Thursday, January 19, 2012

I USED TO THINK... BUT NOW I KNOW...

Up until *recently doctors thought that babies did not feel pain like adults do, so many surgical procedures including heart surgery, tonsillectomies and circumcision were performed without anesthesia.  In fact in many places, circumcisions are still performed without anesthesia or adequate anesthesia, even today.  We know now that babies do feel pain, and they might even feel it more intensely than adults do.

WHAT ELSE COULD THEY BE WRONG ABOUT?


When I was expecting my first baby, the more I read books about birth the more I wondered; what else could physicians and scientists be wrong about? What will be revealed 5 years from now which will negate the common beliefs of society, and change they way we treat mothers and babies?


I knew that if I did not want my baby to suffer unnecessarily because of the common outdated and non-evidence based procedures which were performed during birth, that I had to educate myself and take charge of my birth. I also knew that if I wanted to be whole after birth and well enough to take care of my baby, that a natural birth was more than just a romantic notion, it was a necessity.  I realized that if I gave away my power just because of fear, I would lose myself and my baby to the system of birth and be subjected to unnecessary procedures, and unnecessary harm. Educating myself led me to choose to have gentle home births for all three of my children.


Today I am so excited to share with mothers what I have learned about how the choices they make during pregnancy and birth can protect their babies from unnecessary harm.  I am compelled to share with others what I know, but I am faced with a problem that many birthworkers face; how do I share what I know in a way that other people who are caught within the, "system," can hear me? How can I share in a way that does not seem like an attack to other well meaning parents who have made choices opposite the ideas I am trying to share?

It is painful for others to believe that they have done harm to mothers and babies in the name of medicine and it may be hard for them to hear me if I seem to attack them.  It is certainly painful for mothers to hear that they might not have made the best choices regarding their birth, or even to hear that their choices may have caused their baby unnecessary suffering.


So how do I speak to these people in a way that they can hear the information I am offering without feeling attacked?

During a recent, "The Time is Now, Birthing The Future," workshop I participated in, birthworker Julie Ryan Gerland suggested that there is a way to share our knowledge in a way that others can hear it.
I USED TO THINK... BUT NOW I KNOW...

Gerland says that she uses the phrase,
"I used to think ..., but now I know ..." or, "We used to think ..., but now we know ...," and this opens the way for others to hear her.


An example, " We used to think that babies did not feel pain like we do, so doctors did not use anesthesia on babies during surgical procedures, but now we know that babies do feel every range of pain, and now they are given anesthesia for the same procedures.


By speaking this way, you can share with others what you know by creating a connection with your audience, rather then causing defensiveness.


Here is my personal example; 

I used to think
that birth did not matter. I used to think that having a baby was about the end result; just having a baby, and that it did not matter how I separated this baby from my body. I thought that I wanted a good doctor to take away all of my sensations, and get the baby out for me. I thought that as long as I had a healthy baby in the end, that nothing else mattered.

Now I know that birth is extremely important, and that how babies are brought into the world does matter. A baby and mother's physical and emotional well being are extremely affected by what happens during during this crucial time.

It is good to know that I have a way to open up a conversation with anyone, and not wrong them- because I was once was as they were. I did not know that birth could be something more.

Dear reader, what did you think in the past? What do you know now that has changed you? How do you know better regarding gestation, pregnancy, birth and the importance of the baby/momma?

Share what you know!  Bring it into your life and your conversations. It is in this way each and every one of you can be a beacon, broadcasting our paradigm of empowered birth.

Much love,
Barbara Rivera
www.birthpower.us


*"If it sounds like a "mad doctor" horror film, think again: This was a common practice by U.S. surgeons right up to the 1980's. Many adults living today were once subjected to the terror of full-consciousness surgical procedures as babies or infants, performed by the brightest and most authoritative surgeons of the day..." - Mike Adams  



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