“Women are women wherever they are,” said Dawn Russell on Skype today. Dawn’s been nurturing and hosting Spinning Babies® for the past several years. Today, as 16″ of snow head her way, she is setting up my ResolvingShoulderDystocia.com (going subscription strength April 2015) and asking about my many travels since we sat together in her Brattleboro, Vermont office. Dawn’s business, MyArtisanWeb, was walking distance from my hotel when Dr. Michele Sayball, ND had me present Spinning Babies a little over a year ago. Then the October leaves looked fantastic, today it’s a white and frosty wonderland. We used to have cold and snow in Minnesota. Now we give it to New England!
Dawn mused how amazing it is that I get to meet women in so many parts of the world. I agree. I see women wanting the same things, afraid of many of the same things, and able in the same ways.
Women and Birth
Women know birth. They live birth. They give birth with a power and knowledge within, deeper than logic. Women also want compassionate and responsive help during childbirth. Women everywhere have a need for hope. Childbirth is getting technologically complicated- from the social point of view. And as we’ve heard, humans are social animals. When women have a sense of empowerment, they give each other hope.
Any particular woman has her social standing in her family, community, work, and home. She has skills in caring for herself and others in her home and work circles, whether that’s web work, like Dawn does for me or other jobs, or that’s personalized to self and family. A pregnant woman feels the changes of pregnancy and seeks experienced helpers for a safe passage for her and her child. This is a seemingly universal and social response to pregnancy.
Technological Approach to Birth
America has been busy exporting a technological approach to childbirth which brings a perhaps unintentional message to fear birth. Medical tools as simple as a scalpel all the way to the highly trained anesthesiologist and his or her console of dials and drugs can help save a baby during an obstructed birth (so thankful for their ability!!). To have a medical rescue takes a lot of investment in schooling, production, and administrating of these tools and technicians. They are important.
The shadow side is that the skills to save babies without technology are being lost. Skills are lost because natural birth doesn’t have wide social standing and support for saving. Money is too often a representation of social standing and salary is a glaring difference between doctor and midwife. We have the knowledge to mix the birth team to appropriate percentages of midwives, doctors, and anesthesiologists to support the highest rate of good birth outcomes. It’s not the same percentages in professions as brings the best income to hospital corporations.
So Corporations and their speakers justify why its ok to lose more women to overuse of surgery when a less than 10-15% cesarean rate has the best mom and baby outcome. One administrator told the doctor she was firing that if she wouldn’t sustain at least a 25% cesarean rate that her position wasn’t going to be profitable for the hospital and she’d have to resign or be fired. Good doctors are made to leave.
Reducing Cesarean Rate
If a cesarean rate is over 30% (over 70%?) as it is in Asian and South American cities, even in Mexican cities, women are left wondering two things at once. Isn’t birth natural? And is birth safe?
Can’t we preserve the skills for assisting birth along with skills for drugs and scalpels? If we could, providers could be reassured that they could handle a long labor or a shoulder dystocia, a breech birth or a posterior or transverse arrest without surgery. I’m not saying that all troublesome labor can be handled naturally. Of course not. I’ve been attending births for over 30 years. Ideology is not a good midwife.
But we can calm down the cesarean train in the US.
At Yeon & Nature Women’s Clinic, Dr. Jiewon Park interpreted a day of Spinning Babies and another of Resolving Shoulder Dystocia and Breech Basics. She was thrilled to learn ways to reduce her cesarean rate! Was it 90% like some South American or Chinese cities? Was it 30-40% like many other Seoul, Korea maternity hospitals? No, see the rate on the video below! Yet, Dr. Park wanted so much to get it down. For two months she had a 4% rate and felt much better. And now she is eager to help women whose babies hadn’t engaged on their own and women with signs of a long labor starting with the Spinning Babies approach.
She catches breechlings at her maternity hospital (birth center). So she isn’t afraid of life’s variations. Dr. Park experiences extremely low numbers of shoulder dystocia. Her solution? She tells women to climb 20 flights of stairs every day and once they can do that then do it twice a day. The rhythm of the pelvic joints and pushing off the step behind are excellent for pelvic stability and balance. Dr. Park is not going for a higher natural birth rate, she’s going for a better birth experience for women.
In Singapore, Dr. Lai has a similar outlook. He’s the go-to guy for breeches, twins, and VBACS. He works with doulas and midwives and takes workshops himself in natural birth approaches. His hired doula saw that he came to Spinning Babies. So women are women and I’d add, Birth Keepers are Birth Keepers around the World. Innovation and ingenuity and a love and compassion for birthing families unite us.
Busan, Korean midwife finds the little hands in a baby during Gail’s birth skills day. Doctors and Midwives attended Spinning Babies and then a day of advanced skills at Woosik and Jaquey Chang’s pregnancy and life resource center.
Birth Keepers like Dr. Woosik John Chang of Busan raise the bar of what can be achieved. Dr. Chang has revolutionized the simple resource center to include the full scope of human happiness in his curriculum, including cooking, money and language lessons! Imagine that all beginning with prenatal care.
Women Are Women Wherever We Birth
Around the world, women are seeking joy and pleasure in becoming a mother. In their meditations and their preparation. Women want to be celebrated as brings of life. Women want the busy world and the busy provider to slow down and gaze in amazement for just a moment. Birth is the most potent miracle in the range of human existence. Asking for acknowledgment of women’s emotional needs for their childbearing does no belittlement of their identities as strong, capable, contributing women.
Women are women around the world. And I am astonished and grateful to hear their heart’s desire and assist them to have their dreams come true.
And if you are interested in Dawn helping your web dreams come true, she’s interested in helping social motivators and eco-conscious businesses. Check her out at MyArtisanWeb.com.
Enjoy this post? You also might like:
- Reducing Cesarean Rate is a Social Network Issue
- Supporting the Birthing Family’s Perspective
- Birthkeeper: Penny Simkin
- Nurses, Key to Reducing the Cesarean Rate