The miracle of motherhood is eloquently expressed when observing how perfectly the female body is designed to conceive, birth, and nurture a child. Following conception, a woman and her unborn baby unite in an oceanic blend of energy and identity. Where one ends and the other begins no one knows (see Figure 1, page 38). However, there does appear to be an innate wisdom that uses the nervous system as a conduit to transmit electrical impulses of intelligence to all the body’s systems that maintain mother and fetus in a state of homeostasis and balance.
Even with today’s medical advances in childbirth, one simple truth remains — a woman must eventually do most of the work herself. Understanding how to best utilize a woman’s inner strength and harnessing her body’s wisdom can make the process that much easier and healthier for both mother and child.
Get Out of the Way
The use of complementary therapies is one of the best ways to harness that wisdom and strength, giving a woman in labor the tools to control her fear surrounding childbirth in an instinctive and natural way.
“It’s a tragedy what has happened here in the United States.” So says Sandy Ventura Gordon, director and president of Bodyworkers Association for the Birthing Year, Inc. (B.A.B.Y.). In a recent interview, Gordon spoke of the 20th century trend toward the medicalization of childbirth, and the consequent relinquishment of women’s power in the process. “Delivery has been turned into a medical situation and instills in a woman not to trust herself. She thinks her body can’t do it right. Women who trusted in their bodies and their ability to give birth now fear birth.
Pregnancy is a beautiful and natural condition — nine transformative months full of excitement, planning and peering at the awesome unfolding of life. But this transformation also brings inevitable side effects, sometimes making a woman feel like her body has been taken over by an alien force. In the early months, there are mood swings from ecstasy to unpredictable crying; in later months, there are aches and pains more common to the domain of the elderly.