Larry Cook, Natural Health Author & Video Producer: Giving birth is actually a natural process. It’s not a disease. So there’s really no need to go to hospital to give birth. You can do a homebirth and have a licensed midwife with you in that process. I highly recommend it because when you give birth in a hospital, you’re at the discretion and the timeframe of the doctors who may want to go home, go play golf, go do whatever they want to do. They may speed up things, or whatever, but when you’re doing a homebirth, you’re actually on your time schedule. You get to decide, or your body gets to decide, how and when the baby is going to come out. The midwife is there just to help the process along. So, I asked a midwife—her name is Alex—to give us more explanation as to what a homebirth is all about. Why you might want to have one, and what a midwife does. And here’s what she had to say.
Aleksandra Evanguelidi, Clinical Director and Co-founder of the Sanctuary Birth Wellness and Family Center: Hi! I’m Alex Evanguelidi, Clinical Director and Co-founder of the Sanctuary Birth and Family Wellness Center, and I’m here with my friend Larry, and my business partner Bliss. And we’re here to talk about birth, and what is possible for you if you choose to give birth the way your body’s intended and designed to do it.
You know every day, I see pregnant women on the streets, and when I walk up to them and talk with them about their choices: where they’re giving birth, why they’re giving birth, where they’re giving birth. So often I hear women say, ‘oh no, I’m going to the hospital. It’s what insurance is paying for.’ And you start to think about that and really look at what really is available to you. When we’re making decisions because our insurance is covering it, we’re not really exploring what’s important to us. We’re not really exploring the deeper possibilities.
Birth itself probably the most profound rite of passage in anyone’s life. We’re talking about birth, giving birth, and dying. I mean. Those are like the monumental events. The most extraordinary experiences we’re ever going to have as human beings. And when you actually are going through the process of learning about your body, as you’re growing a baby inside it. When you’re educating yourself about the right foods and the right vitamins, what kind of exercise should I do, that’s all surface stuff. It’s when you get down to the real issues like what’s really going on with you. What are you feeling? What are your fears? What have you brought over from previous life experiences that might come up during the birth process itself? Like those are core fears and core beliefs that when you start to take them apart, and actually go underneath them you really learn more about yourself. It’s like doing the personal work. So it doesn’t have to show up in your birth experience.
When you work with midwives, you spend an hour with people. You get to really get into what’s going on in their lives. What their relationship like? What kind of dreams they’re having? Their fears about being a mother. Their fears about giving birth to their children. When you start to go into that and release some of the hold that those things have on us, you start to see a woman who’s like freeing herself. A husband’s freeing himself. Partners start to release some of that baggage so that when they walk into the birth experience, they’re present. They’re surrender. Trusting of the experience. Trusting of their bodies. The event itself has so much potential for power, and connection with our child. Understanding the power of our own body. It’s such an extraordinary event. It’s such a climax event in our lives. It really sets us up for being parents later in life.
I often think it’s about the birth itself that makes us a mother, that makes us a father. That that initiatory experience, that rite of passage itself, is exactly what we need to experience in order to have the strength and confidence to trust in ourselves and our decision making process as we parent our own children.
I really send out the invitation for parents as they’re going through this process before they’ve given birth to fully educate themselves, and check out your options. Look at what’s available for you. To turn inside and trust that instinctual message that voice that speaks about the kind of experience you want. Where you want it to be. Who’s around you? What kind of environment and stimulus is going to have you feel empowered? That’s going to have you feeling excited? That’s going to have you feel present and surrender to the process? And, then go in that direction. Because it’s really not just going in the direction…what’s my insurance going to pay for? That’s kind of like walking blindly into the grocery store and just picking up off the shelf whatever your insurance is going to feed you. You know. It’s such a…it’s a basic introduction to the prenatal experience when there is so much more available to you.
Do your education. Find out what’s available for you. Trust your instincts and move in that direction.
Larry Cook, Natural Health Author & Video Producer: I have a lot more information on website about home birth, and what the advantages of a homebirth versus a hospital birth are. And, I also have a midwife interview on my website which is at the www.thenaturalguide.com. So I can’t recommend enough that you learn more about the homebirth process and midwifery and what you can expect if you go that route verses going to a hospital. That’s not to say that hospitals don’t have their place. They most certainly do, and every midwife who’s licensed knows that if there’s a complication that begins to occur, you go to the hospital, but for the most part, homebirths are extremely safe, and very rewarding usually for the mother, the baby, and the entire family.
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