A wonderful cranial osteopath by the name of Emma Westlake recently said to me ‘ Your body knows what to do’. This should be the mntra of every pregnant woman. ‘My body knows what to do’. Because it does. Even though our entire birth system- be it antenatal care, birth preparation classes or our cultural obsession with horror stories- suggests otherwise.
As much as we choose to focus on the rare abnormalities and the potential but unlikely risks, the truth is our bodies and instincts are extraordinary. When the natural process is left undisturbed, when a woman is left to be her own physical and mental master, then the vast majority will birth without help or complication. There are 6.5 billion people on the planet- most of whom have been born without access to modern medecine- proving the point that we are pretty good at this birth thing.
Whilst medical advance has ade up for where nature has lacked, the truth is a lot of the problems that have afflicted child- bearing in the past have been man-made- based on a lack of hygiene or nutrition and on the insistence on interfering.
We should be grateful for when doctors save us or our babies- of course we should- and as the grateful recipient of an emergency caesarean I do not make such a comment lightly. But intervention very often happens unnecessarily, or as a result of previous intervention and it is this that leads to a mistaken belief in the incompetence of nature. We have, sadly, made birth more abnormal than it needs to be, ensuring that both woemn do not believe in themselevs or their bodies any longer. Yet women have given birth in comas. You body knows what to do.