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Birth is like an emergence from the life of a caterpillar and into a butterfly. Life as we once knew it changes forever. A new part of ourselves is awakened, wings emerge, and we fly into this world as a changed being. This happens for all who give birth, whether their baby is injured, healthy, or lost. Each birthing person’s experiences impacts their life as the ‘butterfly’ and as such, it’s essential that it’s handled as intricately as an emerging butterfly should be.
Birth in and of itself being treated like a medical event and/or an emergency is a major problem in our over-medicalized/hospitalist culture. Way too many people have been told that their lives, or the lives of their babies, were saved, when in reality the issues were iatrogenic (induced unintentionally by a medical provider).
The reality is that many of these issues where birthing people and their babies are allegedly in danger, it’s due to medical error or unnecessary/routine intervention. Medical error in general, is the third leading cause of death in the US, yet birthing people look to medical providers as the ones to make their health choices for them and this should not be so. We should only seek out medical assistance when we need more information in which to make the decision for ourselves; being willing to seek out second and third opinions. The medical provider would then perform what we decide should be done and we pay them for that service. Many of the issues faced in assisted birth, would not be faced if bodies were allowed to do what they were created to do – both by the birthing person and their medical provider.
There are situations when the need for assistance may arise. In these situations, it is a great that we have the option for those educated in saving lives. In these events where doctors indeed need to save lives, the technology, education, and skills are a great asset to our modern world. It’s a travesty that it’s being used in the way that it is – as a crutch to avoid pain or to feel better in the midst of fear despite the risks. Even worse, it’s often used by medical providers as a form of asserting power and control (which is absolutely abusive and should be criminal in the medical world). Our culture as a whole doesn’t generally support anyone asserting their power and control over another against their will, except for those in the position of medical need many immediately will embrace the concept and even stand by or participate in the abuse. This needs to change.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but medical providers are NOT, nor have they ever been, in any position of authority over our bodies or our health care. WE are. You have the authority over your body. Period.
Allowing unnecessary, routine, and precautionary interventions in the midst of birth serves one purpose and ONLY one purpose: to create a sense of security. Many have accepted these interventions, allowing and embracing them, as It gives people a sense of control where in nature, we can’t control everything. When we try to control the outcome, instead of addressing what comes, this – this is where danger occurs.
In the case of the emergence of a butterfly, if one breaks open the cocoon to assist the butterfly, this can actually be to the detriment of the butterfly. The butterfly needs to break through the cocoon on its own in order to establish the strength it needs to be able to fly. Without flight, the butterfly will surely not be able to live its life to its fullest. It might be alive, but what is its quality of life? Have we actually done it a favor? The butterfly may never know anything other than its experience and believe their life was saved due to the interventions, and accept that it can’t fly, but that absolutely could have been avoided.
Of course, if a butterfly could communicate and knew something wasn’t right, they could say they needed help. In this case, the risks would then be worth it. Save the life, even if one can’t fly… but don’t steal flight from someone who would otherwise have soared beautifully.
Hello freebirthers and those learning more about it! Sorry this is long (hence the blog entry), but I think you’re gonna want to read it! I’ve got something for you, and I would SO love your participation!
As some of you may have seen me or Desirae post on Facebook, we have been working on a freebirth project and we just released the e-magazine today, and the podcast is in the works as editing is being done! We can’t keep providing these resources without freebirth experiences! Would you be willing to get involved so someone else can learn, be inspired, and be awed from your experience?
You can email us your freebirth story for the magazine (500-2000 words and a few pictures if you like), or send your recorded birth story on in to be included on the podcast (contact info down below). ALSO we have had the honor of having our magazine translated to Spanish, which will be released very soon as well! A huge thanks to Selma for her hard work in making that an option for the Spanish speaking folks!
The first edition of the e-magazine has 90 pages of stories and articles, as well as freebirther business ads/promotion, and freebirth supportive birthkeepers and midwives! Lots of freebirth goodness! A new issue will be offered every couple of months! We’ve priced it affordably at $5, so we hope you’ll grab one and enjoy!
If you’d like to get involved in any of the ways shared above, reach out! We’d love to feature you in the magazine and you will get a free copy of the issue your story is in!
To reach us:
Our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/birthsetfreeproject
Our Instagram Account: @birthsetfreeproject
To Purchase the E-Magazine: payhip.com/birthsetfreeproject
To Record for and/or Listen to Podcast: anchor.fm/birthsetfreeproject
We’d like to feature all sorts of freebirthing experiences so we can all share our stories as well as learn from each other. So if you’ve had any of the following, please consider sharing your story. Anonymity is always an option as well, if you prefer!
