Thursday, 15 December 2011

Tis the Season

When our thoughts turn to babies, well one particular baby who was born over 2000 years ago in a stable without any medical aid or assistance. It was hearing about things like this that originally had me thinking about the process of childbirth. When I was expecting my own child I refused to believe that something that we were designed to do should be as painful as some would like me to believe. What made human women different from the other female inhabitants of this world.

Most of the research for my book was completed nearly 30 years ago as I began to look at the history of childbirth. This journey took me way back in history to a time before the birth of Jesus where Greek Scholars such as Aristotle wrote about the miracle of birth and talked about using the power of the mind. Interestingly these scholars made no mention of pain. Both the Ancient Greeks and the Romans wrote about relaxed births.

Studies of documents written by the Greek scholars Hippocrates and Aristotle give no indication of any discomfort in childbirth, unless there was a problem. At that time if women needed assistance whilst in labour they were brought into a relaxed state, sometimes using herbs and potions, so that the problem could be dealt with. These ancient scholars believed that whilst women were giving birth their feelings should be accommodated and that mum needed people around to attend to her. Hippocrates was the first person to run childbirth classes for midwives. Both Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote that nature is the best physician and that it (nature) should be allowed to function without any interference. Aristotle wrote of a mind body connection during childbirth and emphasised the importance of a deep relaxed state.

Another Grecian scholar, Soranus, began putting the writings of Hippocrates and Aristotle into book form. His writing earned him the reputation of being the greatest obstetrical authority of the time. He stressed the importance of listening to the needs of the mother and suggested using the power of the mind to achieve the relaxed state needed for an easy birth.

So following in these auspicious footsteps my childbirth classes were born, teaching women what I believe is the way that we were intended to have our children. Naturally, listening to our bodies just as our ancestors did and probably just what a women called Mary did oh so long ago.

Seasons Greetings to one and all

Tina’s book Painless Childbirth is available on Kindle and from Amazon