The following is a guest post by Sheridan, the owner of a wonderful Blog called Enjoy Birth. So..... Enjoy!
One way to make a change in the birth climate is to educate women. Let them know about their choices and how they need to educate themselves, before they even get pregnant! I also think we need to let them know birth doesn't need to be scary, that is why so many moms are wanting to sign up for the epidurals in the parking lot. They are scared of birth and this fear starts very young.
I remember my neighbor boy who was 8 years old, making a comment, "That is going to HURT!" when I was talking about having Bryson. If this is what we are programming our kids with, no wonder they want the drugs and won't even look outside the box, to birth centers or homebirth.
So I had this great idea of teaching the normalcy of birth to the teenage girls in my church and started creating a little curriculum. I talked to the Young Women's leader and she was ok with it but thought that some moms may not be. So we found a way to sneak it in, Career Night. I can talk about being a Childbirth Educator/Doula, obviously I would have to touch on birth. ;)
I feel like if we can teach the girls that birth can be empowering and enjoyable if they educate themselves and make informed choices, than it can help these girls be stronger in their births. I think a college course or even one class in a woman's studies course would also be really helpful in creating this change. Imagine if every 20 year old girl read Pushed, before they became pregnant. I am sure they would remember what they read and CHOOSE different things, than if they knew nothing about birth, but scary stories from movies and friends. But for me, teaching the girls at my church is an easy way to make a difference. If every childbirth educator/doula did this in 2008, imagine how many girls we could touch!
Here is a brief outline of my career night talk –
1. How many of you are scared of having a baby? – "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7
a. Sound Mind: the more we understand the less we fear
b. Power: the more information we get the more choices we have
c. Love: We love our babies and want to do what is best for them!
2. How pregnancy and birth works – God created it perfectly.
a. One of the best things about pregnancy and birth is realizing how perfectly we are made!!! I'm so amazed at how well baby and mommy work together to develop and then be born. It's awesome.
b. "curse of eve" does God want us to feel pain in birth? (I am going to be posting about this on my blog soon)
c. How 2 muscles in uterus work – connection to fear/tension/pain syndrome (I will also post about this on my blog soon)
3. (Depending on age of girls) Basic Birth Information
a. Stage 1 – dilation and effacement
b. Stage 2 - pushing
c. Stage 3 - placenta
4. Some birth choices –
a. Location: hospital, birth center, homebirth
b. Care Providers: OB's, midwives, doulas
c. Interventions: Trusting Birth vs. Medicalized Birth
5. Birth can be a beautiful, spiritual event in our lives.
a. Spirit can guide us – number of kids, types of births, where to birth, etc.
b. Faith promoting experience