Debra Pascali Bonaro’s wonderful new film, “Orgasmic Birth” returns the focus of birth back to the days when Ina May Gaskin and others inspired women to concentrate on birth as it should be. In 1984, we were privileged to have Joan Donley and Dr John Hilton as cheerleaders and obstacle negotiators with our second son’s birth. Those were the days when midwives were always there for “their” women, and there was no rush to be somewhere else, unless two women were in labour at the same time! The medically induced complications with my first labour and delivery meant that Joan willingly spent considerable time helping me re-wire the thought processes necessary to believe in myself again.
While our system in New Zealand is now the envy of some, it is not without continuing problems.
Because every birth will happen only once for that woman and baby, it’s importance cannot be understated. Ideally, there should be a trusting partnership between the Lead Maternity Provider and the woman, with an empathic connection, shared understanding, mutal respect, and professional care. Both parties need to agree on, and fulfil their side of the bargain. Pregnancy care, and birthing, for both mother and midwife, is much more than just a “job”.
There are many wonderful New Zealand midwives who remain true to the focus of being guardians of normal births and providing mothers with the education and practices such as good prenatal nutrition and educating mothers on normal birth… BUT… I believe the system could be vastly improved. Direct entry midwifery held out the promise of restoring the focus of midwives away from the medical model, towards normality, but in some areas, the focus of some tutoring mentors and leaders reinforces fear-orientated intervention practices, thereby short-changing mothers.
In providing labour support for many of my friends over the years, I’ve worked with fantastic midwives, and a few who were an absolute liability. It’s important that philosophical compatibility is achieved as early in pregnancy as possible.
First time pregnant women often don’t know what questions to ask, or how to approach discussing the topic. It’s vital that a family finds a midwife who is focussed on understanding and working with the individual challenges for that family, and inspiring confidence in a range of solutions. While midwives need to inspire women to have confidence in the body’s inate ability to birth, finding ways to make it easy for mothers to eat healthy food and get exercise, mothers need to commit fully to implementing the best possible start for their babies. While midwives need to take the time to work out how to best convey a wide range of information to pregnant mothers, mothers need to commit to becoming avid readers and listeners, concentrating on internalizing positive messages to achieve the very best outcome for themselves and their babies.
ORGASMIC BIRTH clearly shows how women who birth with confidence, become confident parents, who then are able to think through well thought out future informed choices for their babies and families.
If every woman sees Orgasmic Birth in the early stages of their pregnancy, Orgasmic Birth can provide a mental map of what needs to be thought through to prepare a successful pregnancy and birthing plan. Knowing the end point, and how to achieve it, provides the focus so that the midwife can inspire the mother, and the mother can understand how the midwife will support her and keep her safe, making every birth a special delivery.
May 17, 2010
We are not restocking this DVD, because we couldn't recoup our costs on the ones we brought into the country.
We have donated the last few copies to maternity hospitals, midwives and libraries.