The power of giving birth: An interview with Nancy Wainer Cohen

Medications confuse the body and make it difficult to give birth. Your body knew how to get pregnant, and it knows how to grow a baby. You can also be sure that your body knows how to give birth. Good nutrition is extremely important. This will help all aspects of the process.

I'm concerned that we now live in a society where a vast majority of women are unconscious, numb and in emotional pain. A society where the moms are "out to lunch" as they begin their initial parenting is a sorry culture indeed.

When you have worked really, really hard for something, such as a natural birth, and have accomplished it, it becomes all the more special to you. When a woman has an epidural the last thing she remembers is how painful the labor and birth were. Unconsciously she can associate this with her baby. Next time, when giving birth, she will ask for her epidural even earlier to avoid the pain. However, When a woman gives birth without drugs, the last thing she remembers as she holds her healthy and alert baby in her arms is how strong and proud and wonderful and empowered she feels.

Are operative deliveries decreasing or still on the increase?

I don't know statistically. But I do know that if the cesarean rate is down, the rate of forceps and vacuum extractions often increase.

What can you say that may help a woman trust herself/her body to give birth normally?

It's about creating different thought patterns. This begins with each of us personally. Having had a natural birth, you live it. Other women get that you did something important. It's beautiful and appealing to other women who are having babies. It starts from within and spreads.

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