Why I Believe

I believe in Natural Childbirth because of its proven record and natural approach to bearing and birthing babies. My heart is touched as I ponder the realization that God has placed a deep desire in my heart to help women during their time of deep need and desire to bring forth their babies. I believe it is the least we can do for those who follow us. Information used to be passed down from our grandmothers, sisters and friends. Now, it seems, the art of “birthing babies” is all but lost. I also believe it is part of my duty as one of the “older women of the church”. I became interested in Prepared Natural Childbirth many years ago when I had known a midwife for approximately 25 years and my daughter, who was then 15, made an announcement to me that when she had her babies, she was going to have them at home, which at that time, frightened me! In 1995 my midwife friend invited me to attend some workshops in her home. I was interested to discover that in the next two years of attending these workshops, I never heard one happy birth story except from the women who had their babies naturally. Even the ‘natural’ births of others in the hospital were not what they had anticipated. My own birth stories were: Sherry - “knock-em-out, drag-em-out” method; Amy - induced because Dr. was too old to be awakened in the middle of the night; Casey, Epidural that didn’t work and ended up in a natural birth except for the effects of the medication in mine and my baby’s systems. During that time, I met a Bradley Natural Childbirth Educator and began studying to complete my certification as a Bradley instructor.

(Dr. Bradley, author of Husband-Coached Childbirth, began developing the technique of natural childbirth in 1947. Even today, though the term natural childbirth is well known, this granddaddy’s method and philosophy are still considered fairly radical. Dr. Bradley presided at over 23,000 unmedicated births in his career. He never had a maternal death and 94 percent of his patients had totally unmedicated births. His reverence for things natural was learned while a child on a farm. It was his comparison of the serenity of laboring animals to the screaming laboring human mothers that led him to develop his method of natural childbirth. Animals return to their sleep place and appear to sleep during first-stage labor, so Dr. Bradley had his patients assume their sleep position at that time. Animals also breathe in labor just as they do in sleep - slow, deep, abdominal breathing with the mouth slightly open. Only animals that don’t perspire, pant during labor, so this is one reason Dr. Bradley believed the Lamaze technique of shallow panting to be incorrect. Dr. Bradley believed with the emphasis on the husband and wife team, the doctor should take a backseat in childbirth. He envisioned himself as a lifeguard at a pool. “Ninety-four percent (of the swimmers) have a wonderful time. But somebody gets cramps or bumps her head and there’s a sudden, gosh-awful emergency”, he explained. “Midwives,” Bradley maintained, could do the 94 percent of deliveries that were normal if they were trained in the recognition of abnormalities..” )

From that point on, my goal has been to try to help new mothers become educated as to what natural childbirth really is, and how to have the joyous birth experiences I believe every family should have. My heart went out to these friends and acquaintances who had experienced less than what they had anticipated in their childbirths. I began reading everything I could get my hands on. I attended an intensive Natural Childbirth training in Chicago, Illinois and received my certification in 1998 after a year of intensive study and training. I taught these classes until January of 2000 at which time I designed my own classes under the company name of Chosen Births / Chosen Births Midwifery.

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