The Importance of Excluding Onlookers From Freebirths

13 12 2013

If you’re going to be of service to women and want to be taken seriously, having a well-rounded education is important. There are many things you’ll want to know before you can safely feel adequate to provide “care”. One important thing to know on laboring women is, when it comes to witnessing their homebirth, UC (unassisted childbirth) is not a spectator sport.

ImageEven if you allege to be hands off, the problem of the observer is one hopefully known to all UCers and would-be UCers. It is one of the reasons (maybe even a main reason) why many women decide on freebirth at all. One of my favorite writers on natural birth, Michel Odent, talks frequently of the mammalian needs in birth. Of our four basic needs, privacy is one of them. Without it, the mother senses danger and this complicates the labor.

‘To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Michel Odent. Any doula, midwife, or doctor should read this book. 

You can read more here: Do Not Disturb: The Importance of Privacy in Labor, Judith A. Lothian, RN, PhD, LCCE, FACCE, The Journal of Perinatal Education- Advancing Normal Birth, from the US National Library of Medicine- National Institutes of Health (PubMed Central). Sidenote: This link also discusses the fetal ejection reflex, for the interested.

Now some may argue that it is possible to give a woman a feeling (or an illusion) of privacy and still have onlookers or caregivers. I will not debate that at this time, but I will state that if one is trying to observe a birth to determine their own readiness to venture into the fields of midwifery and the like, this learning experience is a detriment to the mother.

“There is no privacy without a feeling of security.” –Birth and Breastfeeding, Odent.

Anything you bring into the birthing space, the mother can sense. Any fears, hesitations, reservations, doubts, lack of confidence, lack of understanding of anything, lack of skill, lack of intuition, she spots like a dog smells fear. She taps into her primal state and the neocortex (rational, human, intellectual thought) attempts to disengage. If she has the awareness in any aspect of her consciousness that you are here to test yourself, this can generate feelings of insecurity in the mother. This is particularly true if you are not in an intimate relationship with her. Feelings of insecurity and lack of privacy will, again, complicate labor.

“Most women who understand what is going on are keen observers not only of their own actions, but of the reactions of those about them to every fresh event or incident. I have laid stress upon the sensitiveness of the mind of a parturient woman; if you wish to deceive them, you will fail.”

Confidence rests upon the knowledge of perfect preparation.”

“During labor, women spot doubt in a doctor’s mind as quickly as a kestrel sees a rat in the stubble… However good an actor or however suave a humbug, confidence has no counterfeit.” – these quotes from Childbirth Without Fear, Grantly Dick-Read.

The woman in labor, sensing any lack or fear on the part of anyone present, is hormonally receptive to those suggestions. This initiates the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle. Labor becomes hard or even dangerous for woman and child.

It is more important that we honor and respect the birthing space of the laboring woman and her most basic, primal needs as a mammal than to use her as a test subject for our own reassurance and education.

There are other ways we will be able to give ourselves a proper education on birth and physiology in order to ascertain in what capacity we may be of assistance to birthing women. Like the saying goes, “reading is fundamental”. I urge people to read, read, read, and learn everything they possibly can about true physiological, natural birth and the actual needs of a birthing woman in labor.

Privacy is one very basic and simple method of providing safety in the birth space of a well-prepared woman. We live in a culture, though, where the most basic methods of prevention are overlooked in favor of the most technical hands-on repairs we can put our logical minds to. But, what if we could avoid those dilemmas?

For example– Instead of relying on knowledge of which massage, drug, or herb will treat a post partum hemorrhage, what about understanding the seemingly invisible causes? The brain-body connection has a lot to do with our most commonly feared childbirth complications, and yet our culture does precious little to recognize and avoid creating the issues to begin with. We must look to the interconnectedness of our systems, hormonal responses to environment and stimuli, etc. If we were to know the birth process from an unhindered, natural, physiological perspective, know the stages of labor through all non-intrusive signs, and respect the mother’s primal birth space needs, our shopping lists and interference levels would dramatically decrease. Healthy, normal births would be the result.

