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Birth as Power presents options and preparation for childbirth

October 6, 2010

Birth as Power:
Options and Preparation for Organic Childbirth
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Weds. Oct. 13 – Dec. 1
The Bloom Collective @ Steepletown Center
671 Davis NW (Corner of 5
th & Davis)

Was a time when childbirth was the realm of women. Doctors didn’t deliver babies; mothers gave birth. The babies came when they were ready, working within their mothers’ bodies and the strongest muscle in the human body, male or female, the uterus.

When the industrial revolution and advances in the Western medical model collided within patriarchal society, the process—and power—of birth was taken away from women. Childbirth was moved from the home to the hospital. Science scoffed at the midwife and deified the OB-GYN. By mid-twentieth century, nearly every birth in America was in hospital, under the influence of heavy drugs and ensconced in unhealthy, disempowering rituals, i.e. interventions such as shaving of pubic hair, extreme episiotomy and forceps.

In the 70s, women revolted. They demanded natural births, the presence of partners during delivery and the absence of drugs and unnecessary interventions. But by the 90s, that movement was for the most part co-opted by pretty birthing suites, a sprinkling of female OB GYNs and certified nurse midwives and the epidural, probably the most overused and profitable drug prescribed in hospitals today.

In deference to a culture born of industrial revolution and growing into a techno-cracy, pregnant mothers are ultra-sounded, stress-tested, hooked up via electrodes and doptone. Birthing mothers struggle to understand the data, rather than listen with intuition to their soon-born child. And while no one can criticize the use of cutting edge medical science when a true emergency arises, its use as standard care for every birth diminishes not only the magic and mystery of the birthing process but also disrupts the very biochemical bonds of mother and child, leading the way to a host of potentially negative outcomes.

Birth is power, the very power of life. Women experiencing birth on their own terms become empowered. A culture that takes away power from women giving birth disempowers all women, whether they choose motherhood or not.

The Bloom Collective is offering an eight week course, Birth as Power: Options and Preparation for Organic Childbirth beginning next Wednesday, October 13. Class participants will explore basic needs of pregnancy and birth such as nutrition, exercise, relaxation and the use of breath. They will explore common medical interventions and their results. They will envision how they would like their births to be and take steps to make their visions reality. Overall, the goal will be to empower women to take back their birth-rights, the right to give birth in strength and power while ensuring their babies have the healthiest possible transition from womb into world.

The class is open to all birthing women and their support persons as well as anyone, pregnant or not, who is interested in attending. The class is free. Donations accepted to cover the cost of materials and to help The Bloom pay its rent.

Bloom core member, Stelle, will facilitate the class. She taught Bradley Method childbirth classes for eight years, has coached several births and has five children, four birthed in hospital and one at home. If interested, contact her at stellemarie@gmail.com to let her know of your intent to participate .

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