The moment your baby was formed in your womb, your relationship with him began. He depended on you for all his needs and you provided them even before you knew he was there. Through proper nutrition, exercise, rest and joyfulness you nurtured his attachment to you, the relationship without which he could not have survived.
As more and more parents get back in touch with their attachment brain, more of them are opting for more traditional birth options, as opposed to the more contemporary option of hospital birth.
The Five Standards
There are five standards of safe childbearing. Evidence and support for these five standards has surfaced over the last 100 years through comparative analysis of birth outcomes at various venues, with different attendants, and pre-natal care emphasis. ALL the evidence of the last 100 years suggests that where these five standards are present, medical professionals, childbirth experts and families can hope for the best birth outcomes possible for each individual child.
The first standard for safe childbearing is good nutrition.
Good nutrition is the foundation for safe childbearing, because a well nourished mother is a strong, healthy mother, and strong healthy women give birth to strong healthy babies. Weight gain in pregnancy is normal and an indication of a healthy pregnancy as long as it is accompanied by good nutrition. A mother may eat what she craves as long as it’s healthy. She should not use pregnancy as an excuse to eat every kind of sweet and junk food she wants, because that results in poor nutrition and poor nutrition creates a ream of problems for both baby and mother including but not limited to toxemia, gestational diabetes, hemorrhage and death in the mother and brain damage, infection-proneness, hyperactivity and death in babies. The March of Dimes says low birth-weight, caused by poor nutrition during pregnancy, is “the cause of the greatest number of deaths in the first year of life and is a major cause of disability in childhood.” Surprisingly, nutrition is not usually taught in Med School and what is taught is usually wrong. William’s Obstetrics, a standard med-school textbook, recommends a goal of only 20 pounds weight gain, which surely increases the chance for low birth weight babies.
The second standard for safe childbearing is Skillful midwifery.
Skillful Midwifery, as apposed to Physician care, is the highest and safest standard. Every study ever published--- currently or in the past in any country (over a span of more than 100 yrs) ---shows Midwives to be safer than doctors. Every study. NO exceptions. Data to the contrary simply does not exist, nor did it ever. The U.S. , despite having one of the highest rates of doctor attended births, as well as perhaps the “best” health care system in the world, also has one of the highest infant mortality rates of every industrialized nation in the world. Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan have the lowest infant mortality rates in the world as well as the highest rate of midwife attended births. Most doctors use too much intervention, rather than begin with prevention by good nutrition. Where doctors emphasize testing to discover problems with the pregnancy and the baby, midwives emphasize prevention through good nutrition, exercise and supporting the natural flow of labor by allowing the mother to do what her body is telling her, like eat if she’s hungry, drink if she’s thirsty, and find the most comfortable position for her to labor in. Most doctors do not attend a woman in labor and certainly not for the duration of her labor, which can last for days with some women; midwives stay with a laboring mother for the duration of her labor and several hours after the baby is born. Most doctors do not develop the supportive rapport with a pregnant and laboring mother to facilitate her ability to give birth safely and naturally by her own efforts; midwives show respect, encouragement and confidence in a laboring mother, regarding her as the true “expert” when it comes to her body and what she needs to safely deliver her own baby.
The third standard of safe childbearing is Natural Childbirth.
Natural Childbirth is intervention and drug-free childbirth. Interventions during labor increase risk, increasing anxiety in the laboring mother, which increases her pain, which increases her desire for drugs which increases risk. Epidurals, among other drugs and interventions can cause paralysis, psychosis and even death in the mother, and brain-damage and even death in the baby. IV’s and fetal monitors limit the possible comfortable laboring positions for the mother resulting in greater pain, decreased blood flow to the baby, which causes the doctors to want to intervene even more. A healthy, comfortable mother has a more productive labor and less need for interventions or desire for drugs.
The fourth standard for safe childbirth is birth at home.
Home has proved time and time again to be the safest place to give birth. There are no strangers, fewer germs, no interventions and no drugs, and a mother is naturally more comfortable and happy in the familiar surroundings of her own home among family and friends who care for her and her baby. Fewer germs mean less risk of infection for mother and baby. No strangers and interventions mean less anxiety for the mother and therefore a smoother, less painful labor and birth. 99% of complications that could possibly arise in an unhindered birth allow for ample time to arrive safely at a hospital, but fewer complications arise to begin with when the five standards for safe childbirth are present.
Breastfeeding is the fifth and last standard to safe childbearing.
Breastfeeding helps a mother’s body finish the birth process; it is also healthy for both mother and child. Breastfeeding immediately after the baby is born stimulates uterine contractions that prevent hemorrhaging, and ensures that a baby’s blood sugar is at a healthy level. Breastfeeding stimulates a hormonal and physiological response in the mother that helps her feel calm, happy and even more loving toward her family, helping her establish a closer relationship with her child. Breast milk is the healthiest nutrition for baby physically, mentally and emotionally. Breast milk contains a mother’s antibodies which are a natural inoculation against germs and disease for the baby. Breast milk changes with the needs of the baby, providing perfectly balanced nutrition throughout all the stages of the young child’s development. Breast milk also promotes a healthy development of the brain, resulting in children who are more intelligent and who have fewer behavioral problems.
The Five Standards together produce the best possible outcomes.
Childbirth experts postulate that an infant mortality rate of 2 to 3 per 1,000 live births is probably the very best human beings can ever expect. Some babies will die no matter what we do. But nations who are most closely approaching this irreducible minimum of nature are those who most fully uphold the five standards, especially midwifery, which is the surest guarantee of the other four standards. Someone once asked, “Got change for a paradigm?” Until we as a nation change the way we view pregnancy and childbirth—until we re-embrace the idea of these events as being beautiful blessings, not bothersome burdens, natural and welcome parts of life, not life-threatening diseases to be cured and avoided, we will continue as a nation to destroy unnecessarily, purposely and not, future generations of American people—of inventors, explorers, discoverers, priests, presidents and even popes. We owe it to our country, to God and to the human race to make childbirth as safe as it can possibly be by upholding the five standards that have sustained the human race for thousands of years and that a hundred years of scientific research have proven to produce the best outcomes humanly possible.