I have noticed that there are many UCers or those researching UC are preoccupied with the fix-it methods, though. They read almost exclusively midwifery and obstetrics texts (if they read at all), they focus on which tools or drugs or herbs can be used in a pinch to solve a dilemma or crisis. In the process, we are neglecting the very root of why freebirth is so important– the undisturbed aspect of birth only it can provide. When we more fully grasp what is primal and physiological, our tools and medicines become more and more useless and unnecessary. This is  such a worthy goal! To lose sight of that and to attempt to mimic health care professionals in all regards in many ways defeats the purpose. We aren’t trying to take over their work, we are trying to transcend their methods.

In other words… If I wanted a medical approach to my care, I would hire a medical professional. But, I digress. Because I associate onlooking with interference, I have touched upon the issue of hands-on as relating to eyes-on. Getting back on track–

For anyone questioning if they could handle the pressure of attending births for a living, I would strongly advise they find their confidence elsewhere than at a woman’s freebirth. I would suggest educating oneself to the utmost of one’s abilities, reading books like the ones quoted here (as opposed to a lot of the more mainstream, feel-good, interference-happy “natural birth” literature). I would recommend reading things which are very pro-unassisted childbirth, where lack of attendants is understood and encouraged on a scientific level, because this will provide technical and biological knowledge and a foundation for what makes this birth safe. That is knowledge that would become confidence-instilling for anyone of the right composition to attend women.

Even starting as a trusted doula for attended births of people you are personally close with (at home or in hospital) can give one an idea of their own abilities. Anything… anything to avoid adding hindrance to what could otherwise be an undisturbed birth. This would be one of the gravest insults to natural birth and the natural birthing woman. The needs of a woman in birth are more important than any education we hope to glean from their experience for our own gain.

In order to properly care for a woman, we must first be able to put her needs above our own wants. Anyone unwilling to do that already has the answer to their own question– they are not prepared to attend her. Let us not behave the way that doctors have which caused us to leave the hospital environment in the first place.

“Every woman is different, and so are her needs in childbirth,” you might say. Yes and no. Psychologically every woman is different. The complex thought processes that make up our personalities and make us especially human varies. On the primal level, however, all of our needs are the same.

We are all mammals, we have built-in instincts designed to protect ourselves and the species. We do not deny our other needs as “individual”– whether a woman needs food, water, oxygen, sleep, and shelter is not up for debate based on her individuality. We all require these things as our physiology dictates. As mammals, we have physiological and hormonal reactions to childbirth events and our environment– even over the subtlest of things– that may go unrecognized or misunderstood to the untrained eye. Since it is the primal nature which gives birth, not who we are psychologically, it is the primal which we should be careful to honor!

What a woman chooses is her right, but it sometimes becomes a battle of what she is willing to partake in on the psychological level versus her most primitive instincts. I would not want to battle with the instincts, personally. You cannot reason with them.

So, even if a woman planning a homebirth or freebirth is gracious enough to invite someone to her birth as an observer or onlooker, this does not mean it will not in some way have a negative impact on her birth. A woman would be unfair to herself to promise someone that she would be comfortable with their presence (and it would be unfair for the onlooker to accept, with that knowledge). The primal need for privacy and the intuition of the laboring woman will strongly overtake most conscious psychological desires she has to be sharing, educational, brave, outgoing, or accommodating. Even a peaceful, knowledgeable, and experienced freebirther may find such an invitation to be a naive and inhibiting undertaking in hindsight. Whether it becomes merely a nuisance or precipitates a crisis, the would-be birth attendant must ask themselves, “is it worth it?”

Anyone considering UC for themselves should likewise acknowledge and honor their deepest needs in childbirth and respect the science of the process. This is the way you give yourself the best, safest chance at the healthiest birth.

Responsibility in Birth: What it Does & Doesn’t Mean

28 09 2012

“I’m taking responsibility for my body and birth now.”

So, you’re having a home birth or a UC (unassisted childbirth, freebirth). You’ve said adios to the medical model and the conventional hospital birth via OB.

“I take full responsibility now.” Has that sentiment been misunderstood? What does and doesn’t it mean? While I can’t speak for everyone, I know that in speaking for myself I will be echoing the voices of many.