- First Freebirths
- Various Religions (or a specific religion depending on how many entries)
- Single mom by choice
- Necessary/unnecessary transfer
- Late term
- Early term
- Large babies
- Small babies
- Premature birth
- Partner perspectives
- Planned freebirth
- Unplanned freebirth
- Car birth
- Outdoor birth
- Freebirth loss/stillbirth
- Birth elsewhere other than home
- Lots of Prodromal Labor
- Prolonged Labor
- Precipitous Births
- Geriatric (“advanced” maternal age)
- Grand Multi Para
- Postpartum Transfer after a Freebirth
- Siblings Present
- Emergency Situations Addressed in-home
Had one that’s not on the list?
We want to hear it! ♥
LOCAL CHILDBIRTH SUPPORT SERVICES IN CENTRAL MAINE INCLUDE:
👉 Free Consultation & Interview 🤝
An opportunity to get to know each other and discuss general birth plans, estimated due date availability, share experience, etc., and ultimately determine if you’d like to hire me as your birth support.
👉 Pregnancy Support🤰
Local pregnancy support services includes four prenatal visits up to two hours each, with discussion on expectations of birth, as well as creation of the of birth plan, discussion of fears and anxieties, cover ways of addressing challenges, etc.
Includes unlimited texts/messages, as well as ministerial support
at no additional cost if interested.
Payment due prior to pregnancy support.
👉 Labor & Postpartum Support🤱
The labor & postpartum support services include 24/7 availability after 36wks, information for risk/benefit analysis, pain management, emergency transfer support, postpartum concerns, etc.
Includes unlimited texts/messages, as well as ministerial support
at no additional cost if interested.
Payment due by 36wks.
👉 Trauma Informed Ministerial Spiritual Support 🙏
(Included with Pregnancy/Birth Services at No Additional Cost)
Where I’m a Birthkeeper as well as a Licensed Independent Minister with independent study and experience on trauma such as domestic violence, childhood sexual abuse, emotional neglect and misattunement, PTSD, etc., I’m also able to offer clients spiritual support through scriptural understanding, prophetic prayer, Biblical counsel on a multitude of topics, as well as Christian Ministerial Counseling Services for those who have an interest towards working through specific barriers in preparation for their birthing and postpartum experience. Additionally, as an artist, I offer trauma work through art, rewriting the narrative of traumatic experiences through pieces that take one’s power back from which it was taken; up to five pieces included.
Available for anyone, not just pregnant/birthing clients.
Payment due upon receipt.
👉Trauma Work Via Art 🎨
(Five Pieces Included with Pregnancy/Birth Services
and/or Ministerial Counseling at No Additional Cost)
Rewrite the narrative of traumatic experiences through pieces that take one’s power back from which it was taken. For example, this can be by drawing a family photo with an abuser removed, drawing an experience and adding a family member who passed away, or drawing the birth as you envisioned, etc. These help to bring closure and healing in various ways.
Payment due within 14 days of request.
👉 À La Carte Services Available 👏
(Pick and Choose Which Services You Prefer)
This is a great option for those who are only interested in one aspect of support.
👉 Choose All Services – Discount Offered 🙌
Selecting this package includes the virtual and/or local services of pregnancy, labor, & postpartum support, art counseling, and ministerial support all at a discounted rate. If you aren’t sure and start with á la carte services, the cost will be adjusted accordingly and will be issued after postpartum visits are completed.
Interested in Virtual or Local Services? Fill out the form below for more information and to schedule a FREE consultation & interview!
If you’re interested in becoming a certified Birthkeeper/Doula through Holistically Empowered Rebel Birthkeeper Academy of Learning (H.E.R.B.A.L) use this affiliate link!
What is a Birthkeeper/Doula?
A Doula is a female servant to the pregnant, birthing, and postpartum person. Providing emotional, physical, and spiritual support, Doulas are a resource for educating birthing people and their support team, as well as holding space as they encounter their own power.
A Birthkeeper is a Doula who also keeps the space surrounding each woman sacred, safe, and undisturbed. She’s a bodyguard of sorts, taking a stand to protect bodily autonomy and the primal process of growing, nurturing, and bringing forth life.
