Updating My Birth Quotes!

(c) K Orozco

Baby Alaina, 3.5 months, taken at the park by my friend Karen 🙂

“Blessed be all the mothers of mothers.
Blessed be all the daughters of daughters.
Blessed be all the daughters of mothers.
Blessed be all the mothers of daughters.
Now and forever, wherever we are.” –Diann L. Neu

“I have almost given up on the government and the country but I have not given up on birth. I believe rabidly. It is not enough to hold the space for one woman at a time. Peace on earth begins with birth.” –Arielle Greenberg/Rachel Zucker (in Home/Birth: A Poemic)

“In giving birth my attention was pulled inside forcibly by something naturally wild, hot, raw and primitive—something so powerful that my only choice was to surrender.” –Kristin Luce

“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” ~ Walt Whitman

“A new baby is like the beginning of all things–wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” ~ Eda J. Le Shan

“Birth isn’t something we suffer, but something we actively do and exult in.” –Sheila Kitzinger (from promo for new One World Birth film)

“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware … To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory. She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.” ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

“Childbirth isn’t something that is done to you, or for you; it is something you do yourself. Women give birth. Doctors, hospitals and nurses don’t.” ~ Lester Dessez Hazell

“Whether she chooses to birth at home, a hospital or a birth center, it is the right–in fact, the responsibility–of every woman to plan her own baby’s birth with the information, honor and freedom to which she is entitled.” –Cynthia Overgard (in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine)

Life, love, and laughter – what priceless gifts to give our children. — Phylis Campbell Dryden

“A mother’s joy begins when new life is stirring inside… when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.” ~Author Unknown

“Growing, bearing, mothering, or fathering, supporting, and at last letting go…are powerful and mundane creative acts that rapturously suck up whole chunks of life.” –Louise Erdrich

“Perhaps we owe some of our most moving literature to men who didn’t understand that they wanted to be women nursing babies.” –Louise Erdrich

“Labor is about finding your threshold and learning you can go beyond it.” –Rose St. John

“…the labor with which we give birth is simply a rehearsal for something we mothers must do over and over: turn ourselves inside out, and then let go.” –Susan Piver (Joyful Birth)

“The minute my child was born, I was reborn as a feminist. It’s so incredible what women can do…Birthing naturally, as most women do around the globe, is a superhuman act. You leave behind the comforts of being human and plunge back into being an animal…” –Ani DiFranco

“The health of mothers, infants, and children is of critical importance, both as a reflection of the current health status of a large segment of the U.S. population and as a predictor of the health of the next generation.” –Healthy People, 2010

“The miraculous nature inherent in the unfolding of a flower is the very same that moves through a woman as she gives life to the world. We can neither control nor improve upon it, only trust it.” -Robin Sale

“Loving, knowing, and respecting our bodies is a powerful and invincible act of rebellion in this society.” –Inga Muscio

“A new baby’s fresh milk smell causes the mother’s heart to spill over.” -Melanie Lofland Gendron

“…childbirth is much like a marathon…marathon runners know how to breathe, to run, and to complete their race according to their own body signals. Similarly, women know how to breathe, to birth, and to complete the [birth] according to their own body signals. Marathon runners who are true champions are free to stop the fast pace, and even quit the race without loss of integrity.” –Claudia Panuthos

“Birth, like love, is an energy and a process, happening within a relationship. Both unfold with their own timing, with a uniqueness that can never be anticipated, with a power that can never be controlled, but with an exquisite mystery to be appreciated.” –Elizabeth Noble

“…all those tasks and interactions of motherhood, a day full of which might make you feel you’ve ‘gotten nothing done’ because you’ve been in the cycle of care, are the heart and soul of the best brain building possible.” –Lauren Lindsey Porter (Attachment Theory in Everyday Life, in Mothering magazine, 2009)

“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.” –John Burroughs

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” ~ Meryl Streep (via Midwifery Today)

“It is not ‘ladylike’ to give birth. The strength and power of labor is not demure.” –Rhonda (midwife quoted in Gayle Peterson’s An Easier Childbirth Book)

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” —Helen Keller

“The greatest teachers we have are the women we serve.” –Jan Tritten

“…undisturbed (not neglected or abandoned) birth is a powerful initiation into motherhood, not only in a physical and physiological sense, but also in an emotional and spiritual sense.” –Christina Hurst-Prager (in (ICEA) International Childbirth Education Association‘s journal)

