“A well taken care of and rested mama almost always translates into a well taken care of and rested baby. Respecting mothers is an act of social change.” –Mother Health International
“The way a society views a pregnant and birthing woman, reflects how that society views women as a whole. If women are considered weak in their most powerful moments, what does that mean?” –Marcie Macari (She Births)
“…it is not easy for women to lay claim to our life-giving power. How are we to reclaim that which has been declared fearful, polluting and yet unimportant? How are women to name as sacred the actual physical birth, which comes with no sacred ritual…?” –Elizabeth Dodson Gray
Birth matters. It truly does. The impact is often ignored or minimized, but giving birth remains one of life’s most profound, pivotal, liminal, and initiatory events. Bizarrely, this is overlooked by much of modern culture. We spent many thousands of dollars on weddings each year as well as months of planning and preparation for “just one day,” and yet in pregnancy and birth are willing to let insurance companies dictate access to care providers and let care providers dictate access to evidence-based care. Some time ago I expanded the wedding analogy into a satirical look at why birth matters:
You stop sharing your feelings, but you can’t shake the memories. What you expected to be a beautiful day filled with love and celebration was not and you feel a real sense of grief at the loss of your dreams. You know you shouldn’t feel this way. You know that what really matters is your healthy, happy husband, but you keep wondering if your wedding really had to be that way. Yes, you love your husband and you are so happy that he is healthy, but you also wonder if that really is all that matters. Don’t you matter too? Doesn’t your relationship matter? What about respect, dignity, love, and self-worth? Don’t those matter too? Wasn’t this a special life transition for your family? Wasn’t it the beginning of a special relationship together and couldn’t that relationship have been celebrated, honored, and treated as worthy of care and respect?
And, in a different post I made a list of why I care about birth, concluding with the following:
Because I know in my heart that birth matters for women, for babies, for families, for culture, for society, and for the world.
So, I particularly loved this quote from Ani DiFranco and I had to turn it into a picture!