A lot of controversy on the internet about whether Catherine, The Duchess of Cambridge, used a surrogate to give birth, because, they claim, a woman can not look that good after giving birth!
Here’s the truth: a natural, unmedicated birth can be a time of ecstasy, and for some women, birth is orgasmic. FACT: Women look great when they’ve had an orgasm! Relaxed, sated, joyful. It is the ultimate pleasure elixir. The Duchess did have the benefit of a hairdresser, but nevertheless, there is no reason for her not to be up walking and looking radiant hours after giving birth. Natural birth is empowering. When a woman gives birth in this way she feels like she can take on the world (with or without a hairdresser). In many cultures, women simply squat, give birth, and then get up and join their tribe.
The fuss about how good Catherine looked is just another insidious way of perpetuating that birth is painful, dangerous and difficult. It does not have to be like that. Nature designed us to give birth easily.
There’s a reason my book, The Birthkeepers, consistently outranks my other (non-fiction) books in sales: women, in their hearts, know the truth ~ that a gentle, beautiful birth is what nature intended for us. When we meet a woman’s biological mammalian needs, the outcome at birth is drastically different to the images portrayed in the media.
As a mother, my daughters expect to hear me say, whenever we watch a birth in a movie/tv show, “BIRTH DOES NOT HAVE TO BE LIKE THAT!”
They smile, good humouredly, and say “We know, Mum.”
https://veronikarobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/logo-1.png00Veronika Sophia Robinsonhttps://veronikarobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/logo-1.pngVeronika Sophia Robinson2015-05-04 14:23:552015-05-04 14:23:55Looking good after birth
The Powerful and The Empowered By Veronika Sophia Robinson
When it comes to defining joyous birth, it’s important to understand the role of power.
I believe the difference between an interfered-with birth, and a joyous ‘hands-off’ birth, is fear. Fear can come from a deep primal urge in the old brain, or from our centre of logic (the neocortex or new brain) ~ a place where we try to make sense of the unexplainable. Our ego freaks out when it can’t control the information. Taming our powerful ego empowers us.
In the dominant cultural model of birth, the leading actor is The Powerful One who ‘delivers’ our baby. In the sub-culture of joyous, autonomous birth, the leading role is played by The Empowered One. Indeed, there is no place for The Powerful One in this culture.
Never will you find such different characters. In fact, they are so diametrically opposed, that you would never find them both in the same room ~ much less on the same birthing stage. The only connection might be if, through the performance of The Powerful One, a woman becomes transformed, at a later time, into The Empowered One.
Their props, their scripts, their guiding drive are contradictory.
The Powerful One becomes so through domination. He conquers the other characters by taking charge of the stage and wielding tools which say “I am in charge”. He is defined by his use of three specific tools. They are light, language and observation. Whether he is conscious of this or not, is irrelevant, because as soon as they are introduced into the delivery room, his status is confirmed.
Light is the enemy of every birthing woman. It stimulates her ‘new brain’ and changes the course of labour. Her mammalian instincts wish to seek out the dark, but The Powerful One shines a laser beam on her, freezing her in time like a startled rabbit in headlights.
He controls her by his use of language which actives her neocortex (new brain). While this is engaged and stimulated she is incapable of slipping into her old brain ~ the very place she needs to be in order to birth instinctively.
The Powerful One stands guard over the woman whose baby he’s delivering. If he can’t be there, he sends others to guard her. Their eyes ensure that she can’t escape. She is watched. Her every movement observed. She is ‘held in place’ by their paranoia. Privacy is the number one need of every birthing woman. The Powerful One ignores and denies this, keeping a woman prisoner in her ‘new brain’ so she can’t birth without his ‘help’.
Light, language and observation ~ the three deadly enemies of joyous birth.
