If they learn these techniques, is that natural? For those undertaking HypnoBirthing or HypnoBabies classes, how natural is hypnosis in childbirth? Many would say its a completely natural state which everyone enters, others would classify it as unnatural and inappropriate for birth.
Now lets look at greater intervention, Ceasearians for example are used when it is considered that a baby is in distress or where a vaginal birth is not possible.
This level of intervention is generally considered as not a natural birth, however Nile crocodiles* may disagaree.
If a Nile hatchling is unable to hatch itself or is in distress, the mother or father (there are no nearby obstetricians) will hear the high-pitched chirping and will open the nest, pick up the egg in their mouth, and roll it between their tongue and the upper palate of their mouth to help crack the shell, and release their offspring.
Ask a crocodile whether they have natural births if you dare and I'm sure they would say they all are! As animals evolve it is natural for new ways to secure the safe birth of our offspring.
I'm sure there would have been a time when crocodiles didn't crack open their eggs and then when they did, this was new and different to them.
How different is it for another human to help a baby be born by similar means? We can so easily place women in boxes determined by what type of birth they had, maybe using different criteria would bring us more interesting results.
When I'm reviewing the impact of my Programme on a birth, the key criteria for me isn't whether she had gas and air, an epidural or a Cesarean, some of the key measures I use are:
- Did mum and birth companion feel in control of their birth?
- Was the birth as calm and gentle as possible?
- Was mum relaxed throughout the birth?
- Did mum feel empowered after the birth?
Rather than this being so black and white, lets allow ourselves to be comfortable in the grey and continue to make a difference to the things which really matter to mum and baby.
* Interestingly the ancient god of crocodiles (Sobek) was first mentioned in the Pyramid Texts for laying his eggs on the bank of the waters and starting the creation process.
He was recognised as the god who created the Nile, a god of fertility and rebirth, as well as the symbolic strength of the ruler of Egypt.