Women’s bodies magically transform an egg into a living being. Transferring that being into the world takes a very delicate hand and happens one way or the other – vaginally or via Cesarean (the escape hatch).
Every woman wants to manifest their ideal vision of their birth plan and since the birthing business is a billion dollar industry, many people and companies want to influence your vision. As much as the industry is about life and death it’s also about facing all your fears and laboring your love.
Expectant mothers seek support on their journey from people like Latham Thomas Founder of Mama Glow who is a health and wellness coach, doula, yoga teacher and author of the soon to be published book Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous & Abundant Pregnancy (Hay House, November 2012).
Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time and modern technology has aided the advancement of childbirth, maternal health and decreased child morbidity rates. Although technology offers more choices for women, many women are opting for a simpler birth plan, namely, natural home births without monitors and epidurals.
Ricki Lake & Abby Epstein produced a documentary film series called the “More Business of Being Born” and screened “Celebrity Stories” in NYC as part of the Mama Glow Salon Series. Celebrities candidly share their reasons for home birthing and intimately re-live their experiences, including, Cindy Crawford, Alanis Morissette, Christy Turlington, Gisele Bunchen, Melissa Joan Hart, Allison Hannigan, Laila Ali and Kimberly Williams Paisley.
The basic birthing factors:
Choice. As Elyssa Stern of Diva Moms said during the panel discussion following the screening “it’s all about choice”. There are many options – your doctor, venue, water birth, drugs, who’s in the room with you. Empower yourself with knowledge of the options and respect your preferences despite other’s opinions. Each woman felt strongly in opting for a home birth. Each also echoed the sentiment that no matter how well prepared, the experience is unlike anything you’ve ever imagined or could plan for. If the health of you or your baby is in jeopardy understand that your choices may be limited.
Conviction. A commonality among the celebrity moms who succeeded in having a home natural childbirth was their to their core conviction that there were no other options available and held true to this all the way through.
Trust. Trust your instincts as your body knows what it’s doing. Your logical mind is another story. Find a team you trust. Gisele, seemed to have an easy almost whimsical birthing experience conveyed how she fully felt in partnership and unison with her soon to be born son believing “I had to do my job and he had to do his. He actually had more work to do to get himself into position and to come out into this world and I just had to stay relaxed so my body could do its job.”
Doula vs. Midwife. A doula works as a prenatal, labor and post-natal coach. Doulas help expectant mothers understand the birth process and options to create a birthing plan and provide you with the knowledge needed so you can advocate for yourself. They cannot speak as a medical authority during the birth in the hospital but will provide support during labor with positions and breathing guides. Midwives are healthcare professionals that can deliver your baby and act as the medical authority in attendance at the birth. Both can and will attend to you for a home birth.
Comfort: The comfort of home versus a strange sterile hospital environment appealed to the Celebrity moms. If you reside in a studio apartment and can’t walk your park like grounds through labor you may opt for a hospital that has some alternative methods available like The Birthing Center at St. Luke Roosevelt Hospital or the Brooklyn Birthing Center. Tour the hospital before your due date to gain familiarity and learn their administrative procedures.
Hypno Birth. Michelle LaDue, a doula and Founder of Moonflower Acupuncture fully believes in hypno birthing and sees a dramatic difference in the ease of the birthing experience for her clients who utilize this practice of focus and relaxation before and during birth.
Awareness. The awareness and connection with your body is maintained throughout a natural birth whereas it’s numbed by epidurals. Alanis was surprised at how grounded she felt in her body while pregnant and how hyper-aware she was of what was happening during her natural home birth. There was no escaping the intensity of the pain once it had started. The ring of fire when the baby crowns, the tearing, all of it very much felt.
Escape Hatch. It’s not all fun and games and sometimes things do not go as planned. If it becomes clear that a Cesarean is the road you are heading being responsible for your welfare comes first. Many women who have c-sections feel like a failure and hold a stigma of “I didn’t give birth I just had a baby.” I too felt this stigma and watching this film helped me heal this scar. The sense of pride Cindy Crawford emoted at achieving a natural home birth would turn anyone into a warrior birthing goddess but sometimes even a warrior must lay down her arms and put her best laid plans to rest.
On the way home from the screening my friend and I were re-counting our own birth stories and the ease and challenges of welcoming our little bundles. Ultimately, safety is key and your journey together to transition baby into this earthly world is just beginning of a lifelong partnership and journey of self discovery.
Support the “Business of Being Born” film series via the fundraising collaboration for the Classroom Edition at Crowd Rise.
ABOUT MAMA GLOW: Mama Glow is a holistic lifestyle hub for women to explore their creative edge through wellbeing. Founded by Latham Thomas, prenatal wellness maven and co-founder of Mama Glow Film Festival! Mama Glow is also the title of her forthcoming book on pregnancy and wellness which has been endorsed by wellness giants including Dr. Christiane Northrup, Richard Ash M.D., Frank Lipman M.D, and Kris Carr.
ABOUT LATHAM THOMAS: A graduate of Columbia University & the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Latham is a maternity lifestyle maven, wellness and birth coach, yoga teacher and author on the vanguard of transforming the maternal wellness movement. Her practice provides support to pre/post natal women along their journey to motherhood offering culinary and nutritional services, yoga and birth coaching services. Latham is emerging as the go to guru for modern holistic lifestyle for women during pregnancy and beyond! A sought after nutrition and lifestyle expert, her television appearances include The Dr. Oz Show, Fox news LIVE, CBS News, NBC-LXTV, and inside Edition. She has been featured in the NY Daily News, NY Post, Time Out New York, Vogue.com, Whole Living, the cover of Experience Life Magazine and The New York Observer. She lives in NYC with her son Fulano and their turtle Climby. Latham is helping to green the planet one belly at a time.
Disclaimer: This article presents an opinion only and should not to be construed as offering medical advice.
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