Association for Wise Childbearing
Birth is a normal function of the body which, like other
ordinary processes of the body, seldom necessitates the use
of instruments, machines, medications, or drugs.
Both women’s and babies’ bodies were unmistakably designed
for childbirth, and to make it through the process without harm.
In spite of the fears that have long woven their way into our culture’s
way of viewing childbirth, a woman can still give birth with a faith and
trust in the design of her body, in her own inner knowledge, and in
A woman is already an expert at having a baby, whether she knows it or
not. She does not need to be “delivered” of her baby by someone else
under normal circumstances. She is capable of surmounting the challenges
of labor and birth.
Birth is an experience of great significance and consequence for the
baby, woman, father and the other members of the family. That which
results from the experience endures for a long time. The well-being of
the woman, the child, and the father; the very family unit, is of significant
consequence to our civilization. We should approach birth with
nothing less than reverence.
When women are in control of their births, and when they succeed in
their wishes and take on obstacles that confront them, they draw from
this momentous life experience emotional strength and a great sense of
achievement that is taken with them into innumerable aspects of their
All of the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and sexual elements of
labor and birth are profoundly important. The atmosphere in which
a woman gives birth is even more crucial than the proportion of her
pelvis or the size of the baby.
Emotional healing is important for those who have had a prior difficult
and wounding birth and for those who have suffered previous sexual
abuse as these, if left unresolved, can negatively influence future birth
There are many different ways and places in which to birth. It is a woman’s
right and responsibility to make the choices necessary to birth in
the best possible ways for her baby and herself. These decisions are not
for her caregivers to make. They belong to her, and it is up to her to
make them wisely.
Not all choices are created equal. There is almost always one choice
that is superior to another. Also what may be right for one woman may
not be right for another. If a woman doesn’t know her options she really
doesn’t have any.
Interventions would wisely be saved for the exceptional circumstance
when nature needs a little help, and not as routine management for every
birth and every mother and baby. The process of birth can be, and often
is, upset or even halted by physical interventions and disturbances.
The birthing family is not only the consumer, but is the employer of
those who will serve them at their births. If they do not like what a
particular caregiver or birth place is offering, they would be wise to
seriously consider hiring a different caregiver and/or place of birth.
The psychological nature of the process of birth makes this a vulnerable
time for the mother. It is also an emotionally vulnerable time for
the father. Both may be more willing to accept the decisions of others,
particularly those in authority, at this time. It is therefore essential to
ensure beforehand, that all of the members of their birth team share the
same philosophies and desires for this birth.
When someone plans to attend a woman in labor, they must be sure
that they have resolved any “hang-ups” within themselves. A woman
in labor can easily pick up on, and be affected by the fear and the psychological
issues of members of her team.
Those who attend birth have the opportunity to recognize the sacred
nature of the event and act with reverence and respect.
The woman is in charge of deciding who will be at her birth, and she
has the right to not invite or to dismiss anyone.
The support of a caring doula can be of immeasurable assistance to the
mother, father, and other members of the birth team.
Good nutrition is fundamental to a healthy pregnancy and birth. It can
have a profound impact on the health of the baby and the kind of birth
the woman and baby will have. Restrictions on healthy food can be
seriously harmful to both and the outcome of the birth.