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- Trusting Birth - Is it all REALLY just semantics?

Last Updated: 10/5/2013

Following will be a guest post by my dear friend and one of my mentors, Carla Hartley.  She is the founder and director of the midwifery school, Ancient Art Midwifery, which I attended and then graduated from in April 2012.  I hear a lot about semantics and should we REALLY "trust" birth or should we only "respect" it?  Is there a difference?  REALLY?  Does it matter?  If you wonder, what is she talking about?  What is "trust birth"... you can go here to look at exactly WHAT the "Trust Birth Initiative" is and how you can be involved if you so desire.  There are "Trust Birth conferences" where midwives, other people who work with birthing women and parents gather to learn more, share their knowledge and their stories.  You can find recorded sessions from past conferences here for a very modest fee, tabbed to the 2012 conference.  

Let me make MY position well-known:

Without any further adieu, she speaks: 

I understand why so many get upset about "Trust Birth" and "BIRTH IS SAFE"


When I say that I trust birth and that "birth is safe” I am referring to birth as the normal function of biology that has not been messed with.  Most birth attendants in the hospital or home have never seen one of those.


Mamma and baby are both equipped and hardwired to complete what they started.  


That is more than fact; that is just commonsense.  The body that managed conception and grew the baby 24/7 with little help, certainly knows how to get the baby out.  And it knows what to do after that, if we do not interfere.


So it is that kind of birth that is safer than not.

Interference is a game changer.

Birth that has been artificially adjusted in any way is no longer the kind of birth I would call safe.

But it is still safer than NOT, or there would not be so many women and babies who survive the interference.


The fact that women and babies whose chemistry is altered, whose instincts are ignored, whose biology is thwarted, who are assaulted with pathogens and invasive procedures..... and sharp pointy things......can survive birth is incredibly telling.  


W O W.....the fact that birth can take place in the presence of such interference and mammas and babies STILL survive actually proves my point.  Birth is safe or there would not be so many of us since hospitals have only been saving us from birth for about  100 years.  But the fact that so many survive birth that has been interfered with in the hospital or home is also confirmation:  BIRTH IS SAFER THAN NOT!


So here we go, again....unaltered birth is the safest birth....almost always.  Interference is always risky.  Sometimes birth needs intervention....if medical assistance is needed, get medical attention. 


Birth is safer than not.....Those of you who are having hissy-fits about this truth, who are terrorized by these words, who are slandering me all over the internet about my "rhetoric," are just going to have to cope.  I am not going to shut up.  And even after I am gone, the truth will exist.  I did not invent it.  I just promote it.  I just state the obvious.  Birth is safe and interference is risky.


I want midwives to know that birth is safer than not, so there is less experimentation. Interference is always a guess.  Altering the natural process is a risky experiment accompanied by fear of the unknown, but your interference actually ADDS more risk factors.


Stop experimenting on a normal function of biology out of your lack of education about the physiology of birth.  Under-education or mis-education may be the source of your fear.  OR it may be that your fear is predicated on your need to be the hero or the saver of women from birth, so you fear being peripheral rather than essential.  I don't know, but I can tell you that most of the time, women do not need anyone to save them or their babies from birth.  They most often just need to be left alone so they can finish what they started.


As Barbara Harper says...."let's stop working on how to get the baby out and concentrate on how to LET the baby out."


That is where we start, people, and if intervention is needed, we see that the mamma and baby get the help they need....but we should not interfere FIRST, just in case.  Let's trust that they know what they are doing.  Let's assist and support unless a medical event presents itself. And if it does, let's be sure we know what to do without exacerbating the problem.  Let's get help from a medical professional for any medical problem and stop playing doctor at home.  


I find it ironic and sad, really, that most of the hecklers out there are also the most medically dependent .....who tell mothers what to do, who expect all mothers to tear and to bleed, who think that drugs and oxygen are necessary, who don't think induction is risky, who interfere with the physiology of birth and third stage without a thought for what they are changing about the entire future of the baby and mother. 


I GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Birth is NOT safe in your experience but that is NOT the way it is designed or the way it would be.  Wouldn't you like to find out how safe birth could be if you left it alone?



I trust birth and the mother and baby who own it!


Carla's FB page, posted with permission.


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