurely, causing haemorrhaging). One of the main things we can learn from the world’s oldest societies is to take better care of our pregnant mothers by ensuring they have optimal nutrition, pure water, fresh air, daily exercise using all muscles, and emotional support and love.

The difficulties seen in Western childbirth simply were unknown in traditional cultures.

Preconception care and cleansing, for the two years prior conception is optimal, for a conscious pregnancy and birth. Adequate spacing of at least three to seven years between pregnancies, to restore nutritional status in the mother, should be understood by all women wishing to conceive healthy children and enjoy incident-free pregnancies and births. All processed foods and drinks should be avoided during this time.

The main nutritional deficiencies found in women with placenta previa include iron, zinc, folate and B vitamins. The body seeks these nutrients in fresh whole foods, not in synthetic vitamin tablets or processed foods or drinks.