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Birth Ecology 

Birth Ecology 

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Published by mamalunabirth
Article by Kara Spencer
Article by Kara Spencer

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Published by: mamalunabirth on Jun 03, 2013
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Birth Ecology
- Tending the Garden of Birthby Kara Maia Spencer, LMT, CD
The Deep Ecology of Birth
Birth is a sacred rite of passage forwomen, a life-altering experience thatbrings knowledge, experience, growth, anddiscovery. There is great power andpotential inherent in pregnancy and birth.Labor is an altered state of consciousnessthat the woman journeys through in orderto discover her birth power. Thesacredness of mothers, babies, and birthmust be honored first and foremost, for the survival of humanity andour earth.The newborn’s emergence at birth imprints the baby with the firstimpressions of the world. The baby has an instinct to be born, themother’s body ripens for birth but she must be patient to wait for thebaby’s unique time. Physiologically, it is the baby who initiates labor,signaling the mother’s body to labor and birth. The baby is a consciousparticipant in the birth journey. When a mother listens to her body andher baby, and gives birth instinctively, that child is imprinted with theability to respect and honor its body and being.Conscious birthing is an ecstatic experience, and women who birthinstinctively can even experience orgasm and spiritual awakening.Birth becomes a tantric experience between the mother and baby, asthey communicate through deeper consciousness and without words.Birth is one aspect of the women’s cycle of fertility and sexuality, andall the rites of passage in women’s sexual cycles are ecologically vitaland have ecstatic potential.The women’s sexual life cycle includes many rites of passage:menarche, menstruation, childbirth, and menopause. These are knownas the Blood Mysteries, and have been honored by traditional culturesaround the world for thousands of years. The women’s mysteries areopportunities for sacred connection to nature, deepening self-understanding, gaining new wisdom, and creative potential.Women’s cycles are a deep source of connection to nature. Themenstrual cycle is guided by the moon; the lunar cycles influence thetides of the oceans and women’s wombs. Just as we experience thecycles of nature physically every day—the cycle of the day and night,
 
the moon cycle, the solar cycle of the seasons—so we experiencenatural cycles within our bodies, the lifecycle, the menstrual cycle, andthe birth cycle. The gestation of pregnancy is actually ten lunar cycles,and many people call the postpartum time, the babymoon.Throughout gestation, the mother and baby are biologically one unit.The baby is dependent upon the health, nourishment, and love of themother. Humans live in the womb of Mother Earth, and we are alldependent upon the health of the planet and our environment, whichprovides us with everything from atoms to atmosphere, to food,shelter, and medicine.The Earth is our Mother. She gave birth to all of us; all the trees,mountains, herbs, flowers, animals, minerals, and humans are herchildren and family. Her web of interconnectivity and interdependencebinds us all. This Earth-Body balance is vital for health; a balancebetween ecological health, such as a sense of connection to place andenvironmental health, and somatic health, the physical, personal, andinner essence of body and spirit well-being.Humanity must honor our interdependence with nature in order to healour bodies, and our Earth. Western culture’s disrespect for the Earth isseen as the destruction of the environment, natural resources, ancientforests, atmosphere, and oceans. This is mirrored in the highlyinvasive treatment of women’s bodies in medicine, media, andchildbirth practices. Western culture is no longer in sync with therhythms and cycles of nature. We are cutting open our bodies and ourplanet. The farther we push ourselves from living ecologically, inbalance with nature, the more we kill ourselves and our planet. Howdo we find a way to regain balance?In our vision to create a safe world for children to live in, we mustbegin with making birth safe for children, so that they may be at homein their bodies. In order to heal birth, we must care for the wholehealth of mother, baby, family, and community. Healing art midwiferymust address the body, mind, heart, and spirit of mother and planet.Each birth is a seed for humanity. The journey to healing begins withaddressing the birth trauma that we carry, from our own births, andthe births our ancestors. Each birth brings a new opportunity topreserve the garden.
Biodynamic Birthing
Michel Odent, a French obstetrician-turned-midwife and primal healthresearcher, advocates in his book “The Farmer and the Obstetrician” 
 
for the practice of biodynamic attitude toward birth. “Bio” meansbiological; the way of nature. In birth, this is to understand the normalphysiological process of birth, gravity, hormones, and decreasingintervention by birth practitioners to allow instinctive birth. “Dynamic” refers to life force energy, change, motion. Biodynamic birthing serveseach pregnant woman uniquely with the blend of natural birthingwisdom, medical science, and evidence-based practices to facilitate anoptimal birth experience.The word “biodynamic” is also well-known to describe biodynamicgardening, a model of agriculture developed by Rudolf Steiner, thefounder of Waldorf education. Biodynamic gardening teaches of relationship between healthy living soil and cosmic forces. Biodynamicgardeners use their understanding of the lunar cycles and spiritualconnection to the forces of nature to improve vitality and health of theplants, soil, and ecosystem. Biodynamic gardening utilizes the scienceof life-forces to aid in healing ailing land on earth. The biodynamicperspective is a holistic model of agriculture that optimizes ecologicalwellbeing while healing the past and providing for the future.Biodynamic birthing is an ecological perspective of birth. A biodynamicattitude recognizes working with the natural cycles of birth, andemphasizes relationship not hierarchy. The practice of maternity caremust be reevaluated to support sustainability, community, healing,and peace. Through biodynamic birth practices we can heal birthtrauma, prevent unnecessary birth violence, nurture bonding andattachment, and cultivate a peaceful planet. It is essential that we notonly improve maternal and infant health care but that we also heal thecycle of abused infants, and practice sustainable, biodynamic birth.
21st Century Childbirth
Birth in the United States today is extraordinarily industrialized,technological, and controlled by capitalist interests. Within the last 100years, the medicalization of childbirth has nearly wiped out the legacyof midwives, and the practice of homebirth, and instinctive birth.At the dawn of the 20th century, the vast majority of women birthedat home, with a traditional midwife in attendance. Midwiferyexperienced a renaissance in the 1970’s. Today, professionalhomebirth midwives practice all over the US. However, less than 1%of women in the US give birth at home. In hospitals, 7% of womenhave a Certified Nurse-Midwife attending; the remaining 92% of women have an Obstetrician managing their care. The ancient art of women attending women in labor, birthing instinctively and privately,

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