Tori's Blog

Better Birth

Friday, August 31st, 2012

img_newbornChildbirth is on my mind. Not merely because pregnancy and birth are part of my very fabric but because I see a new trend in birth again becoming terribly “polarized”. Historically, it happens every couple of decades. Today, as the holes in our health-care system are glaringly apparent, birth has become a hot topic for dissection. You can see it in the multitude of childbirth books with titles such as “Better Birth”, “Your Best Birth”, “The Best Birth” . Every pregnant woman will tell you that, more than once she has been asked the million dollar questions. Doctor or midwife? Home or hospital? Natural or medicated? Epidural or not? And then, regardless of her answer, she is told what is “better, best, what she absolutely should or shouldn’t do” and on and on. It is exhaustive and rather than being helpful, more often leaves a woman feeling confused, frustrated and unsure of herself and her choices.

The first thing I tell women in my PillowTalk classes is that they have some serious homework to do throughout the rest of their pregnancies. Their assignment is to stop reading a myriad of pregnancy books and instead go to the movies, have romantic dinners with their spouses, and enjoy the special anticipation of this time, before their families expand. What I see next is very telling. It’s as though a weight has been lifted. I watch the relief on their faces as they consider simply being pregnant. They have been given permission to relax and enjoy pregnancy rather than dissect it and figure it all out.

We talk a great deal about what each of us expects and values. Together, women learn that they each have different needs. We talk about letting go of control and about trusting—our bodies, the process of pregnancy, and the people helping us. We talk about the fact that the experience of labor and birth is neither predictable nor intellectual. We talk about choices and decisions. We talk about the fact that there isn’t any one right, better, or perfect way to give birth—or, for that matter, to be a parent. How do we get back to supporting one another instead of pointing out which one of us has chosen the “better” way? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Your Comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply