Exploring Change Through Education:
Birthing Options for Women
By Jamilla M. Walker
There are now several options for a woman giving birth often cause “the shakes” helps to calm nerves. It can also be
in the 21st Century. Each mother (and her birth team) is shocking to go from intense feelings to NO feeling; mothers
different and should reserve the right to have the birth that may feel disconnected from the baby. Earlier education is in-
she wants. credibly important in maximizing the benefits of a medically
A true natural birth is one with no medication or managed birth – informed decision making!
intervention. Mothers go into labor when their body is ready A Cesarean birth is the use of surgery when vaginal birth
without any external induction methods, such as stripping is no longer an option due to specific medical indications.
the membranes. The labor progresses according to its own These medical indications include a baby in a breech or trans-
time frame, and the mother uses non-pharmacological pain verse position, labor dystocia, placental problems, maternal
relief such as massage, deep breathing, positioning and even illness, and/or non-reassuring fetal heart tones. Cesareans are
self-hypnosis. The current attitude seems to be that only births with the added effects of major abdominal surgery. Of-
Wonder Woman can birth naturally. In reality, the only thing ten, cesareans are suggested at the end of an exhausting labor
required for natural laboring is an innate trust of the birth when mothers and partners are too tired to fully complete the
process. Childbirth education classes serve to reintroduce process. Since the most current U.S. cesarean section rate is
mothers to their instinctual ability to birth. The classes teach 30.1% (according to the Center for Disease Control), I believe
mothers and their partners relaxation techniques and the it is vital for every American to be their own health care
physiology of labor – the how-to’s and whys of labor. Most advocate. In most American hospitals, nearly one-third of
importantly, classes illustrate the fear-pain connection and laboring women have a chance of major abdominal surgery.
how to break the cycle. As natural labors are a process, the Fully understanding the indications, risks and benefit