I’ve had an epiphany recently, after almost 6 years of being a midwife. It’s been quite an eye opener and it’s all thanks to a Facebook group… I mean, who knew it could be such a powerful influence in our lives?!
The group is called BirthTube. It was set up with the idea of giving mums a private-ish space to livestream the birth of their babies. At first, I thought there’s no way anyone would want to but I was proven wrong. There’s thousands of members in the group. And this past week I’ve seen at least three mums meet their babies. It’s a-mazing.
It’s given me a whole new perspective on birth. My experience so far, has been ‘in the moment’ as a midwife (and a mother) or watching edited videos online. The trouble is that, as a midwife, I feel immense pressure to be ‘doing’ or ‘thinking’. I’m rarely able to almost stand back and enjoy the moment. Not because that’s the way it should be but because that’s the way the maternity system has conditioned me to be over the years.
Watching these unedited, real-life, raw women birthing their babies, this whole new perspective. That is what has given me this epiphany. Are you ready for it?
BIRTH IS BORING!
*gasp* *shock* *horror*
She said what now?!
Yup. That’s what I said and that’s what I meant.
Now, let me explain why this is a bloody good thing…
We are conditioned over our lives to believe that birth is dramatic, scary, exciting, traumatising and shocking.
Because that’s what makes good TV and that’s where the majority of us get our exposure to birth. It’s probably one of our first experiences of it, in most cases at least.
We are taken through a 2 minute long scene, of a woman sweating, screaming and getting ever redder-faced, whilst her partner stands there like a pale lemon. It’s entertaining.
So, when we come to birth our own babies we assume that this is birth. The trouble is, that *even* if that scene were to ring true with real life, it’s only accountable for about 0.03% of the time that woman has spent in labour.
The scene that is so often shared is the ‘crowning’ and the birth itself. These are the very last moments of a labour that has probably lasted hours, if not days. But to show the moments leading up to the birth, that would be boring, so they are edited out.
Even those lovely birth videos on YouTube of real women giving birth are often edited in a way that highlights the same part of the birthing process.
And I get it.
It makes sense, because, of course, it’s the most exciting part. It makes sense to highlight it for the viewing pleasure of your audience.
However, watching the live births of BirthTube- the videos can be hours long. They often skip out the first part of the labour- of course because otherwise they could be days long but generally you get to see at least the few hours before the birth.
And seeing that is where I got this brand new perspective. I’m watching a mum go through her labour, she’s having a surge every 4 minutes perhaps, then resting for 3 minutes in between. That means the majority of the time is spent in rest and what’s ‘entertaining’ about that? Essentially, watching someone sleep?
It’s not entertaining and that’s why it’s always edited out but that is what is key here.
When you give birth, do you want to be entertainment for people?
Or do you want be birthing in the way that your body was meant to? Moving with your surges, resting in between? Quietly supported by your loving partner?
I know which one I’d prefer and I know which one is optimal for us as a race.
So, why not hop into the Facebook group? The videos are kept, so you can watch back a birth that has already happened or you might be lucky and catch one in action. Have a watch, see what you think. Will it turn your idea of birth on its head?
I hope so.
If you would like to join us and start your journey to our a better way of birthing, the way where you’re in control, your birth partner is involved and on board and you rock your birth, whichever way you’re baby is born… come and join us for a full hypnobirthing course! Just click over to the ‘Courses’ tab to see what’s on offer or send us an email and start the conversation.