All around the world a birth revolution is beginning, next week sees the launch of the new Freedom for Birth Film. Birth workers are metaphorically holding hands around the world to help raise awareness of the dire need for change in the way we view birth. New campaigns begin each day fighting for the rights of parents, from their place of birth to their rights to choose their care providers. The earth is beginning to awaken, awareness is rising and more and more are beginning to realise how desperately we need to make a change.
It doesn’t end there though, the problem is bigger than birth – we are in desperate need of a parenting revolution, we need to change the way we view the formative years, in particular the first three, otherwise we are in grave danger of losing the very essence of what it is to be human. If we continue to play God by deciding when babies should be born, forcing them out with chemicals and surgical implements and making mothers birth in environments that inhibit oxytocin we will only see more problems and need these interventions even more. If we continue to tell mothers to ignore their baby’s cries, to not ‘spoil’ their infants or let their babies manipulate them, if we continue to force toddlers to retain anger and fear by training them to be quiet and withhold their emotions we are putting our future at risk, because what future is there for a race who have forgotten what it is to be empathic? What future is there for a society of individuals unable to express their emotions unless through acts of violence and anger?
Am I being over dramatic? I honestly don’t think so, I can feel the urgency to make a change as loudly as I can feel my heartbeat when I write of it, I can hear the drums beating in an ever-increasing tempo, I can feel the energy building and I’m scared it’s going to go the wrong way.
This film is only one of many that highlight the need for urgent change and a new understanding of parenting. Science is increasingly agreeing, yet science is partly responsible for the mess we are in now, the more intelligent man becomes the more he loses grip on his instinctual self, not believing what he feels unless it is validated by the relevant ‘expert’.
How to make this change? The birth and parenting workers can only do so much, I believe our key is to create awareness, the real change though – that has to come from the parents. Once they are aware, once their eyes are open and they learn to trust in themselves, in their bodies and their babies then it is time for them to make a stand, they are the only ones who can really make the change. As David Chamberlain says:
“Parents themselves may be the ones to lead us into a new age of birth by setting new standards for how babies are treated. After all, whose babies are they? Parents always have the advantage of making the first move-as consumer they decide where to have their babies and what practitioners to employ. The current situation is a test of whether parents or professionals can react more quickly to new information.”
So who will win this race of reaction? whose team are you on? Me? I’m rooting for the parents.
Sarah Ockwell-Smith – Mum to Four, Parenting Author and Founder of BabyCalm Ltd
BabyCalm: A guide for calmer babies and happier parents released October 4th –pre-order your copy HERE with FREE worldwide postage