Birth reform is not going to come from the medical establishment - doctors, nurses, hospitals, nor from the midwives, but from couples emerging from the new, young generation - not from an institution, but from individuals.
Birth seekers now have a tremendous amount of information and support on-line and this is often reassuring when they have little support locally. Imagine those who sought unassisted birth in their communities before the era of the internet! Many people felt alone. Fortunately I was living in Charleston, South Carolina in the 1990’s, where there was a vibrant community of unassisted birthers.
Some of us established websites and forums in the 1990’s, when the world wide web was becoming known as the internet and when dial up modems were being replaced. Having a “.com” URL was the in-thing. There was a time where it was easy to keep current with the handful of information on unassisted birth. In fact, unassisted birth was mainly known as Do-it-Yourself Birth (or DITY Birth) or Unassisted Childbirth (UC).
At one point, I listed websites, resources and links on this website. At this time, I do not feel the need to include links. Search engines can take you where you feel you need to go. Youtube and social media can provide you with hours, days and months of videos, support, and information. There are websites and blogs that share insightful perspectives on unassisted homebirth.
As for books, well, there are a few good ones out there. Someday, at some point, my husband and I would like to convert three of our titles to electronic versions (Birth and the Dialogue of Love; Pleasurable Husband/Wife Childbirth: The Real Consummation of Married Love and Unassisted Homebirth: An Act of Love), but we haven’t found the appropriate time to dedicate to this project. The first two titles are out of print and we hope to make this a priority in the near future.
The only link I would like to provide is a website that has stood the test of time in its superior content, information and encouragement and that is www.unassistedchildbirth.com. UC pioneer Laura Shanley has devoted a large portion of her life advocating UC and this website is a great starting point.
I have corresponded with hundreds of people over the years and here is a letter I would like to share dated April 2007 from a couple in Belize, Central America. There is very little support or information about unassisted birth in their community. The internet was their lifeline to information about unassisted birth. Like most unassisted birthers, Vi, the expectant mother, wanted to consider "worst possible scenarios" and what she would do. A cord wrapped around the baby's neck was a concern and she contacted Cindy, an unassisted birther from Alaska who shared her experience of an umbilical cord wrapped around her daughter's neck.
Vi and her husband Jeff considered various possiblities of what could go wrong during birth, what they wanted for their birth experience and then set out on a logical exploration of childbirth.
During birth, it's important to resist the temptation for emotional extremes that can trigger panic and inertia. Read Vi's report of her baby's birth. Can you feel the excitement?
Congratulations Vi and Jeff!
Now you truly know and have experienced the awesome power of unassisted birth! You, Jeff and the baby are better off because of it.
You did what most unassisted birthers did - raised questions, did research, tried to assuage fears and thought through situations very seriously. Those who will criticize your unassisted birth are simply people who are unwilling to take responsibility to make it to the next step. They are, in part, paralyzed by fear and most likely cannot "see" the beautiful possibilities.
I think many folks go to the hospital or a midwife so that they can allow their fears to be unexamined (and turn over the responsibility to someone else). Unassisted birthers have to face the fears head on and when we do it - WOW! We find that everything turns out not only ok, but awesome. We feel proud and on top of the world, flowing with so much love - a greater love (and compassion for humankind). I'm bubbling up with excitement right now, because as I write this, I am being taken back to those feelings of "conquering" an experience that society has told us is a potential problem waiting to happen. We discover the secret, simplicity and power of birth when we bypass all of that.
Anyway, enjoy Miguel and your "babymoon." You will now serve as an inspiration to hundreds of people around you in your lifetime - your immediate family, relatives, friends, your husband's co-workers, people you come across, etc. I hope you will become confident and influential communicators of unassisted birth. Our world needs more of it and there are thousands of people who would love to be introduced to the idea. Don't let others burst your bubble. I like to see myself as someone who can bring others up a higher notch / level of thinking about birth.
I have found that I dip in and out of discussing unassisted birth. Some days I am bold and want to share the message of unassisted birth with women and other days I hardly speak about it because it just wouldn't apply to people I come in contact with. Often times I will say that I wrote a book on homebirth in 1998 and it can then lead into unassisted birth depending on the response of who I'm talking to.
Other times, I feel comfortable enough and just blurt out the title of my book and plant the seed in a listener's mind, as radical as it may be to him or her. I've recently made a few T-shirts with iron-on letters on the back that say either unassistedhomebirth.com or Your Body, Your Birth. When I feel bold, I wear them in public.
Once again, congratulations and keep in touch! Your success story is is glowing with excitement.