Saturday, October 11, 2008

Labor of Love

Last week I finished a review copy of Cara Muhlhahn's brand new midwifery memoir, Labor of Love. Cara is the CNM who was featured in The Business of Being Born. I will review this book in more depth for the spring issue of CfM News. This book was an engaging and fast-paced read, though very different than Lady's Hands, Lion's Heart, the other midwife's memoir I recently finished.

I wanted to share a quote I enjoyed:

"Although homebirth is an option for almost anyone who has a normal pregnancy, I have noticed that the subgroup of women who tend to choose it often exhibit certain characteristics, such as comfort within their own bodies, a desire to have a birth experience that is more poetic than clinical, as well as a desire to return what we all feel is some seriously missing humanity to the experience of having a baby. Often, women who choose homebirth have an ability to step into a completely new experience without being held back by excessive fear or anxiety. This ability proceeds from a view of childbirth as a natural, physiological event, not a medically mediated one. Many midwives recognize the value of a birthing mother's own mom having birthed successfully. Story after story reveals that daughters of women who gave birth vaginally or breastfed, bring a certain inner confidence to childbirth that is handed down from the mother's experience. Imagine the rare gem of a woman who was actually born at home."

Well, I'm one of those "rare gems" :-D I was born at home in the 70's (my mom had all four of her children at home) and breastfed for about 14 months. She had read Spiritual Midwifery and everything. Occasionally, she expresses dismay and surprise that the issues that she also cared about as a young, childbearing women are still struggling so mightily today--she thought it would have all been fixed by now and that women would not still have have such difficulty accessing midwifery care or choosing homebirth.

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