And what of The Empowered One? What would she make of these tools? She’s a wise woman who, like the three wise monkeys, has her own mantra:
See no light
Hear no talk
Allow no eyes
The Empowered One is a woman who honours the ancient tradition of birthing. She creates a birthing nest of dimmed light, if not complete darkness. The external language of choice is non-vaginal touch, or music and gentle singing, as she slips into her birthing zone. If she chooses to have her lover or anyone else with her she lets them know beforehand that eye contact is another form of power, of control. The support she seeks is of skin contact, and being held from behind. Beware of any man or midwife who demands or encourages you to look into their eyes while you’re birthing. Contrary to our culture’s childbirth classes, they are stealing your inner power. Remember, our eyes are the mirror of our soul. When we’re birthing, our soul needs to rise ‘upwards’ and greet the new soul who is coming Earthside, not to be distracted by someone else’s needs.
The Empowered one is clear to her supporter that all the power she needs for birthing is within her, and that ‘coaching’ of any description defies what is innate within her. The instinct to give birth is always heard by those with ears to hear. Sadly, joyous birth is inaudible to The Powerful One.
It has been said that ‘when the power of love overcomes the love of power, there shall be peace.’ It has also been said that ‘peace on earth begins with birth’. True power and true peace are internal and can never be found outside of ourselves. The Empowered One is a woman whose power is always internal. Instinct is beyond anyone’s control. It can’t be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen. Perhaps that’s why it terrifies the medical world so much?
The Powerful One requires tools and gimmicks and fear to ‘create’ his power ~ something which is always external, and therefore, transient.
The power of love which is alive in The Empowered One can teach us more about birth that any medical text book. Love and fear can’t co-exist. They are opposites. In a study of 500 tribal cultures, the researchers found no evidence of any pain or death in childbirth. Prematurity and stillbirth were extremely rare, as was malpresentation. We’ve been inculturated with the idea that birth is painful, dangerous and deadly. I agree. It is painful, dangerous and deadly IF, and only if, we allow The Powerful One into our birthing space; if we give away our crucial mammalian need for privacy.
If you’re seeking a joyous birth, look no further than you and your baby for all the power, love and support you need.
Seconds after giving birth at home, by candlelight and Mozart, to my daughter Bethany.
Many years ago, in fact it was the first time I was living in England (about 1994), I heard a voice in my dream so real that I wondered if it was a dream. The voice said to me: You will write The Beautiful Birth book. At the time, I was working as a Media Officer for Compassion in World Farming having just finished a stint doing the same job for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
I thought it an odd dream ~ my work was about animal welfare and animal rights. What did I know about children? And actually, at that time, I wasn’t even interested in having babies. (How quickly that would change ~ I gave birth two years later!)
But the voice was strong. Kind, but strong. I popped into a beautiful little New Age bookshop that morning. It was called The Open Window, and was in my village of Petersfield, Hampshire. Two books on waterbirth literally fell off the shelves (spooky, I know) and landed at my feet. I bought them, and devoured every page.
My mother, who had birthed eight children, had given birth unassisted at home to the last three. If I had any idea of beautiful birth, it would stem from her experiences of tuning in with her body and birthing in private.
So, my life changed. In 1995 I set up the National Waterbirth Trust (in NZ), wrote affirmations for a CD called Peaceful Pregnancy (which my husband did the voice over for), and in 1996 gave birth to my beautiful daughter Bethany, by candlelight and the sounds of Mozart, in our bedroom. Oh how my life was to change. Between then, and 2002, I had given birth again, and lived in three countries, and began publishing The Mother magazine (which I went on to edit for 12 years). www.themothermagazine.co.uk
Seconds after giving birth at home, by candlelight and Mozart, to my daughter Bethany.
Writing The Birthkeepers was, I believe, the book I was told about in my dream. It describes the three biological needs of a birthing woman, and how important they are for an easy and ecstatic birth. Half of the book contains stories from women who had empowered births. As the subtitles states, it is reclaiming an ancient tradition. To birth, in tune with our bodies, is to do what our ancestresses did long before man interfered with the birthing process.