An increasing number of women are choosing to give birth at home these days.
However, if you search Google with the term ‘homebirths’, you will find a plethora of articles that argue that home-birthing is unsafe. We have become entrained to believe that we give our baby the safest entry into the world if we opt for a hospital birth. Yet in a peer-reviewed Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health a landmark study confirms that “among low-risk women, planned home births result in low rates of interventions without an increase in adverse outcomes for mothers and babies.” [i]
In order to overcome the assumption that hospital birth is the best way to bring our babies into the world, we need to take a very practical look at the nature of a common hospital birth.
The main challenge I have with hospital births is that there is an assumption that babies are not conscious beings and they don’t feel anything or remember anything about their birthing experience. However, there is a huge body of evidence that conflicts this common assumption. In fact, it would seem that babies are even more sensitive to pain than adults. In this case it makes some of our modern birthing methods look nothing short of barbaric.
The second challenge that I have with hospital births is that our Western birthing system has come to see giving birth as a mechanical process. In this model, the sole purpose is to get the baby out into the world. In my book, Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life, I highlight how the birthing process is much less mechanical than we have been entrained to believe. It is designed to activate a number of systems, including our immune, endocrine, digestive and respiratory systems, and thus can have a major impact on our health and wellbeing. Without respecting the intricacies of the birthing process, we may not only traumatise the baby by bringing it into the world under harsh circumstances, but also cause medical challenges later on in life.
The Conditions of the Birthing Room
I’d like to invite you to go on a journey with me here for a moment. Imagine that for nine months you had been in the comfort of your mother’s womb. Now imagine the impact of the many number of interventions that might proceed your entry into the world. Induced labour, forceps delivery, caesarean section: these are just some of the harsh procedures that you may be met with. There is no doubt that in some cases these procedures save lives. But when we compare the 5.2% caesarean rate for homebirths with the national average of 31% in hospital births in the USA[ii], we can immediately see that a number of these procedures are being carried out unnecessarily and with devastating consequences for health.
The Effects of a Caesarean Birth
In my new book I highlight the impact that a Caesarean birth can have on the baby. There has been a multitude of studies that support the notion that Caesarean births have a devastating impact on our health. In his bestselling book, Brain Maker, neurologist Dr. Pearlmutter makes the link between the health of our gut, the body’s inflammation response, and brain health. Over the past few years, cutting-edge medical research has highlighted how inflammation is one of the biggest contributing factors to many diseases in the human body. Dr Pearlmutter highlights, “In terms of the initial development of a healthy immune system, a significant factor in establishing the “set-point” for inflammation may be an individuals birth.”[iii] His research highlights how, “There is a clear correlation between what is found between what colonises a babies intestines and what is found in the mother’s birth canal.”[iv]
The fact of the matter is that a vaginal birth provides the baby with many antibodies that go on to form the healthy bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are an essential part of the babies immune system. So, while Caesareans save lives and are vital in some cases, the choice to have them in order to avoid a vaginal birth can have a huge impact on the health of the child, which continues into adulthood.
Once the Baby is out in the World
But it is not only the entry into the world that can have a huge impact on the babies health. It is also what happens immediately after they come into the world. Whether they get adequate time to bond with their mother is a key part of this. All kinds of systems are stimulated during the bonding process. The cingulate gyrus is activated in the brain, signalling a primal instinct for successful mothering. If it isn’t stimulated this can lead to a feeling of separation between child and mother. Yet often in the Western birthing system the bonding process is rushed and the baby is taken away from the mother for cleaning, health checks, and so on, before the process has been completed. In contrast to bonding with the mother, the baby is often subject to (often unnecessary) routine injections, so not only are they separated from their mother during bonding, but often subjected to pain and harsh handling. There is no wonder that many of us have unexplained issues around love and connection later in life.
A Solution to Our Modern Day Birthing Process
Many of us where not born in the comfort of our own homes or in more natural settings. A significant proportion of us came into the world in a traumatic way. Although the impact may still be with us today, there is a way to rewrite the traumas that we experienced during the birthing process. The technique that I created to enable this is called Matrix Birth Reimprinting. It evolved from the popular self-help technique, Matrix Reimprinting, and is a way of going back to the moments that our birth traumas were created, and rewriting them. And it is not only our own birth traumas that can be written. We can rewrite them for our children too.
This technique involves going back to the moment the trauma was created and releasing the emotional, energetic, psychological and spiritual impact that the event of our birth had on us. The results are that when we go back to these moments and rewrite them, we can experience freedom from the issues and beliefs that these traumas created for us, that are still present in our life today.
For more information on how to rewrite your birth see my book, Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life.
[iii] Pearlmutter MD, David, Brain Maker, Little Brown, 2015, pp. 33
[iv] Pearlmutter MD, David, Brain Maker, Little Brown, 2015, pp. 34