Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Shock and Call for Change

 I just left a childbirth education class held at a local hospital by a local doula and friend.  It was a 2 day class and very informative.  After the class, the teacher let me thumb through the evaluations left my the attending couples.  Two of the questions were:  "How did you feel about labor and delivery before the class?" and "How do you feel about labor and delivery after the class?"  The majority of participants used words like "anxious," "scared," "worried," and "afraid" to describe how they felt before the class.  This was really shocking to me.  Where are they getting these feelings from?  Is it because the majority of televised fake births on t.v. look scary?  Are the majority of people describing their births as scary and painful?  I understand that this class was a very small sample of expecting parents, but I wonder if the feelings of anxiety about birth are common.  
  How can we as a society transform this perception of labor and delivery to an image of beauty and serenity?
  Some of the responses to the second question, "How do you feel about labor and delivery after the class?" were "better," "excited," and "less scared."  So, obviously a little bit of education can relieve a lot of fears.  But what about all of those couples that did not sign up for an elective childbirth education class?  I do believe that we should all start expressing our views that birth is a beautiful, NATURAL process in life that can be enjoyed.  Let's empower all of those pregnant couples out there!!  Let's tell them, "Have Fun!" and "Enjoy" when going off to labor, after all it is a ride that they can only take a few times in their lives.

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