It does mean:

  • I’m done letting other people make choices about my body or baby to our detriment.
  • I see the fallacy in mainstream literature which has been filtered and misinforming.
  • I know that Science and Medicine do not always align.
  • I know that doctors are not always right.
  • I, therefore, see the need to educate myself on a point of view contrary to those who may be incorrect.
  • I will recognize that no one cares about me and my baby like I do.
  • I understand that even doctors/midwives with hearts of gold and my best interests at heart are capable of being misinformed or indoctrinated into systems which lie.
  • I know that I contain in me maternal wisdom that cannot be learned by professionals while in college or in practice, and I honor that.
  • I will listen to my intuition in pregnancy and birth; if something doesn’t sit right with me and I ignore it, I know that only I could be responsible for the outcome.
  • I admit the illusory nature of being “under someone’s care”. By giving over my body and health to another individual, however well-trained or well-meaning, I mistakenly believed to have opted out of learning how to manage my own health and have taken a child’s role in my own health. I am not an infant and childbirth doesn’t have to be a surgical procedure, so I will take care of myself.
  • I fully accept the reality that I am the true authority over my life. I am truly the first and sole protector of my baby, as we are connected in a way that can only be felt personally to be best understood. I can no longer deny that I am in the driver’s seat and pass the buck to someone else, who may make the wrong move.
  • I trust myself. I am in tune with my body and intuition, and baby.
  • I recognize that others do sometimes make the wrong moves, and that a lot of that time, they are just doing their best. It is not always their fault, but I reject their best.
  • I accept my best instead.

It doesn’t mean:

  • I’m fully aware of the fact that I’m risking my baby’s life and that if they die, it was all because of me.
  • If the tragic occurs, it is automatically my fault, even if the tragedy were unavoidable.
  • There is no such thing as unavoidable tragedies.
  • All baby or mother deaths or injuries were “meant to be”.
  • I will be at liberty to blame everyone else for whatever happens, immediately revoking my own authority upon bad outcome.
  • Everything magical is automatically promised to me.
  • God loves me so much and my trust in “Him” is so great, that my baby and I would never die in birth.
  • I’m just going to listen to and surround myself with certain people and get sucked in by everything they say, and take their words for everything.
  • I’m not going to prepare in any way, mentally, physically, or educationally. I’m just going to leave it all up to God and accept whatever outcome “He” provides.
  • Medicine and C-sections are never necessary in birth, and I will avoid them at all costs.
  • I have no idea how birth works, natural birth just sounds really cool.
  • I have no emergency plans in place. That’s how I roll.
  • All’s well that ends well!

Being responsible means that you open up your eyes and you take in the various truths from whatever direction. They aren’t always nice or convenient, and sometimes they rock and shake your world views. Being a mature and evolving adult means having to accept that, and adapt.

If you cannot accept your role in a bad outcome when you made choices that had an obvious negative affect on your birth, that is not responsibility. If you were not totally helpless and you knew something was wrong, you had the responsibility to act on it. If you were just ignorant as to what to do, it is your responsibility to rectify that so that it doesn’t happen again.

If you can understand that this universe is a mysterious place and that life is sometimes full of senseless suffering of which sometimes truly no one is to blame, you may not only have responsibility for yourself, you may also possess tremendous grace. Not every tragedy is explainable.

I’m known for recommending homebirth and UC to any and everyone, but it comes with a catch:  first, you must be balanced. Everyone can prepare, and UC or homebirth can be for almost everyone. However, if you go into it without the appropriate intellectual or spiritual fortitude, it could be a recipe for disaster. If one is psychologically unwell or ill-prepared beforehand, and doesn’t have their ideas of what their responsibilities truly are firmly in place, the hospital may actually be their best bet. You’ll still be responsible for choosing the means, but trusting another may be more suitable for your state.

The good news:  you don’t have to start there. You don’t have to accept that. A severely out of shape person may be unfit to run a marathon today, but with training and in the right time, they become able. Get right in the head if your heart is set on homebirth. Meditate, read, learn, grow, and you’ll be ready to understand what your responsibilities are and embrace them happily.

Happy One Year! Giveaway

30 05 2012

It has been one year since In Search of the Perfect Birth was published and our website and Facebook pages begun. It was a proud moment in my life and it’s been satisfying to know that my story resonated with so many of you.  I learned a lot from my own life and if anyone else is learning from my stories, I can be exponentially assured that this was not in vain. It is my privilege to have ever helped anyone because it gives my life added meaning. Thank you!!!

The Second Edition was just released earlier this month, and it’s better than before. Still the same book in content, it is more polished and hopefully an easier book to enjoy than before.

We are celebrating with a giveaway.

