The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Almost everyone has experienced some kind of life event, personal situation or cultural conditioning that may affect or interfere with pregnancy, labor and birth.
It has been our experience that it's best to recognize and come to terms with these feelings before labor begins. This may be as simple as acknowledging that your having a baby may be a source of pain for a beloved sister or friend who has had difficulty with birthing. It may be a more complicated reflection of your own mother's attitudes about birthing or becoming a mother or about society's attitudes about women and what it means to be a mother. Or it may be a terribly complex and trying struggle of dealing with childhood abuse that you've fought to ignore.
It is our goal to support you in having the birth experience of your design, and we will do this regardless of what kind of unresolved emotional issues you bring to your labor. However, if you wish to experience your labor and birth as fully as possible, it is essential for you to give emotional issues some thought beforehand. We would ask you now to ask yourself if there are any emotional issues that may cause problems around the time of birth.
If the answer is yes, it is your responsibility to decide what to do about it, and you may choose to do nothing further. However, we would appreciate your at least giving us a sense of the general nature and specific ways we can help you to cope. If you don't know what will help you cope, our knowing about your "stuff" beforehand will allow us time to draw on our experience and to suggest ways of coping from the start of labor rather than waiting until we're battling maternal exhaustion. We wish to respect your privacy, and you may arrange a special appointment to discuss these issues with just one of us, if you'd like.
Although we are not psychotherapists, we have significant experience with women, emotions and birth. We also offer low-cost one-on-one or couples counseling, or we can refer you to professional counselors or therapists. Because of the specific nature and limited time around birth, it is entirely possible to construct coping strategies that do not require you to confront or resolve all your issues. In particular, hypnosis can be very effective as a way of superimposing positive attitudes as a short-term fix to get you through the birth without further emotional trauma.
In summary, we request that you give this issue some thought and let us know if you would like us to help you.
We want to help you keep this labor and birth about your body and your
family in the present. Thank you for helping us to help you experience
this birth as a healing and empowering event.
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