All life on Earth is wild and mysterious and resilient. Women are the highest example of this, living the reproductive biology of blood mysteries every month from menarche to menopause. We sync with the natural rhythms of the earth and moon. We create, release, and create again. Just as our bodies know how to ovulate, bleed and grow babies, we know how to birth them. The vast majority of women can successfully give birth without medical assistance.
Further, the process of primal, physiologic birthing ensures the completion of essential neurological and hormonal loops vital to human survival, emotional security and happiness. As the life givers, women have been the guardians of birth and mothering since the beginning. Childbearing traditions, information and wisdom still collectively belong to childbearing women, despite efforts to colonize women’s bodies and birth.
Our societies have created numerous systems designed to sever women from their bodily wisdom and power, and to disrupt the flow and transmission of that wisdom and power. Only when women are rightly restored as the guardians of their bodies and births will individual women, society and the earth’s ecology have a chance to heal.
Midwives have been a vital part of nurturing women and our collective, primal experiences across time, assisting women in all aspects of health, fertility, birth control, birthing, healing, herbology, and mothering. In order to keep the wisdom web intact for future generations, midwives must double down in the face of adversity, persecution and prosecution and continue to hold space for the wild nature of birth and the capacity of women to birth spontaneously and joyfully.
Giving birth at home affords women the opportunity to birth autonomously and free from interruption and intervention. Giving birth at home protects the species-specific, healthiest microbiome seeding of the baby at birth in the presence of the family’s natural ecology — vital for optimal immune system development and lifelong health. Giving birth at home allows women to birth in dignity and privacy, and to welcome their baby in their own intimate way, unencumbered by institutional preferences and practices.
Every woman possesses the inner wisdom and strength to give birth in the way that suits her best. Yet– we do not birth in a void. A tragic byproduct of the medical-industrial colonization of birth is that women have been conditioned women to believe that their bodies are problematic, and that birth is fraught with danger that requires medical intervention. (The problem is the system, not women). Most women in the US choose to give birth in a hospital and I fully support women’s autonomy to birth where they feel safe and to use medical interventions as desired.
Modern obstetrics has contributed life-saving procedures and treatments to childbirth. I believe there *is* an appropriate place for medicine in childbirth and, in the best interest of bother and baby, I eagerly bridge midwifery and medicine for the safest outcome. The use of obstetric technology should be be used judiciously and consciously towards helping mothers and babies safely traverse high-risk complications when they arise. I am grateful for the mutually respectful collaborative relationships I have had with physicians. When medical intervention is warranted, women and babies have the safest outcomes and most satisfying experiences when midwives and physicians work together to support woman-centered, physiological birth.