The following pages we are proud to announce as our honorary sponsors:

Unassisted Birth/Freebirth
Inside Vaccines

Our active contributing sponsor, we are happy to announce, is:

Pink Moon

Follow our simple Rafflecopter form here at our Facebook page for super easy entries/chances to win.


1. The Grand Prize:

One signed copy, one of the last remaining, of the First Edition of my book, In Search of the Perfect Birth.

One Cloth Diaper (plus microfiber insert) from The Perfect Birth. Your choice of colors from the new Scholar line!

One (additional) Bamboo Insert from The Perfect Birth

   One pair of crocheted baby shoes by Pink Moon. Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows:

Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

One “Boobie Beanie” in your choice of size and color by Pink Moon!

1. Cream/Pink
2. Tan/Pink
3. Tan/Med Brown
4. Mocha/ Med Brown
5. Mocha/Dk. Brown
6. Chocolate/ Dk Brown
Newborn size: 12-13″
3-6 months: 15-17″
6-12 months: 17-19″
child: 18-20″
tween: 19-21″

This grand prize above is SIX great gifts.
The following gifts are single gifts to other lucky potential winners.

2. One of the last remaining First Edition copies of the book, signed.

Have a variety of colors to choose from (winner’s choice) and sizes are as follows
Newborn size fits foot up to 3″
0-3 Months fits foot up to 3 1/4″
3-6 Months fits foot up to 4″
6-12 Months fits foot up to 5″

3. 1 Cloth Diaper from The Perfect Birth. Color chosen for winner randomly; comes with a microfiber insert.

4. These crocheted baby boots from Pink Moon

5. A “Boobie Beanie” from Pink Moon, winner’s choice of color and size (see above).

So enter the Rafflecopter form NOW for a chance to win the Grand Prize of five prizes, or one of the other 4 single prizes! Many thanks for all who’ve supported me over the year. I promise that there is only more to come. Happy Birthday to Us!

Have You Gotten Your FREE ‘In Search of the Perfect Birth’ Yet?

25 01 2012

That’s right. Starting yesterday, and for a VERY limited time, you can get In Search of the Perfect Birth (Kindle Edition) FREE on Amazon.

US link: ISOtPB on Kindle
UK link:  ISOtPB on Kindle

Don’t have a Kindle? Neither do I– you can still get the book. Most of our readers are getting theirs via phone or PC. If you haven’t already, join the hundreds of other people who’ve grabbed it, and make sure you tell people about this. It’ll be over soon.

I have been so, so happy at the amazing response we’ve received. So many pages have graciously shared us, and people have been messaging and commenting wonderful things. I hope you will enjoy the book as much as they have. Thank you to the following pages who have so far shared this free book news with their awesome communities.  Stop by and visit them and see if you like what they have to offer. So many people have been helpful, so I might be forgetting someone– if I have, please, let me know!


The Skeptical Mother  I hope to expose the truth and dispel the lies that are often spread by opponents of homebirth and natural childbirth.
Lactastic Mommy- Your BFF (Best Breastfeeding Friend) [she shared it, twice!] This page is devoted to helping moms and dads with all things breastfeeding in an open, nonjudgmental forum.
Unassisted Childbirth/Freebirth  Unassisted birth also called Freebirth, is giving birth without the assistance of a professional birth attendant.
Undisturbed Birth  Birthing in Freedom
The Mom: Informed  We provide information and web links for parents.
Natural Pregnancy & Childbirth  Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, Waterbirth, Homebirth, Breastfeeding and more.
Funky Little EarthChild  The gentle and not-so-gentle ramblings of a voice for those who cannot speak.
Know Better, Do Better Birth Services   Birth Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Services
Freebirth Australia  A website about freebirth, for freebirthers, by a freebirther!


@esalibirth  Esali Birth: We believe providing knowledge to our students allows them to be removed of cultural stigmas and fear tactics placed on many of us by society.


We are #1 at Amazon Kindle in the Pregnancy/Childbirth category. ♥ In the UK, we are currently ranked #18 in Personal Health on Kindle.

If you haven’t helped us spread the word, you’re missing out on being a part of an extremely great group of people. If you haven’t read it yet, join the hundreds of mothers, activists, doulas, and midwives currently reading the book. The positive feedback has been tremendous… I am truly blown away.

Be on the lookout for another giveaway starting tomorrow. Our book will still be available for free, so this will be something running simultaneously, and it is baby related (of course). Are you curious what it is?