As a Birthkeeper & Doula, I’m now available to support people virtually, at the hospital or in the home, unassisted or with a medical attendant; I support the first time parent or the parent of many; I will stand with the one in need of a cesarean and the one planning a vaginal birth after a cesarean; and while I’m still learning ways to better support others from varying cultures and life experiences, my desire is provide support for all birthing people regardless of race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Everyone deserves respect, support, and to be treated with dignity.
I have seven children. Carrying them in my womb, birthing them, and guiding them through each milestone has been the sweetest and most challenging gift. Being this role in their lives is the greatest contribution to my drive to become a Doula and Birthkeeper. I’ve experienced the sacrifice firsthand. The beauty in sacrifices is that they transform. Sacrifice transforms into treasure.
I became a certified Doula & Birthkeeper because I love supporting families on their journey of bringing their babies from the womb to loving arms. It is an honor to provide emotional, physical, and informational support throughout pregnancy, through labor & birth, and into the postpartum and transitional period. Every family deserves a safe, sacred space to bring their babies armside. It’s my desire to provide such support, keeping the birth space a place of peace, calm, and empowerment.
When I began birthing unassisted, my greatest support has always been my husband. Even with my assisted births, I only wanted my husband near me. He reminds me what I’m made of, he encourages me in my power, he holds me up, he holds my hand, he listens, and he pays attention; he’s present. I love how intently he looks at me as I work through challenges I face. This type of support is what everyone deserves. This is my drive for supporting women in birth – standing in where there is no support or fostering a space that allows partners to be the support that is needed.
Interested in getting your Birthkeeper & Doula Certification? Check out H.E.R.B.A.L. (Holistically Empowered Rebel Birthkeepers Academy of Learning)!
After I shared a post on Facebook regarding Pitocin, I was asked about its use after birth. When I went to go grab some resources, I found I had no entries on hemorrhage! So here I am, making one. Below, at the bottom of this entry are a couple of articles that have some great alternative options for postpartum bleeding.
When I gave birth to my firstborn, before my placenta was born and I was preoccupied with my baby, I was given Pitocin as a precaution without my knowledge. When I asked about it, I was told not to worry so I assumed it was necessary and accepted what my doctor said. As a result, I agreed to the Pitocin after birth a second time when I had my next baby. Since learning more about it however, I’ve delivered my last five children using alternatives that I felt led to do with each of them instead. Due to the risks, including postpartum depression, associated with Pitocin, I personally prefer alternatives and therefore would only use it in a true emergency situation.
Pitocin is synthetic form of Oxytocin derived from the pituitary glands of mammals including humans, pigs and more. I believe it’s being overused, and the commonality of it’s use as induction despite the recommended caution in the insert explains why. The insert indicates that Pitocin should only ever be used if absolutely necessary because of the risks. You can read more about that by clicking on this link to a post on Facebook that I referenced on the page.
As I mention in Pregnancy & Birth Truths, the belief is that inductions carry little to no risk. However, a medically induced labor is triggering labor, mimicking a spontaneous labor but what’s actually happening is quite different. The use of Pitocin, with a constant drip, does not take into consideration what the body as a whole needs, whereas the communicators in the body determine how much and how often Oxytocin should be released. Therefore, the drugs cause more intense labor than the body is built for and at a pace the laboring woman has a difficult time keeping up with. For a VBAC, this can be especially dangerous because it can put added stress on the cesarean scar, and in some cases lead to uterine rupture. This includes what some deem as “natural inductions” because it is still pushing the body harder and encourages it to go farther than what the body knows it is capable of. However, even for a birth without prior c-sections, this can still lead to pain medication and other interventions.
The best way to address concerns of hemorrhage are to deal with it preventatively. Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Iron are especially important to help with blood flow, strengthening the uterus, and clotting during pregnancy. Red raspberry leaf tea can also help tone the uterus from 36wks until birth. Another way to prevent, is by being more hands off, and don’t force pushing as the birther is laboring and allowing the placenta to detach on its own.
After the baby is born, there are herbs you can take to manage the bleeding. Some examples include Angelica Root, Cayenne, and Motherwort. After the placenta is birthed (this is important due to its clotting ability), Shepherd’s Purse and Comfrey Root are also an option. Also, many have used a piece of their cord or placenta in their cheek to signal to the body that it needs to clot.
This link includes some recipes of tinctures for postpartum care, including hemorrhaging.
To learn more about variations of postpartum bleeding, click here!
“Get the facts on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, or VBAC. See VBAC success rates, VBAC risks, and how you can prepare to deliver your next baby vaginally.
About the Author
Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 75,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.”