“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.
Childbirth, although a perfectly natural physiological process, can be very painful and physically traumatic for the mother. New and improved alternative approaches to labor pain have afforded many women some relief during that part of the process, but there remains a major problematic area – lacerations in the perineum area (between the vagina and rectum), with resultant postpartum pain and possible permanent damage.
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.