They steal the health of our babies by ruining our births and breastfeeding and want to sell it back to us via artificial means. No thanks.
Women are suffering the loss of their births and breastfeeding journeys at every turn. The very process by which our baby’s health foundation is laid down.
We are told it doesn’t matter, the bare minimum of a live baby being enough.
Women, we deserve to birth our babies well, nourish them from our bodies, use the intricate biology that has adapted perfectly.
Instead, we are robbed of this and expected to rejoice at the artificial health in bottles and vials handed to us by the very systems that have denied us our most basic of rights.
Women take it back; know you have everything in you that you need. You and your family’s health is your right.
How many times does it need to be said? It was designed this way.
The industrialised maternity system isn’t set up to help women, it’s here to control.
The thing we can do as birth workers is get comfortable with the idea that it can’t be fixed.
There’s no way to fix it. They do what they want, implement what they want, restrict how they want, and everyone knows you will only avoid what they serve up if you are lucky.
Planning and learning can help, but you are still relying on things to line up just so, and we should stop trying to convince women otherwise.
Women are smart, they can choose for themselves, when they know the reality of what their decision-making might mean.
If you want to start working with women in a different way, in responsibility, and with integrity, reach out to me to see what sort of conversations you need to be having to help women to see the truth of what is available to them.
Society tells us that birth is dangerous and we must hand it over to the place and people that know best - to the hospital and its medical practitioners.
The irony of this of course is that in hospital unnecessary and harmful practices are employed at every turn. The majority of women are coerced into induction or the speeding up of their labour, which in turn removes the safety of our physiology and creates a dangerous environment where babies find it more difficult to cope and women are at higher risk of complications.
And then it is from this space that measures are used to ensure survival.
Medical personal neither share these risks prior nor own up to causing the issues later, but they do take credit for women and babies coming out of birth alive. In fact, this is their base line, they do not consider the holistic wellbeing of the dyad.
Women who make decisions in a different way are the ones who are seen as dangerous.
These systems are old and tired, and women are seeing the truth in greater numbers. Women know these systems cause harm and are choosing something else for themselves.
What are you choosing? If you want help to figure it out, come and have a chat with me.
Some women choose an unassisted or ‘wild’ pregnancy intentionally from the beginning. Others decide at some stage through their pregnancy to forego industrialised antenatal care and to take full and radical responsibility for their wellbeing and the decisions about how they will honour this season.
Just like freebirth, wild pregnancy is becoming more common as women seek to be in control of how they spend this honoured time. Women are tired of the pressure to be squeezed into a box and undergo procedures and tests often not proven in safety, not shown to improve outcomes, and yet used routinely and indiscriminately, pushed onto them with bullying, threats and coercion. All of this to satisfy someone else’s fears and priming a woman to be compliant for her upcoming birth.
Women have discovered there is another way, a way that has always existed. A way that some women are choosing to claim.
Now having witnessed several women who have chosen to take care of their own pregnancies, the thing that I notice is their serenity and more so the absence of fear and anxiety. There is something very special seeing a woman in charge of her body, her birth and her journey to motherhood. More connected, more confident and more knowing about what is right for her. Not looking outside of herself for answers, but within.
Birthing where and with whom you want should be your legal right. Unfortunately in Australia, if your plan is to birth at home, who you choose to have attend your birth has become restricted by ever increasing government requirements for midwives and in the case of hospital offered homebirth programs, many of the rules for access have made personal choice very limited.
This leaves the growing-in-popularity option of unassisted birth, also known as freebirth.
In the past, freebirth was seen by most as a fringe activity chosen by few. But with the ever-growing restriction of midwifery attended homebirth, the decision for women to freebirth has increased dramatically. The interesting thing to note is, that freebirth is seemingly now being treated by women as a choice in its own right.
Women are no longer just choosing it because they can’t have a midwife at their birth, freebirth is being chosen because women feel that they can. Birthing autonomously is fast becoming a normalised birth option for many women. With access to online social networks and well-established resources, women are finding a community to support their desires to birth how they want.
Despite threats to many women, such as being told freebirth is illegal or threats of being reported, this choice isn’t lessening in popularity. Access to independent care - care that holds women and their decision-making at the centre - isn’t going to increase, so for women who want to take full responsibility for their births, then this is the birth they are choosing.
And whilst women are receiving threats, so too are many non-medical birth attendants. They are warned off from attending freebirth, however those of us who believe women make wise decisions for themselves and are able to discern the difference between a midwife and a non-medical birth worker, we show up. We smile, we sit and we celebrate women’s choice, because it is always theirs to make.
If you are wanting to explore birthing your baby autonomously and don't know where to start, reach out and let's talk about how you can birth your baby the way you want.
Why is navigating the system so hard?
Are our care-providers offering us options, sharing their knowledge and expertise in an unbiased way and accepting our responses as the final word? They should be, right?
Most of the time women tell me they dread their appointments. They know they are going to face a range of tactics to convince them to agree to certain interventions or procedures. Ones they want to say no to but are frightened they will agree to.
In online groups I hear over and over how you can just say no, but this is ignoring the complexity of power dynamics, our upbringings around authority figures and the added subtle message that to say no makes us selfish and uncaring of our babies.
Whilst undoubtedly most care-providers genuinely believe they are providing the safest care to women and babies they are overlooking the most vital of factors – they are ignoring women, the person who cares THE MOST about their baby.
It seems increasingly impossible to maintain this status quo – care-providers not listening and women unwillingly handing over their fundamental rights in birth.
What can we do? Can we change the way we respond to conversations; do we walk away from these conversations all together – as an ever-increasing volume of women are choosing to do?
I don’t have the answer for you – because the thing I know is each woman is on her own journey to discover what she needs.
And the other thing I know is that immense shifts are possible when women are asked the right questions, when they are placed at the centre of the conversation, when we trust them to make all the best decisions.
It’s time to change, and the system isn’t doing the changing, so it’s down to you. What are you prepared to choose, what are you going to do, to make sure this birth is exactly what you need it to be?
If this makes you think YES! If this is what you know you are ready for. If this is what you know you need to make your birth your own, then let’s talk.