Outsmarting the Dragon

13 09 2011

Unassisted birth is proclaimed by those who don’t ‘get it’ to be “stunt birthing”. I find this a laughable notion because I’m the least likely person to take unnecessary risks. I may do things that other people find bold, but I do them when I find them to be necessary. I will grant you that coming out of our culture, having no real education on unassisted birth, it would be easy to conclude that this is a reckless and merit-less practice, but I don’t deal in preconceived notions, I deal in what is. The fact is, unassisted birth is one of the safest and most pleasant ways you can give birth (if not THE most) ; birth is far safer than we were culturally conditioned to believe.

I swear, I’m no storm chaser, and I don’t do crazy stuff to exhibit bravado. I’m an introvert. I’m a nerd. I have my pride and will stand my ground, but I don’t look for trouble. I won’t start a fight, but I will jump in to stop a situation from escalating or protect someone from getting hurt. I won’t skydive, but if a plane were about to crash and I had a parachute on, I would find the courage to jump. I will chase after people who rob me, I will prosecute people who’ve harmed me. To me, unassisted birth is not a stunt, and I am not doing a trick and being reckless. I am doing something more like all the latter examples I am giving… something I call “outsmarting the dragon”. It’s self-protection and -preservation, really. It’s not putting yourself in harm’s way, even if that seems like the normal thing to do. Sometimes it’s doing what seems brave only when it’s the right thing to do. It’s chasing the right thing when you recognize what actually IS right.

I am not a stunt birther. Like I tend to remark, “I don’t even like roller coasters.” When I was about 17, fresh out of high school, my boyfriend (who is now my husband) and I went with a bunch of our best friends to a theme park for his birthday. We started the time off with one of the baddest roller coasters they had. I made myself get on, even though it looked very daunting to me. “What are you, a punk?” I said to myself. “It’s just a roller coaster. Be brave. Deal with it.” So I did.

I didn’t enjoy myself like my friends had, no. Everything about it felt wrong to my body. My heart beat fast. My boyfriend watched me in concern as I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I felt as though my breathing was halted. I felt tears welling up as I couldn’t catch my breath. This was a fast and furious ride with long steep dips– those are the worst. I hate the feeling of falling. When we got off, they were all happy at how awesome that ride was, but not me. I was happy it was over, and caught my breath, calmed my heart, and let my watery eyes recover.

We all went on other rides and did the usual theme park stuff, nothing as drastic as the first ride… until the end of the night approached. We had time for just one more ride before we left. It was a roller coaster with a dragon theme.  They convinced me to get in line, and I really thought I could do it. However, soon I wasn’t so sure about this one. It didn’t look as bad as the first, but I wasn’t feeling really up to it. The more I considered it, the more I realized how ridiculous it was that I was about to get on something I truly derived no pleasure from in any way, and in fact had no real desire inside to go through with. What was the reason, the purpose? To prove something to myself? I already knew I could do it– I just didn’t want to, didn’t have to. To prove something to my friends? Nah, that’s not my style. I make it a point to befriend people who like me for who I am. I stayed in line the whole time but at the last minute, I decided I wouldn’t get on. It just didn’t feel right to me. I said goodbye and told them all to go ahead without me and I’d meet them on the other side. They actually chastised me, criticized me, were mad with me. They made me feel like I was being a baby. These were my friends, usually very cool people, very tolerant… what did it matter to them that I didn’t want to get on? I wasn’t stopping them from riding. Why would they want me to do something that wasn’t enjoyable to me? I walked out of the line, backtracking through the people, in tears. My boyfriend followed me.

We stood outside the exit waiting for our friends to finish, leaning/sitting against a cement wall. I cried to him that I didn’t understand why they’d want me to do something I was uncomfortable with just for them to have a good time. I couldn’t believe they had made me feel that way about something having to do with personal comfort levels– how silly! We aren’t all daredevils. We don’t all find the same things to be fun. My boyfriend comforted me. Then he said, “Hold on a minute.” He ran over to the gift shop across the way. A few minutes later he returned and handed me a gift. “For you.” He said.

