Back to Birth

In our culture, we have been conditioned to believe that birth is something to be dreaded, feared and abhorred. So much so that we blindly turn our bodies and our babies over to who we are told is an expert, often a stranger. Someone who can rescue us from our biological destiny by performing procedures and interventions that render us helpless, submissive and, in the end, grateful for saving us and our babies from harm. I believe that there is much more to birth than merely getting the baby out.

Birth is complex. There are mental, emotional and spiritual aspects that far outweigh the physical birth experience. Yes, a healthy baby and mother are the ultimate goal of birth, but is what we do in our culture actually healthy for either?

Consider this:

  • The maternal mortality rate in our country is steadily increasing. The US does worse than 45 other countries, all the while spending the most.
  • Our babies are dying more often than those in 50 other countries.
  • Infant mortality rate for babies of African American or indigenous heritage are 1.5-3 times higher in our country.

So much is terribly wrong with our system. Where do we begin to fix it?

  1. We must teach girls to honor the innate intelligence of their bodies. This starts when they are children. For example, with menarche, instead of embarrassment, shame and secrets, we must celebrate the beginning of womanhood. Imagine if  we were honored by a special gift from our father and a ceremonial sharing of wisdom from our mothers. What if we embraced menarche as a rite of passage?  Perhaps we would look forward to our curvy hips and developing breasts and trust our bodies to work as nature intended, embracing our monthly cycle.
  2. Stop sharing birth horror stories. Start sharing beautiful accounts of birth. A woman’s body is designed to give birth and innately knows how. A body that can grow and nourish a baby can also birth one.
  3. Stop looking to the outside for our power. Instead connect with the doctor within, Innate Intelligence, birthing instincts or whatever you choose to call it. We innately know how to give birth when we look inward and connect with our bodies.
  4. Create a sense of community with like-minded women who trust in birth, the strength of women and believe in conscious choices.
  5. Find midwives and doctors, who truly believe in a woman’s ability to give birth normally and who support evidenced-based medicine. Avoid unnecessary intervention.
  6. Educate women about normal birth through courses like HypnoBirthing-The Mongan Method.
  7. Release Fears, Build Confidence!
  8. Create special rituals celebrating women and the rites of passage.See the truth in birth practices. Educate and Advocate.
  9. Hire a doula to support you in creating normal birth.


Categories: Women's Issues + Awareness

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Vivian Keeler

Dr. Vivian Keeler has devoted most of her adult life to the care and education of women and their families. She has been a Chiropractic Physician since 1986 with a special focus on the health of pregnant women. She is a natural birth expert who has attended more than 800 births as a doula and has taught HypnoBirthing-The Mongan Method, to hundreds of couples over the last 13 years. She is also a Certified Hypnotist. She is a faculty member of the HypnoBirthing Institute and sits on their Board of Directors. Dr. Keeler has received the HypnoBirthing Institutes Diamond Award for her contributions to the advancement of HypnoBirthing. She has shared her expertise through many speaking engagements, articles and interviews and is responsible for co-creating several training programs that have inspired many birth professionals to become agents of change in their own communities. Dr. Keeler is the co-founder of Amazing Births & Beyond and Contemporary Doula International. Her passion lies in inspiring and empowering women to create beautiful births, happy families and health in body, mind and spirit. She resides in Hollywood, Florida with her husband, Tim and their two amazing daughters, who were birthed naturally at home.

  1. Vivian,

    I enjoyed your piece. I’ve been watching “Call the Midwife” on the BBC set in the 1950’s and admiring how beautiful and blessed the act of childbirth is.

    It reminded me of your words,

    “We must teach girls to honor the innate intelligence of their bodies…Create special rituals celebrating women and the rites of passage…See the truth in birth practices. Educate and Advocate.
    Hire a doula to support you in creating normal birth.”

    Fortunate to be present for the home birth of my goddaughter, it was indeed miraculous. Beautiful sentiments.

    Thank you!


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