The cells in our body have expectations for how our births will unfold. This programming supersedes the intelligence of our thinking mind. This is lower brain stem, death vs survival type of stuff. In the birth world we call this process of instinctual birth, physiological child birth, or mammalian birth.
The basic concept is this: we carry our baby in our womb until some mechanism of our biology and the baby’s biology interact and tell our body it’s go time. At that point, our body does its thing, without any guidance from the outside at all. Throughout the process a very specific cocktail of hormones is created which allow us to tolerate the intense sensation while ensuring our baby survives the birth. Many women who experience birth in this way also speak of experiences that mimic those of near-death. This process is very similar to other mammals on the earth.
So why’s it important for us to accept this definition of child birth as the norm?
Because It is one of the few times in our life that it is necessary for our highly developed intellectual faculties to go offline. And our body EXPECTS it. We cannot use our thinking brain to tell our body to prepare for a different plan. We cannot use our thinking brain to explain to our body why birth didn’t happen according to its expectations. It just doesn’t work.
When we drop the idea of right or wrong and simply become neutral, we begin to see that accepting this definition of birth as a foundation for the human reproductive experience actually allows us to address and heal the trauma that happens when our births venture outside of what our body is expecting.
Anything that interrupts this process should be considered a traumatic intervention to OUR BODIES, regardless of how our mind interpretes them. In order for an undisturbed imprinting to occur for mother and baby, the birth must remain undisturbed. Baby must go from mothers womb to mothers arms without interference.
BIRTH TRAUMA IS ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS DURING BIRTH THAT OUR BODY WASN’T EXPECTING.
Once something outside of the mother interacts with this very primal and mammalian process in any way, we must also prepare to support the mother through the repair. But if we cannot collectively acknowledge that our body’s have expectations for birth (and so do our baby’s bodies) then how can we address this critical work of healing?
I believe that this is the root of postpartum mood disorder, maternal detachment, and much of our worlds suffering and overwhelming amount of interpersonal-conflict.
When a mother-baby dyad have experienced incomplete imprinting due to intervention (interference) they will continue searching for completion WITH THEIR BODIES. The trauma of such events will be reinforced over time rather than healed.
But if we can begin to reframe how we, as a whole, and especially as providers, approach birth, then we can begin to allow access to true healing for the mothers of our planet. Women deserve this kind of love.
I can already hear some of you now.. saying variations of birth are normal. And it’s true, we’ve come to know them as normal. This is not about vilifying or blaming anyone or anything.
But the thing is, you guys, is that nature is neutral. And we are nature. And our primal, mammalian body, our biology, our DNA, has very real expectations for how our births will occur. It’s a survival thing, not a personal opinion thing. And when we disrupt this natural process, we must expect that there will be consequences.
It’s time to drop our god-like superiority complex of controlling birth, release our rhetoric about women’s choice, and see our impact with clarity and compassion. For its from this place that we can truly begin to do the work of allowing birth to create peace on earth.
A thank you to the author -Rebecca Rambo- Birth Keeper