It was a little cup the size of a shot glass that said something along the lines of, “I conquered the dragon”. You know, one of those “I survived the ride” bragging souvenirs. Still wiping away tears, I laughed at him, and said, “But I didn’t even ride the ride!” And I knew what he was going to say in the split second right before he said it: “You did defeat him. You outsmarted him.” I remember smiling at him and hugging him. Even after our friends got off the ride, they were still annoyed with me. We all grew apart eventually. I don’t talk much with them anymore. But, as far as my husband and I go– I still remember that as one of my favorite moments from our story. I don’t know if it translates as such here, but it was romantic, and a great metaphor for us and our life that we’ve faced together. I’ll always remember that moment as one of those perfect ones in life.

Walking away from hospital birth (or even just attended, medicalized birth) was just another way I outsmarted the dragon. I already rode the ride. I knew I wasn’t comfortable with it, knew it didn’t feel right, knew I didn’t like it, even though everyone else was doing it and said it was perfectly safe.  I’m still met with such animosity, confusion, and judgment, more than a decade after this event, from those that seem annoyed with me that I walked away and encourage others to walk away (same mess, different dragon). It’s okay. It’s okay to walk away from something you don’t feel right doing. To me, the real stunt is a hospital birth when no emergency to speak of actually exists. To me, that’s the daredevil activity. I don’t feel safe, knowing what I know about it. I know too much to feel safe anymore there. I don’t want to follow the crowd. I am at peace with this, content to walk away.

Listen to your gut. You don’t have to follow the crowd. Peer pressure still exists, even amongst grown women who have become mothers. Or, maybe it’s all of society. It could be your husband, your best (childless) friend, your mother, your neighbor. Everyone may misunderstand you, thinking you are the one with something to prove. But there is no contest here. Ultimately, all of that is an illusion. It is always just you and the dragon, and you get to choose what you will do when confronted with him. All of those people will disappear from the picture when your life is over, and all you will have is your story in full… the choices you made, your reasons why, and what kind of person you were in heart, soul, and character.

Doing what you have to do for yourself without needing the approval or understanding of others is outsmarting the dragon.

Tackling the Newbie Q: “COULD You Freebirth?”

18 07 2011

Allow me to be blunt. Of course you could. Anybody could. Let’s be clear– birth isn’t something that requires permission of a man in a white coat. Birth just happens. If you relax your body and mind, it can happen quite gracefully. Most women try desperately to stave off birth until Mr. Dr. White Coat can green-light them, but he is not the magical birth fairy,  his presence does not automatically sanction your labor or save the day, and in fact may be detrimental. (In general:) You were never in any danger, but you increase your risk of this when you add more dimensions, more complications, to the essentially simplistic birth process. This is a mental and physical panic you will cause yourself (perhaps without knowing), and the surgeon will be happy to make himself useful and do what surgeons do best– medically manipulate using drugs and instruments.

Don’t need that? Not an emergency? Welcome to Freebirth.

It’s called “free” not because it doesn’t cost you anything (which is nice, too), but because you are doing it on your own. It’s a liberation. Liberation from a system. A system which is fairly new in our society, is founded on misogyny and business acumen (#1 reason to go to hospitals today in the US), and does not have your best interests at heart.

The very position they have you deliver in is an illustration of this. They aren’t doing these things for you, they are doing it for them. And, it is hurting women and babies every day.

Need examples? Here are a few from one of my favorite sites ( I want you to keep in mind that this is common stuff happening to women every day.

In fact, you probably have your own examples, if you’ve ever been pregnant. (Feel free to share them if you like.)

Unless you are having an honest to God emergency (which are rare, mind you), ask yourself– do you really need a hospital or a doctor? Or will childbirth happen with or without their say so? Hospitals and doctors are for sick people. Obstetricians are surgeons; surgeons perform surgery. Pregnancy is not an illness, and labor is not a complex procedure. It is an act of nature, or God, if you will.

I know a lot of women feel strongly that they need to deliver in a hospital “just in case”, but how much of that is conditioning? The conditioning being, that is, that it is almost inevitable that we will need outside help from some authority figure. Are we experiencing our own form of being “institutionalized”? I urge women to start seriously considering if this is our reality today.

