By Melissa Feldman
By reclaiming our connection to nature, women get in touch with their nurturing skills, which help to preserve our own species. According to an article "Wild at Heart" that appeared in O The Oprah Magazine in July 2002: "Women know in our bodies, our souls and our histories what it means to be domesticated, managed and tamed. Yet medical research has revealed that our bodies work on an innate circadian clock that changes with the ebb and flow of sunlight and seasons."
I gave birth to my four children during the natural childbirth movement in the late '70s and '80s. While pregnant with my last two children, I became interested in the alternative childbirth scene. I intuitively connected with the idea of the Leboyer method, in which lights were turned off and babies were welcomed to this world in a warm, comforting environment.
I also read about how women could have control in how they gave birth, in the positions they assumed and by working with professionals who were open to how they wanted to give birth. So I decided to take a training to become a doula. I attended several births and thought about becoming a childbirth educator as well.
I had heard about BirthWorks International from the women who gave the doula workshop I participated in. Reading about the BWI philosophy, which "Provides high quality training that instills confidence that the knowledge about how to give birth already exists within every woman", struck a chord with me.
I also realized that natural childbirth methods that were available when I was given birth had been created by men. It was gratifying to learn that in the early 1990's, a new generation of women reclaimed their innate ability to give birth in a way that suited them and wanted to educate other women, as well. I wanted to be part of this movement. Self-expression was a strong impetus for me.
Helping women to find their own voice during the process of giving birth can help them become more empowered in all areas of their lives. Women helping women is an idea whose time has come.