“Never hire a midwife who is afraid your birth will go wrong.” –Arielle Greenberg/Rachel Zucker, Home/Birth: A Poemic

“It is dangerous to be right on a subject on which the established authorities are wrong.” –Bumper sticker quoted in the book Home/Birth: A Poemic

“Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth.” ~ Valerie El Halta

“I see generations of women bearing a flame. It has been hidden, buried deep within, yet they hand it down from generation to generation still burning. It is a gift of fire, transported from a remote and distant world, yet never extinguished.” –Kim Chernin

“Birth is as vast and voluminous, as unfathomable and inevitable as the rising and setting of the sun. And true to the inexorable power and rhythm of their life-giving bodies, women will continue to birth with dignity, grace and courage.” –Mandala Mom

“I pity the folks at ACOG who think they can make protocols, rules and guidelines that will cover all births in all situations. A better goal would be to have clinicians who can think for themselves, distinguish complications from normal birth, relax when things are taking a while, and marvel over the consistently fascinating process of human birth” -Gloria Lemay in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine

“A pair of substantial mammary glands have the advantage over the two hemispheres of the most learned professor’s brain in the art of compounding a nutritive fluid for infants.” ~Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

“The energy that can rise in real connection is the stuff of revolution.” –Carol Lee Flinders

“A woman meets herself in childbirth” –Cynthia Caillagh

“I believe that these circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we’re weak and sing with us when we’re strong.” –SARK, Succulent Wild Woman

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman

“If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit of humanity it will be a power such as the world has never known.” –Matthew Arnold

“Authority without wisdom is like a heavy ax without an edge: fitter to bruise than polish.” ~ Anne Bradstreet (Feeling frustrated with anti-midwifery legislators in Missouri and then this quote came along from Midwifery Today’s e-news and I thought it was quite fitting)

The midwife teacher’s first concern is to preserve the students fragile unborn thoughts, to see that they are born with their truths intact, that these truths do not turn into acceptable lies” — from the book Women’s Ways of Knowing (shared by a participant in the Birth Workers and Beyond group)

“…we do not have humanized birth in many places today…Why? Because fish can’t see the water they swim in. Birth attendants, be they doctors, midwives or nurses, who have experienced only hospital based…medicalised birth cannot see the profound effect their interventions are having on the birth. [They] have no idea what a birth looks like without all the interventions, a birth which is not dehumanized.” –Marsden Wagner

Childbirth is a rite of passage so intense physically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, that most other events in a woman’s life pale next to it. In our modern lives, there are few remaining rituals of initiation, few events that challenge a person’s mettle down to the very core. Childbirth remains a primary initiatory rite for a woman.” –from the book MotherMysteries

“The holistic model holds that birth is a normal, woman-centered process in which mind and body are one and that, in the vast majority of cases, nature is sufficient to create a healthy pregnancy and birth. The midwife is seen as a nurturer.” –Penfield Chester (midwife)

“Birth, like love, is an energy and a process, happening within a relationship. Both unfold with their own timing, with a uniqueness that can never be anticipated, with a power that can never be controlled, but with an exquisite mystery to be appreciated.” –Elizabeth Noble

“If there is ever a part of human anatomy that resembles the image of God it is the uterus.” –Reverend Darren Cushman-Wood

(I hesitated to share this quote because I thought it could be viewed as disrespectful [or even sacrilegious!] by some. But, it caught my eye in an article called Pharaohs and Kentuckians in a 1997 issue of Mothering magazine. Written by a pastor of a Methodist church about homebirth and spirituality 🙂

Modern culture often teaches us to be ‘tight’…trim, taut, & terrific…We understand the need to stay ‘fit’…but we would also like to encourage you to soften yourself, in preparation for mothering & nurturing your baby. Soften your viewpoint, soften your body, surrender to this awe-inspiring event…in this way, you will be preparing yourself not only for labour, but for the days & years afterward…” -The Pink Kit Method For Birthing Better®

“Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace—that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in.” —Coretta Scott King

Nurturing is not a genetically feminine attribute. Tears and laughter are not the province of women only. The last time I looked, men had tear ducts. They had arms for holding babies. They cared about their children. And they cried at births…let the shared experience of childbirth reclaim the human soul.” –Ariska Razak (midwife and healer)

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” ~Erma Bombeck (via Moby® Wrap)

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