Exploring Freebirth And Birthing Without A Midwife
However and wherever you birth, it is “YOUR BIRTH”. I believe women should own the language of their birth.
Having supported, blogged about and raised awareness of freebirth. since I was a mentored, Doula UK, doula and been honoured to be present at a number of unassisted pregnancies and births. Over the years I have created and facilitated the Home Birth Support Group UK and South Wales Home Birth and Hopefuls Group, I have been involved in supporting more freebirths than I can remember, in an online capacity, alongside my in person support.
Freebirth has long been driven underground, within the mainstream world, by both traditional freebirthers and the establishment. Women who birth before arrival, or simply decided at the last minute not to call anyone (like me), have never really considered themselves in this category.
With such enormous quantities of enquiries from women looking for different ways to birth and birth workers and keepers looking to support them, I have been inspired to set up up a new paradigm of freebirth group. A group in which women who own their power, who freebirth, birth before arrival, unassisted birth and pregnancy, wild birth, and sometimes, change pathways and hospital or midwife led unit birth, all come together and support each other, without the layering of expectation, judgement and shame often associated with these decisions to look at alternative pathways.
The Freebirth and Emergency Childbirth Support Group UK is a £25, unit based, learning group, not created to encourage freebirth, but to allow a safe space (as safe as the internet can be), in which to explore options. It is not my role to encourage a woman to do anything except find herself and make her own decisions and then support them. The group is open to all, women, birthing people, birth workers and supportive midwives alike and does not offer professional advice, but rather a place and space for feelings and experiences to be shared, whatever pathway a birth ends up taking.
Our group is a safe space and excellent resource, for all to ask questions and learn from each other, one in which members will be encouraged, through signposting and working through the structured units, to be able to discover the answer they are looking for themselves. We also have a section dedicated to dads and birth partners.
You will also be helped on your journey, with relaxations and introductions to exploring spirituality.
All too often women may hear, “That wasn’t a proper freebirth, it was a birth before arrival“. Such statements do not empower women with the dignity and choice to attach their own language, to their birth experience and often act only to diminish the voice of the mother and her right and ability to choose her own expression of her birth.
This true story, of a woman, who tells me she freebirthed in a hospital, having locked herself in a shower and birthing her baby there, unhindered and in her way, for me, is a wonderful, powerful, freebirth story, because goddess knows – to achieve that in a HOSPITAL setting – is miraculous and magnificent.
There is sometimes resistance to freebirth, I have met resistance to our group, from within the freebirth world and the mainstream world, but my members love it and wherever and however they birth, they know they will have my full support for their choices.
There is a fear of awakening the sleeping dragon of the establishment that I believe feeds anger and suspicion, if something is hidden and unknown, then disapproval and censure follow. Hiding freebirth is to suggest it is wrong, something to be scared of and this does not resonate with the freedom and self empowerment ,I wish for those I am supporting.
There are often suggestions women should hide their freebirth plans and be dishonest with their intentions when conversing with medical professionals, Midwives are clever, they can tell when a baby has been born for sometime. Having the freedom to ensure that midwives are aware of your choices and the knowledge to know you rights, is a valuable and powerful undertaking. That choice to disclose plans, however, always remains firmly the choice of the birthing person and what they are comfortable with.
It is my intention to demystify birth for women, to support them to believe in themselves and birth and its magical transformative power, to lose shame and stigma surrounding all forms of birth, from freebirth and wild birth, unassisted pregnancy and birth, planned and unplanned, birth before arrival, through to general anaesthetic birth with all interventions and tests.
The use of the word “emergency” is deliberate, I have thought about removing it – but why – emergency, in hands off, un-interfered with birth, is rare, but it happens and women are not wilting flowers to shy away from the truth – they want information and knowledge, on this as much as anything else. Accepting emergency, although very rare in a hands off, un-interfered with birth, does happen, is again a powerful acceptance, emergency is not a word to fear or to cause fear.
This is the group that dispels the myth you have to be a goat hair weaving hippy to look at freebirth, if frees you, as a birth worker, to be able so signpost to group and information and enables you, to be better able to explore and support women’s choices, while maintaining your own personal boundaries.
This brief recording from East Anglia News is one of our group members.
Our group has midwives and women and birth workers, spinning and weaving together, a traditional circle in a non traditional format.
An online village, with its’ blogs, chats, zooms, online meetups, recordings, and more, brings together freebirth as a purist ideology, with those simply dipping their toe in the water, it looks at magic and law and evidence and mixes them together in a creative alchemy, that simply put – works, like the stories on my blog and in my galleries.
This is my line in the sand, my bringing freebirth, in its many forms, out of the shadows and into the light – come and join us, one thing I am sure of, you would never regret educating yourself on all of your options, including the option to change your mind without fear, in a supportive and loving environment.