It’s a false sense of security, seeing as how most interventions and just medical presence in general is a hindrance on normal physiological birth. It interferes with your primal state and puts your body in a panic mode, stalling or prolonging labor and creating more pain. That’s just the way of childbirth, naturally. We never get taught this, however. We only get taught to walk into the hospital and put it all in someone else’s hands. Then if something goes wrong, we don’t have to be held responsible. Seldom do we know that walking in the door was the first thing to cause a series of bad events, and the catalyst for possible crisis in any birth situation. Losing your responsibility is an illusion, and a doctor being your savior is an illusion and a false sense of security, in an environment that your primal and birthing mind feels more endangered within.

We stay at home because we want to play it safe. Know where the real dangers lie. De-condition your mind. Free birth from a freed mind.

We turn to UC, many of us, after learning the hard way. I myself have had 2 managed births, and 1 freebirth. We wish you could learn from our experiences. We honor our knowing. We have awakened. Honor your knowing.

You Know You’re a Hippie Mama When (My Version)

17 07 2011

I came across this blog and was intrigued, because hey– I’m a hippie mother, right? I just knew I would relate to the post, and then surprised myself in that I differed a bit more than I thought. Below is their list (italics = theirs), and I’ll do cross outs to tweak it to better fit me. Maybe it will better fit you, too?

* you rent bought a birthing pool

It wasn’t even a birthing pool, it was a kiddie fish pool.

My reasons: 1) Why rent when you could buy? After all, if it’s something you can reuse, you can give birth in it again. 2) Where was I going to rent from? I couldn’t do this from midwives… I no longer had any. 3) I had it on good authority that the kiddie fish inflatable pool was just as good as (if not, better than) the ultra expensive birth pools. Those cost just as much to rent as to buy the kids pool. If you want to buy them outright, that’ll be hundreds.

(Granted, my experience had some ups and downs that I don’t care to repeat, so I may fork over the hundreds next time, after all.)

* you are intent on using hypno-birthing over an epidural Hypnobirthing sounds okay, but it also sounds like just another indoctrination into a particular method of birthing or coping, which doesn’t appeal to me exactly (like Lamaze, Bradley, etc.).

If hypnobirthing works for you, that’s cool. I almost tried this. Before my midwife asked me to leave her care, she was going to give me some CDs or downloadable files, because she thought it would help me get through labor more easily. Of course, I never got this info after we “broke up”, so I guess I’ll never know. It’s not something I’m seeking on my own, but am not opposed to learning more about it.

I’ve had an epidural before and can tell you that it is both great and sad. Still, I do advocate not getting the epidural if you can help it.

I advocate birthing naturally, and to me, hypno and epi both seem to be a little more involved than I find necessary. I’m an advocate for birth as simple.

*you have a doula or had a homebirthing midwife

Never had a doula. Had a few homebirth midwives. That experience was one of my traumatic births (my “wake up call”), and then we broke up before I did my third birth, the unassisted one.

* you secretely wish Ina May could be with you at your child’s birth

I don’t want anyone to be with me at my child’s birth! I don’t care how cool they are, I don’t need anyone.

* you know how to tie a moby

Nope. No idea. I think this is babywearing, right? I think it’s kind of cool as a naturally assumed method, for sure. I’m not too big on it as a craze, or a lifestyle gimmick. I’ve always wanted to carry my babies around in something like a papoose, but I never learned how. I would be open to this, though. It probably wouldn’t be part of a club, clique, or contain a name brand, I’m guessing.

* you regularly wake up with a kick to the stomach or a baby ‘self-serving’ from your left boob

This one is fairly true! And I dig it. It’s kind of cool. And, it usually is the left breast. Weird.

* your doctor speaks to you slowly (like you must be from a foreign planet) when you decline their vaccination schedule

My doctor did try to dissuade me from declining vaxes. He’d been with us before our change of heart, so he’d been the one administering some of the first vaccinations. We didn’t have a lengthy talk, but I said what I had to say and he said what he did, and then he didn’t push it. And hasn’t since. Now all three of our kids see him, as we have when we started over 7 years ago. Pretty cool, huh? Having a doctor who will respect your choices and not hold a grudge about it is a nice find!

* you have been carrying around a potty since your child was a newborn

I think portable kid potties are kind of gross. (Sorry!) I take my kids to the toilet. And yes, even my infant, who has peed there a couple of times successfully.

* your baby’s first food is a big ol’ chunk of veg (not a puree) mashed potatoes.

Each baby! Will try on #3 in a month or so.

* you have a pail full of stinky (cloth or compostable) diapers in your house

The only thing that smells is the diaper genie housing the disposable diapers. Ew.

