Negative depictions and descriptions of birth have a larger effect on our society than most people are aware of. From the random “horror birth stories” told to pregnant women by virtual strangers, to The Learning Channel’s popular “Baby Stories” depicting blurred out body parts and dramatic highly technological births, the negative messages that a woman receives during pregnancy and labor can significantly effect her both psychologically and physically. Ina May Gaskin, Midwife, Activist and Author states that “So many horror stories circulate about birth-especially in the United States-that it can be difficult for women to believe that labor and birth can be a beneficial experience.” (Gaskin 2003)
I believe that entering into the birth experience with fears caused by these negative stories and depictions may lead to a longer labor and/or complications for mother and baby. If we are going to change our birth culture we need to hear more from the Mamas whose births have been positive and empowering.
I am currently preparing the next series of childbirth education classes to be taught in Burlington, VT.