Before birthing fell under the realm of the western medical system in Canada roughly 120 years ago, a mother’s chance of a natural, healthy birthing experience for herself and her baby was about 96%. This was with the assistance of friends, families and midwives only.
In 1895, the Ontario government defeated the Haycock Bill, which would have allowed certified midwives to work in the province. Despite this, a home birth, including midwife-assisted births, was the most common birthing experience in Ontario until the late 1930s. However by 1950 less than 10% of births took place in the home.
Today in the United States the rate of natural birth with no interventions, no medication or surgery, is less then 2%. That is, less than 2% of babies in the States are born without the side effects of pain medication, general anesthetic and/or surgery. The ceasarean rate averages 33 percent but varies greatly by location. Canada’s rates are slightly better but again, depend on the region.
We are the only mammals that use the assistance of others in our births. All other mammals, including cats, dogs, wild animals, etc., simply birth their young and then turn their attention to caring for them. If we turn the clock back thousands of years, it would have been the same for humans.
Other mammals do not fear birth but simply move through it. What is the difference between human mothers and other mammal mothers? The answer is the human mind—the thinking, the worry, the beliefs and the influence of others’ worries, stories and beliefs.
For other mammals, the only element operating is instinct. The main instinct is to find a safe place to birth. If there are predators near or the animal does not feel safe, the mother will stop or slow her labour until she finds a safe place to birth her young.
Humans have this same instinct for safety but there are many more things that can make a woman feel unsafe. She may feel unsafe because of stories she has heard about other’s births, instability in her living situation, or relationship. There may be unresolved emotional traumas from her past that surface during birthing.
The main change in the evolution of humans has been the evolution of the mind. The unfortunate side of having this highly developed mind is that we have a collection of fears, worries and habits accumulated over our years. Many of these fears and worries do not make conscious sense but they are there, stored in our subconscious minds.
In short, the modern human mind often gets in the way of a simple, natural birth. There isn’t much that the mind is needed for during birth if the mother has helpers taking care of mom’s basic comfort and safety. So the best way to achieve a comfortable, healthy birthing experience is to get the modern, complicated mind out of the way. Sink into a relaxed trance state and dive down into the beauty of an instinctual, natural birthing experience.
The trance state, whether you prefer to call it an hypnotic state or meditation, moves you into the alpha or theta brain wave levels where the mother can achieve deep relaxation and allow her birth to proceed calmly. You are completely aware in the trance state but you are deeply relaxed.