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BUT WOMEN AREN'T DESIGNED TO GIVE BIRTH, ARE THEY?

A very good friend of mine has a rather wonderful boyfriend who I consider to be a walking encyclopaedia. He knows absolutely everything about anything, and I have learnt a lot from him. The last thing I learnt was about receptive and recessive genes when watching a documentary that had an albino orangutan in it. Amazing!

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We were having a rather scrumptious dinner in a pub the other evening when hypnobirthing came into conversation, as it always does, I cannot help myself especially when so many questions are being asked! A true association to the fact that I really do LOVE MY JOB and teach people even over dinner. Placenta anyone?

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I can’t remember how we even got onto the topic of cows, probably me stating how all mammals actually labour using the same hormones or something, when he said:

“But cows are designed to give birth, though aren’t they? They can give birth standing up. Women have to be on their backs with their legs in stirrups.”

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Oh Charlie. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. I buried my head in my hands and said “No!! This is exactly what our culture has taught us about childbirth. Women can also give birth standing up too, it’s not actually instinctive for us to birth on our backs”

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This is such a great example of what has been filtered down to us through the last few decades unfortunately very incorrectly. The fact of the matter is, we are living in a generation now that is undoing all of the complications the pre-1970’s in particular has created about a woman’s ability to birth her baby.

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Let’s start with the NHS. The wonderful NHS that we are so lucky to have IF things go wrong or we need a helping hand. Pregnancy is not an illness. It is not a disease. It is a natural function of the female body.

Back in 1925 85% of women birthed their babies at home. Fast forward to the birth of the NHS and this dwindled dramatically to only 34% of women birthing at home, with the majority putting all of their trust into the hands of doctors and the newest technology therefore resulting in a lack of trust in their own bodies. Where women were not labouring in the comfort of their own home anymore, being within their familiar environment, children downstairs playing, baking a cake for supper, they were now birthing in brightly lit rooms with doctors clenching clipboards and observing these labouring women through each and every surge, putting them on their backs to examine and monitor how labour was progressing, therefore removing the mothers instinct and making birth more difficult.

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We all know that the hormone oxytocin is what keeps your surges going, but how can a woman utilise and stimulate this hormone when being in a clinical setting and being observed so closely? The answer: she can’t as effectively, because oxytocin likes safety, familiarity, love and comfort. So instead adrenalin kicks in, fighting against that wonderful oxytocin, not allowing the uterine muscles to work as effectively resulting in a slower, more uncomfortable labour. Hello interventions!

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Fast forward 20 years later and we are now at the door of the 1970s where now only 15% of women were giving birth at home because it was now thought that birth was a dangerous event where women really struggle to birth their babies (ahem - clinical settings, cough cough.) It was the norm to have an epidural, which unfortunately slowed down labour as the mother was unable to move leading to yet even more medical interventions including an episiotomy, which was the now norm. Enemas happened routinely as did shaving off the entirety of the woman’s pubic hair. Imagine that now!

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So here we are, in 2018, knowing full well the affect that medicalisation has had in the world of maternity care, but that’s just it. Who is actually aware of this? My walking encyclopaedia friend wasn’t. It is still believed that birthing on your back is normal. It is still believed a woman’s legs will be in stirrups. It is still believed that she will be in a great deal of pain. All of these associations of child birth are around today because we are still in the delicate process of unravelling the damage that has been done. Educating women to trust their instincts and birth intuitively. I see this type of birth all time being a hypnobirthing instructor, I feed myself with this knowledge every single day. I hear the birth stories from my wonderful mums and their birth partners about how challenging but how magical their baby’s births were by taking control and being in the know.

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So actually, yes, women are designed to give birth, in any position that feels most comfortable to them at that time. We are mammals too. Strip back the technology, the doctors, the medias backwards interpretation of childbirth and we too can give birth standing up or on all fours. Gravity is a wonderful thing in childbirth, you can use it to your absolute advantage when birthing your baby.

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I really believe this should be taught in schools so going into adulthood men and women fully understand the process of birth as being a natural, normal and necessary progression that takes place. You conceive a baby (with or without a little help) grow your baby, grow an entire new organ in your placenta, go into labour, birth your baby, birth your placenta, produce colostrum and milk to feed your baby, then enter into the fourth trimester for the next 3 months with your newborn.

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Absolutely, sometimes birth needs a helping hand. The NHS is here for us if we need it. But at the moment we heavily rely on it to birth our babies, when actually all you need is already within you. Strength both physically and mentally, determination, emotional control, and a functioning uterus. What we need to improve on however is removing the fear we have very early on. Let’s educate ourselves so we can help the next generation to birth more comfortably and instinctively.

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Image: @saraillamas

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#childbirth #birth #labour #mammals #baby #education #cephalic #hospitalbirth #homebirth #birthcentre #choice #instinct #instictive #intuition

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Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal  NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT antenatal education class classes course courses private group Sevenoaks kent calm relax wise hippo birth baby pregnancy pregnant child childbirth hollybush natalie stringer matchbox cottage 39 prospect road tn133ua tn13 3ua hypnosis hypnotherapy Tonbridge Tunbridge Wells Westerham Sundridge Brasted Orpington Kent Dartford Shoreham Kemsing Otford Bromley Offham Swanley Oxted Hildenborough  Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Hypnobirthing hypnobirth Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Sevenoaks Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent Kent antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal antenatal  NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT NCT antenatal education class classes course courses private group Sevenoaks kent calm relax wise hippo birth baby pregnancy pregnant child childbirth hollybush natalie stringer matchbox cottage 39 prospect road tn133ua tn13 3ua hypnosis hypnotherapy Tonbridge Tunbridge Wells Westerham Sundridge Brasted Orpington Kent Dartford Shoreham Kemsing Otford Bromley Offham Swanley Oxted Hildenborough