Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Everything I Need to Know to be an Adult . . .

. . . I Learned in my Childbirth Education Classes.

As my childbearing years move further and further into my past, many of the lessons I learned while teaching my Childbirth Classes never seem to fade. In so many ways childbirth is a rite of passage to adulthood. While admittedly not the only ‘rite of passage’ that can teach these lessons, these lessons can have a powerful impact on the myriad of other experiences one faces as an adult.

Here are some of my favorite childbearing related quotes and how they apply to my life now. And yes, that stuff in the ( ) is the page number I found it on. THAT lesson I learned in college. =]

People are often too unwilling to trust their own judgment. It is essential for responsible adults to be able to say, ‘Okay, I have gotten as much information as I can get. I have talked to people. I’ve read. I’ve thought about it. Now I am going to trust my judgment.
David Stewart & Lee Stewart Safe Alternatives in Childbirth (215-16)
In our society where so many experts in every field disagree, it is imperative during times of important decisions for us to do the hard work of study, evaluation, and then trust in your own reasoning and conclusions. We are capable of and personally responsible for making decisions, even if that decision disagrees with some experts.

Where is the proper dividing line between what people can do for themselves or with the help of friends and family, and what they require professional help for?
Dr. Michel Odent The De-Medicalization of Childbirth
Similar to the previous one, only WE can make our decisions and some decisions are acute enough that they require an expert and some really are best ‘home grown’ by our friends and family.

The effect on the baby of a few hours of drugs during labor is not nearly as potentially damaging, in my opinion, as nine months of poor diet in pregnancy.
David Stewart & Lee Stewart Safe Alternatives in Childbirth (109)
Some decisions, while impactful, are less important in the long run that the choices we make every single day.

Generally speaking, mechanical assistance is rarely needed, but psychological or emotional support to the mother is almost always in order.
Gregory J. White, M.D. Emergency Childbirth (VI)
Our society tends to jump to extremes with everything assuming the worst case scenario, when more often than not we just need a little nudge in the right direction.

Birth is a slow, individual process, to be savored and enjoyed slowly. The safety of the process is MOST THREATENED BY RUSHING MOTHER NATURE.
Marjie and Jay Hathaway, AAHCC Children at Birth (68)
Life IS an individual process and trying to follow an imposed time line almost always leads to disaster.

Taking analgesics during transition is not good timing for the baby, since the peak effect may occur around delivery time and depress baby’s breathing. From your point of view, by the time the shot takes effect, transition is likely to be over and the medication may then compromise your ability to participate fully in the pushing stage.
William and Martha Sears The Birth Book (219)
I would add to this from Pam England’s book Birthing From Within that the natural endorphins produced through relaxation and natural pain relieving methods disappear immediately with medical pain relief and stick around for 2 weeks after a birth without.
Under normal circumstances, patience and endurance always yield the very best results.

One of the problems is that nature intended children to be born alive, and, irrespective of what you do, they usually survive.
David Stewart & Lee Stewart Safe Alternatives in Childbirth (109)
Life was meant to be good. Experts didn’t invent that. That’s all I have to say about that.

There is a secret in our society, and it's not that childbirth is painful. It's that women are strong. ~ Laura Stavoe Harm
There is a secret in our society, and it's not that LIFE is painful or stressful or hard or even that it’s going to get harder!
(Please, it's REALLY NOT a surprise!!)
It's that WE, with GOD, are