Tuesday Tidbits: Speaking Birth

Someone came to my site recently by searching for: “how to speak birth.” What do you think? How do you “speak birth” in a way that reaches women?

I asked this question on my Facebook page last week and got several responses:

  • With our stories.
  • Every woman is different. You listen to her. Then you respond
  • Speak it forward. Speak everything forward.
  • I speak birth from an awareness stand point, in a non biased stance and of course judgment free and I do A LOT of listening first.

This question also made me think of some of my own past writing about the language of birth and why it is that how we speak birth matters:

Birth Talk

Health Care or Medical Care?

Maternal-Fetal Conflict?

Pain with a Purpose?

Perceptions of Pain

Words for Pain

Consumer Blame

Cut here?? What not to say to pregnant or laboring women…

I also re-read one of my own articles as I worked on a lesson for one of my classes:

“…I also think, though I could be wrong, that it is possible to plan and facilitate women’s rituals that speak to the “womanspirit” in all of us and do not require a specifically shared spiritual framework or belief system in order to gain something special from the connection with other women…”

After sharing the link on Facebook, I got a lovely comment from a midwife sharing that she shares my handouts with her clients in Trinidad and Tobega and I was humbled at how my “talking birth” in this form reaches out across the ocean and around the world. This is why I keep writing, even when I get discouraged and feel like it is an “indulgence” of some kind to write and blog.

While not about birth, but still related to the  overall theme—perhaps how we speak sisterhood—one of my Facebook friends validated my stressed and overwhelmed experiences/feelings of the past month with an “of course” response and I really appreciated it!

“Through the act of controlling birth, we disassociate ourselves with its raw power. Disassociation makes it easier to identify with our ‘civilized’ nature, deny our ‘savage’ roots and connection with indigenous cultures. Birth simultaneously encompasses the three events that civilized societies fear–birth, death, and sexuality.” –Holly Richards

via The Of COURSE response… | Talk Birth.


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