Some of my favourite Birth Quotes

“If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any.”

Diana Korte

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“It is a matter of the woman being comfortable, not stressed, in a place where she feels safe, without people fussing, without other people stressing, without anyone else trying to have her baby for her, no clocks, no timing, no telling her what her body already knows.”

Libby Williams

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“The way a woman gives birth can affect the whole of the rest of her life. How can that not matter? Unless the woman herself does not matter””

Beverley Beech and Belinda Phipps

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For Women

 

“The knowledge of how to give birth without outside interventions lies deep within each woman.  Successful childbirth depends on an acceptance of the process.”

Anonymous

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 “Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.

Barry Stevens (born Mildred Fox)

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“We have a secret in our culture, it’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.”

Laura Stavoe Harm

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“Birthing is the most profound initiation to spirituality a woman can have.”

Robin Lim

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“Just as a woman’s heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth.”

Virginia Di Orio

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“Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth.”

Valerie El Halta

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“Women’s bodies have near-perfect knowledge of childbirth; it’s when their brains get involved that things can go wrong.”

Peggy Vincent

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“Mothers don’t breastfeed, babies breastfeed.  Babies know how if we let them”

Nils Bergma

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“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware … To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.  She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

Grantly Dick-Read

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“Natural childbirth allows the hormones that have been working for women for thousands of years to fulfill their functions.  This is more important than just helping a woman through labor and delivery.  Birth-related hormones also affect well-being much later in life.”

Janet Schwegel

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“Birth is not only about making babies.  Birth is about making mothers – strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

Barbara Katz Rothman

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“A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

Gandalf in JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings.

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“No one who has ever brought up a child can doubt for a moment that love is literally the life-giving fluid of human existence.”

Smiley Blanton

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“There is power that comes to women when they give birth.  They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them.  Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”

Sheryl Feldman

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“The truth for women living in a modern world is that they must take increasing responsibility for the skills they bring into birth if they want their birth to be natural.  Making choices of where and with whom to birth is not the same as bringing knowledge and skills into your birth regardless of where and with whom you birth.”

Michel Odent

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“You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make … or don’t make.  If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you must examine what you have or haven’t done so far to create the outcome you want.”

Kim Wildner

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“The parallels between making love and giving birth are clear, not only in terms of passion and love, but also because we need essentially the same conditions for both experiences: privacy and safety.”

Sarah Buckley

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“The effort to separate the physical experience of childbirth from the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of this event has served to dis-empower and violate women.”

Mary Rucklos Hampton

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“Only with trust, faith, and support can the woman allow the birth experience to enlighten and empower her.”

Claudia Lowe

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“No other natural bodily function is painful and childbirth should not be an exception.”

Grantly Dick-Read

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“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear.”

Jane Weideman

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“Birth is an experience that demonstrates that life is not merely function and utility, but form and beauty.”

Christopher Largen

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“Childbirth is a time when a woman’s power and strength emerge full force, but it is also a vulnerable time.”

Annemarie Van Oploo

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“Having a highly trained obstetrical surgeon attend a normal birth is analogous to having a pediatric surgeon babysit a healthy 2-year-old.”

Marsden Wagner

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“If I had my life to live over, instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.”

Irma Bombeck

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For Mid-Wives and Doulas

 

“Attending births is like growing roses.  You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn’t dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line.”

Gloria Lemay

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 “The wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.”

Stephen Gaskin

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 “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”John H. Kennell “Meddlesome midwifery is dangerous.”

Margaret F. Myles

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 “We try to give a birthing woman freedom to find the right position for her own needs and comfort.”

Michel Odent

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 “Childbirth has evolved to suit the species, and if mankind chooses to ignore her advice and interfere with her workings we must not complain about the consequences.”

Margaret Jowitt

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 “I think one of the best things we could do would be to help women/parents/families discover their own birth power, from within themselves.  And to let them know it’s always been there, they just needed to tap into it.”

John H. Kennell

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 “Women’s strongest feelings, positive and negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.”

Annie Kennedy & Penny Simkin

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 “One is constantly having to balance the high expectations of modern health care with the need to respect the human soul.  This is especially so with birth.”

Benig Mauger

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 “If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing.”

Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg

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“The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power source. She may need, and deserve, help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will have the power.”

Heather McCue

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“Mothers need to know that their care and their choices won’t be compromised by birth politics.”

Jennifer Rosenberg

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“Treating normal labors as though they were complicated can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Judith Rooks

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“Unfortunately, the role of obstetrics has never been to help women give birth.  There is a big difference between the medical discipline we call ‘obstetrics’ and something completely different, the art of midwifery.  If we want to find safe alternatives to obstetrics, we must rediscover midwifery.  To rediscover midwifery is the same as giving back childbirth to women.  And imagine the future if surgical teams were at the service of the midwives and the women instead of controlling them.”

Michel Odent

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“In achieving the depersonalization of childbirth and at the same time solving the problem of pain, our society may have lost more than it has gained.  We are left with the physical husk; the transcending significance has been drained away.  In doing so, we have reached the goal which is perhaps implicit in all highly developed technological cultures, mechanized control of the human body and the complete obliteration of all disturbing sensations.”

Sheila Kitzinger

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“Every intervention is a lesson in who really owns your body and your baby’s body.”

Jock Doubleday

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“The best way to avoid a cesarean is to stay out of the hospital.”

Brooke Sanders Purves

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“There is no scientific evidence that doing over 10 percent of births with a cesarean improves the outcome for the woman or improves the outcome for the baby.”

Marsden Wagner

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“Reluctant doctors like to believe that they haven’t much influence over their patients, but that is clearly not the case.  Several studies have found that when doctors genuinely encouraged women to have VBACs, most of them did, and when they said nothing or acted neutral, most women didn’t.  Finally, when obstetricians discouraged VBAC in women who wanted to try it, none of them did.”

Henci Goer

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“A study of interactions between women and obstetricians offers an explanation.  It described three levels of increasing power imbalance: In the first, you fight and lose; in the second you don’t fight because you know you can’t win.  However, in the highest level of power differential, your preferences are so manipulated that you act against your own interests, but you are content.  Elective [meaning requested for no medical reason, not to be confused with needed surgery planned in advance] repeat cesarean exemplifies that highest level.”

Henci Goer

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“Logically, the abnormal cannot be identified without a clear scientific definition of the variations of normal.  Obstetrics lacks this because the risk concept implies that all pregnancy and birth is risky and therefore no pregnancy or birth can be considered normal until it is over.  In other words one cannot claim both the ability to separate normal and abnormal during pregnancy and the inability to determine normality until after birth.  The wide variation which occurs in the healthy experience of childbirth is too large for a single, uniform definition of ‘normality’, which can be used to define ‘abnormality’”

Marsden Wagner

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 “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

Mahatma Gandhi