Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Outlaw Births

The British unassisted childbirth documentary “Outlaw Births” will air in the UK tonight (July 9th) on Channel 5 at 9pm.

There is also this beautiful UC which was posted with an article that appeared in yesterday’s Independent newspaper.

The term “outlaw” refers to the fact that women who choose this route often feel ostracised by friends, family and society. UC isn’t illegal in the UK.

The synchronicity of this article and documentary coming out this week, has left me smiling. Just yesterday I met with my artist who's doing the illustrations for my new book ~ The Birthkeepers: reclaiming an ancient tradition. It's all about how nature designed women to catch their own babies (there aren't tears if you reach down and bring baby up to your chest ~ assuming no one has had their hands near you or babe)...and about how much we can learn from our ancestress. In fact, anthropology shows us through cross-cultural studies that in ancient times women didn't have all the conditions, ailments and problems of pregnancy, labour, birth and breastfeeding that our so common in our 'civilised' culture.

The dominant birth culture has us believing that birth is dangerous, deadly and painful. Yes, it IS if you go along with their model which is akin to birth rape. Women who choose to birth autonomously have a completely different experience. One thing's for sure, women have been well and truly duped by modern medicine to believe birth is dangerous.

My fingers are crossed that this is a sensitive and educative documentary and not another 'sensationalist' one....


Erika said...

Wow your book sounds amazing! Interesting idea.

Anonymous said...

The documentary was a mixed bag.. I'm glad all the births went well, but I think showing the US mom having a 'check-up' at WalMart made her seem kinda nutty.. I chose to come back to the UK rather than birth in the US (viva la midwife!), so I can sympathise with her distrust of the US health system, but I would at least want to confirm the position of the placenta. I had four u/s scans, which told me: I wasn't having twins, my plac was high up, my baby wasn't breech (though I kinda knew from the rib-kicks!) and that my babe was well-grown (11 lb 8 oz).. The risks of u/s don't compare to the risks of haemmorrhage or emergency c-section. By 'playing the game' to a point, I was given more choice on the NHS (couldn't afford private).. This meant I got the natural, safe, ecstatic birth I craved,.. in an NHS birth centre. I think it's loony that Big Brother tries to say who can and can't attend births. Every mum wants a healthy baby, and would never deliberately put herself or baby at risk.. If a woman and her attendant/s are prepared to take full legal and moral responsibility for the wellbeing of mum and baby, then they should be allowed to birth in any place, in any way. I didn't sue the hospital for my traumatic first birth, as no one 'forced' me to go there. Neither would I sue a midwife if problems arose at a home birth, birth centre etc, as it was my choice to birth there.
Sorry for ranting, but in short, if a woman is prepared to take full responsibility for her life and her baby's life, then I believe they should be left to get on with it. Only she will have to live with the 'what ifs' if anything goes wrong.

Michelle said...

Your new book sounds really interesting. I loved The drinks are on me. When are you planning on publishing the new one?


Boriquita said...

After my two experiences in the hospital, I can totally now understand your statement, "birth rape" I, myself, believed that birth can be truly dangerous, and scary. I had a c-section, I had a better experience the last time, but I still feel like I wasn't complete, because once I was in the hospital, I didn't have control anymore. I labored at home from Sunday, but for some reason, my boyfriend couldn't handle the situation and didn’t understand my thinking. I couldn’t take the distractions at home. I ended up saying that I need to go to the hospital. Once there on Tuesday, I was checked at the midwife's office right before admission and was told I was 7 cm, at around 7 pm. At around 11 pm, I was told that I "NEEDED to be CHECKED" see if I was progressing. At that point in time, I felt I still didn't have the need to push, and I wanted to wait, but the pressure was on. No support, and my significant not trusting that my body worked, went along with the midwife, 'why don't you let her check you'...I was not ready. The pressure does feel like rape, because after that I was being coached to push, and I ended up having two little stitches, that I wanted to avoid...but because I was outside of my home, I didn't avoid. The woman's power is taken with the thinking of the system, that the body doesn’t work, and you need to help it labor.

I hope you have an awesome success with the book.

Anonymous said...

Are you trying to say that a newborn baby won't cry if it's born naturally? If so, then this is misinformation. I have watched videos of many natural and unassisted births, and the baby always cries by taking its first breath. Maybe not right away, but it always cries.

Veronika said...

Danielle, I didn't say that at all. i think you're always trying to read things into which I write...always looking for a way to make me wrong. If you read the comments that you send me you'll find that most of them don't make sense and don't relate to what I've written at all.

Perhaps it is time you went to blogs that you enjoy reading, instead of allowing yourself to get worked up.

Phoenix said...

For a while now I have said that birth does not and should not result in a crying baby.

We are brought up believing that the cry at birth is the sign of a healthy baby. I no longer believe it is (well, healthy yes, happy no.)

Neither of my girls cried at birth, they were both caught by the midwife but delivered straight onto me (bare skin to skin), and as a result they were both calm and happy.

I am putting on future birth plans that *I* wish to catch my baby (or else my partner if for some reason I can't).

VickiKate said...

My home born, free-birthed VBAC baby didn't cry until the first time I tried to dress him, when he was some 36 hours old... He was quite happy to be skin to skin and feeding all that intervening time. He rarely cries, and is happy, confident and copes really well with whatever life throws at him. He is almost 4.

My CS baby screamed before his feet were out of my body, and kept it up until he fell asleep, exhausted in a crib far away from my arms about 45 minutes later. He still screams hysterically at any sign of stress or pain, and he is still petrified of being alone or in the dark, he is 6.