A place to read thoughts, rants and musings from the founder of The Trust Birth Initiative.
Click on a Title below to read.
“There appears to be some confusion with regard to the “Trust Birth” movement in that there is a supposition that the movement supports unsafe birth practices (ie. anyone calling him/ her self a midwife with no real experience or education). There is also the fear that this movement/ group undermines the role of the medical community in keeping birth safe when their expertise is called for.” –Actual quote on a yahoo group. This isn’t the entire statement but it gives you an idea of the ignorance that prevails about the Trust Birth Initiative.
Everywhere I turn there are major misconceptions about Trust Birth. It is one thing to not know, but there is a pretty good explanation on www.trustbirth.com. We aren’t a secret society. If you read something like this, please ask one of us if it is true before passing it on….even with supposition in the sentence…..it is damaging.
Just for the record, if I were determining the definition of midwife, it would be MAM — mother appointed midwife. I think women have the right to have anyone they want at their birth, whether she calls herself a midwife or not. HOWEVER, If I were to determine the level of knowledge or education that a woman should aspire to, before calling herself midwife, then it would be the level of the intensive 42 month education that I have been providing for 30 years. I think a midwife is far more qualified to be a hands off midwife (one who does not introduce added risk) the more she knows. I do not think midwives should be medical in any way or try to be quasi doctors…. but I hope that any midwife would know when to seek medical attention. There is no “undermining of the role of the medical community” going on in TBI. I believe that my philosophy is one of keeping birth safe, not undermining safety. But then again, I believe that birth is safe and interference is risky. Actually, I don’t think midwives Keep birth safe as much as I believe that birth IS safe.
Another person told me in the last few days: “I wanted to become a Trust Birth facilitator but I didn’t have a Family Birth [UC]. I had a midwife at my birth.” Please know that I am not anti-midwife and a Family Birth [UC] is not a prerequisite for membership in the Trust Birth Initiative. Our “requirement” is that our facilitators believe that birth is safe and that a woman has a right to have anyone or no one attend her birth.
Please check us out for yourself,
There once was a bunch of tiny frogs, who arranged a competition. The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants. The race began. Honestly, no one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements, mumble… mumble: “Oh, WAY too difficult!!!” “They will NEVER make it to the top!!!” or: “Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!!!”
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one… Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!!!” More tiny frogs got tired and gave up… but ONE continued higher and higher and higher. This one wouldn’t give up!!!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal? It turned out… That the winner was DEAF!!!
The wisdom of this story is: NEVER listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic… taking your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you. Always remember the power words have. Because everything you hear and read can effect your actions!!!
Be DEAF when people tell YOU that you can not fulfill your dreams!!!
Remember that people don’t want to know what they don’t want to know. That is a hard lesson for us to learn because once WE know the truth we want to share. Remember that to consider any new idea means to CHANGE…Change involves Risk.
If we really look at what we have let others decide FOR us when we did not educate ourselves, well, it can be humiliating and we all dislike humiliation.
I have been on this mission for more than 30 years and I still have trouble believing how people would rather remain uninformed than take a chance on being WRONG….. or having been wrong.
Keep telling your friends the truth even if they don’t want to hear it….Tell the truth because you love them enough to tell them the truth.
All we can do is hope that we find some package for the truth they will look at…(cause they can’t take it raw and naked)…Hang in there. I am proud of you
Birth is SAFE….but interFEARance is really really RISKY!
Don’t you agree that It is illogical to DOUBT that the body that can oversee the complexities of conception, grow a baby 24/7 without your direction, can also eject that baby when it is time? This is one of the tenants of the Trust Birth Initiative: the body was born knowing what to do but fear and misinformation has covered up that birth truth and the ensuing birth trust.
When I talk to groups about the Trust Birth philosophy or train the Trust Birth Facilitators, I often illustrate my point this way…..
Here is a picture for you… let’s say that you take a woman in labor and lower her gently down in the middle of a corn field with NO one around… yeah, at first she might run around and make a few crop circles… but THEN her body will get her attention….”Hey, Chick… I KNOW how to do this… are you going to cooperate, or what? TRUST ME!” And the body will do what it instinctively knows how to do… what it was BORN knowing how to do.
The baby will be born, the placenta will come out. No one will mess with the cord or cut the cord (nothing to cut with because as sharp as corn stalk leaves are… naaah… still a bad idea!) The baby will nurse and then a little while later the TRUST BIRTH helicopter will come back and pick them up…
The Crop Circling mamma will be forever changed AND that baby will not have had any assaults from drugs or sound waves or sharp pointy things…
~And there is the REAL story about Crop Circles as told by herstorian, social observer and Birth Truth Teller, Carla Hartley
In the last few years I have become far more vocal about birth truth for a number of reasons. One is that I see that going along with political correctness or trying to fit in with the medical community or version of birth has not benefited women and babies. As long as we have more and more pregnancies ending in surgical extraction we have to acknowledge that something is terribly wrong with the system… so why the heck would we want to fit into that flawed system? It is time to take birth back to the NORMAL side of life rather than buy into the fallacy that it is medical. Yes, it can become medical but we should try to AVOID that wherever we can… and for me I want to make it clear AGAIN, that the fact that I want to tell the truth and tell the truth and tell the truth does not mean that I think I OWN any woman’s birth. That being said, I will not just patronize anyone any longer by acting like any birth that results in a baby is good enough. I want women to know that the decisions that are made by anyone during that period of her life, affect her AND the baby, forever.
