Thursday, September 24, 2009
"If midwives are to remain at the forefront of decision-making that supports "normal birth', they need to challenge the culture and constraints of the organisations within which they work and initiate research and reflection on the complexity of 'normal birth".
What is "normal birth" and is that really what we want? That was the topic of my class today with the UCSF CNM students. It is still orientation, so not a lot of homework yet, but we spent three hours analyzing the concept of normal birth. What is normal? Who gets to have a normal birth? If your birth is not normal, what is it-- abnormal? Birth: undisturbed, simple, uncomplicated, natural, physiological, ordinary. Do any of these words truly express what we know to be true? That birth is a complex, powerful process by which a woman transitions from pregnancy to motherhood. That birth has physical, social, emotional, cultural and spiritual implications. That birth is mysterious and contains elements that are unknowable. We as midwives are obligated to rediscover, redefine, preserve and honor normal birth. Let's continue the dialog.