I have a couple of small wetbags for the cloth that I’m using on our newborn (I’m a cloth diaper newbie… third time’s a charm!) and they never smell. I did, however, buy a trash bin to use as a diaper pail. Now I just need some diaper pail liners.

Does anybody have a favorite? Something cool, stylish, easy to use, no-smell, etc.? Let me know what you like best and why. Here are some I was seeing on the internet. If you have an opinion on them, tell me what you think.


* you do a dance for joy when your kid does their first sign

I always wanted to teach my kids signs, but never got around to it (just like a number of foreign languages I hoped they’d learn). I have signed and sung the manual alphabet since they were babies, but not in a way that was often enough, or ever caught on. We communicated in ways which were specific to us. I understood their “language” when others didn’t. I understood their looks, their nonverbal cues, gestures, and ways of expressing things. My daughter was a late speaker and yet we had no problem talking with her for the first few years of her life. We do have a sign language book that she has been reading now that she is older, however.

Anyway, what we have done was our thing and it has worked for us.

* your child’s toys are Waldorf approved

I don’t know nor care about Waldorf. Is that wrong? I’m sure it has its value as does most any thing or method, but it always comes across as gimmicky to me, and again, I’m not looking for indoctrination.

Plus, I like things that light up.

* your back aches from carrying your one year old round in a sling

My back aches anyway. The only slings I ever owned were store bought and had a cut-off at 20 lbs.

* you are always being told how cute your kid looks in that amber necklace

I only recently found out about the amber teething necklaces. At first I thought it seemed weird, gimmicky, or maybe a slight bit nutty. But, like many things that strike me nutty at first (unassisted childbirth, anyone? eating the placenta, anyone?), just that spark of interest and inquisitiveness gives way to learning and inspiration. I would really love to try am amber teething necklace on Sage.

And, it will look cute on him. He’s already my little Buddha, so he’ll be extra hippie-ish in his necklace. But, I wouldn’t be doing it just because it is cute, and not all babies look cute in it. (Sorry.)

*you are breastfeeding a child who can speak in whole sentences

Extended breast feeding is just really not for me. My 2 year old is just starting to speak simple, complete sentences, and I stopped breastfeeding him about a year ago.

If it works for you, I won’t judge you, but it’s one thing I’ve never really been that into, personally.

* you teach your kid that gluten dirt is yucky

And, they still get to play in dirt. They don’t have any allergies or conditions, so, we’re good.

* you find yourself singing along to the ‘hello song‘… even though there is nobody else in the car

I have no idea what the hello song is, but I have laughed at myself for realizing I was, alone, singing children’s songs to myself.

Even better, my kids and I listen and sing to music their parents like, because it’s cool.

* you think Mayim Bialik rocks  is okay and that tiger-mom is a bit doolaley   demented

WTF is a doolaley?

* you think exposing your kid to germs is good for him  but pesticides are hazmat

I’m not a germophobe or germophile. I like to keep my kids away from sick people and nasty stuff, but I don’t carry around sanitizer with me. I use natural methods of cleaning as well as toxic ones. I get organic stuff when I am able. I’m not overly committed to or against either one, but I see the points of each. I think there’s a balance we have.

* you eat your placenta

Not the whole thing, and never thought I would… but I did!

How many of these can you tick? Frankly, two or more and you are a hippy-mamma! I know, I know, you don’t think of yourself as a hippy…  I do. the question is ‘do other people?’ For the record, I am not the hippiest hippy in the valley, I tick 14 out of 20 of those. Now, fess up and leave a message if any of these sound like you :p Feel free to add your own on, too! via You know you are a hippy-mama (or papa) when… « Loving Earth Mama.

So, obviously hippies come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and like most of this stuff, it’s interesting and usually harmless to compare and contrast. I just wanted to color in my shade of hippie for you, since some of it was too mainstream for me, while other stuff was too unusual for me.

All in all, I think you are a hippie mother or father if you do things because you feel you are in tune with nature and the needs of your children, and are trying your best to fulfill them without sticking to the rigid standards and expectations of others in society (and that includes other so-called “hippies”).  🙂

[I did like the blog post from Loving Earth Mama, and felt that it was done from a peaceful place. My two cents here are just to sort of spin-off of that and are in no way coming from a mean-spirited place.]