We are part of the problem until we become part of the solution and I refuse to be part of the problem any longer. I will tell the truth, at the risk of offending some, because the experience and safety of both baby and mother are at risk if we just keep looking the other way. If that makes it seem like I am forcing my opinion on others than so be it… but if you are really concerned about choice for women you have to be honest here. Women have very few actual opportunities to make choices during birth in any setting other than their own home. So I will not give ” choice ” lip-service at the risk of knowing that women and babies are at risk for lack of truth. The truth is and always will be: Birth is SAFE; Interference is RISKY.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to
discover them. ~Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642, Italian Physicist and Astronomer
If you have discovered the truth about birth….what can you do to help others discover it?
#1 Solidify your position. Keep a journal of your thoughts and responses to what you read. Where do you stand? Eventually write position papers of sorts about each issue and publish [as a note on Facebook, etc].
#2 Educate people on HOME BIRTH and its proud history of safety.
#3 Make midwifery and whatever birth work you do secondary or even inconsequential.
#4 PUSH parents’ rights as the topic of conversation whenever you can. (Memorize some clever passages from your journal and pepper your conversation with them.) Concentrate on HOME BIRTH and PARENTS’ RIGHTS….not midwives’ rights.
#5 Urge your colleagues to go back to square one and put the needs of babies and parents at the beginning, middle and end of this conversation.
If you do that, telling the truth about birth will be pretty easy…you won’t be defending an idea, or a group of professionals or your own work…..you will just be telling the truth…..birth is safe; interference is risky…..and birth belongs to the mammas and no one else.
Remember that people don’t want to know what they don’t know if they can remain ignorant and unchanged. People are very resistant to new ideas because that means change.
Change isn’t just scary- it involves the risk of being wrong or having been wrong. People would sometimes choose to be uninformed rather than to have been wrong. Being closed to the possibility of being wrong is our attempt at risk management.
We have all been wrong at some time in our life. It can be humiliating or humbling, depending on our acceptance of the fact. If we really look at what we have let others decide FOR us when we did not educate ourselves, it can be humiliating and we all dislike humiliation. OR we could recognize the great potential in being humbled by the truth… and changed by the truth for the better.
One of the reasons that I am so dedicated to telling the truth is WHO I am telling it for. I want to speak up for the babies, their mammas, their daddies and their future children… see what I mean? BirthTruth changes lives forever, not for just one day or one idea or conversation.
BirthTruth can be packaged in so many ways or served in small bites, but I never again want to be guilty of denying the truth. If we are not telling the truth, we are promoting the lies.
Telling the Truth about Birth is, in my opinion, the most loving thing we can do for everyone involved… and if we don’t tell the truth about birth, who will?
I have been a midwife, childbirth educator, midwifery educator and birth advocate since 1976. If you FEAR birth, you haven’t seen enough BIRTHS and you don’t know enough about BIRTH. You may have seen babies coming out of women’s bodies, but you have not witnessed unhindered BIRTH the way it was designed to be. Birth is safe; it is interferance (you can read that as interFEARance) risky. When midwives talk to me about the dangers of birth or the fact that they think THEY hold bottom line responsibility, I know that they were not my student.
AAMI students know that BIRTH almost always goes without a hitch if left alone, if the mother is respected and IF THE MIDWIFE UNDERSTANDS THAT HER JOB IS SERVER, NOT SAVER. SHE IS THE ASSURANCE (NOT THE INSURANCE) IN THE CORNER. The other thing that prevents fear in my students is that they have to work REALLY hard to get a piece of paper from me… hundreds of times harder than what it takes to get a CPM. They learn everything so that they feel confident and competent doing nothing.
Birth is NOT an ambush, people. Our bodies were designed to GIVE BIRTH… not so much to have birth done to them which is what happens in the medical paradigm. Midwives who fear birth were trained in fear-based medical mindset. It amazes me that midwives, who should KNOW better, think that PARENTS don’t have the right or the wisdom to have their baby on their own without a midwife.
Midwives, you are NOT the key player in the room. For as many times as you MAY make birth a bit safer, there are dozens of times that you made it less safe by your interference or interFEARance.
If you don’t trust birth, but your trust is with birth attendants….then which? That opens up an argument that will never come to an end. However if we trust that we were meant to give BIRTH, that most women CAN give BIRTH and that BIRTH belongs to the women who are giving BIRTH, the argument is over. And for those women who choose to have a midwife, great, but she needs to instruct the midwife about what she wants and will and will not tolerate. If the birth becomes medical, then the best, most appropriate medical help should be sought. If midwives would SERVE rather than practice. If they would relinquish control and title… there would be far fewer instances of birth becoming medical.