Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Perfect Response by Barbara Harper

My long-time friend, Barbara Harper (founder of Waterbirth International), posted this on her Facebook page. I found her dialogue so phenomenal, I asked her permission to reprint.  So here it Barbara’s words….

There was a commentator on the radio in Miami this morning (10/18/12) extolling the virtues of planned cesarean surgery and induction because you can guarantee that your doctor will be there as one reason to "control" the birth of your baby. This was my response:

To the uninformed person who commented on the convenience and safety of inductions and scheduled cesarean surgery instead of waiting for the perfectly timed dance of undisturbed childbirth: 
Barbara Harper

All human beings are programmed by brain wiring and influenced by the environmental signals to initiate the birth process through a complex set of chemical, hormonal and neurological transmitters. The new human needs that process to fully engage and activate parts of the brain that contribute to health, well-being, cardiovascular stability, respiratory function, neurological development and even feelings of love and attachment. 

When we arbitrarily assign a date to chemically initiate the process, the innate programming gets shut down, cannot function in the same way as the biological imperative would have, had things been left alone. The human being perceives this "jump start" as a threat and begins to prepare its body and brain to survive in an environment that is stress filled and possibly life threatening. All of the bodily functions that control the neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, metabolic adaptive mechanisms are put on high alert and remain there. This over stimulation of the psychoneuroimmunological system creates and lays down the patterns for future problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even some psychiatric disorders. 

This may be difficult for the uninformed consumer to begin to see the connections between the use of a simple drug to stimulate the uterine contractions or a surgical procedure to remove a human being from the habitat in which brain development is meant to take place, but the growing field of epigenetics and pre and perinatal psychology are rapidly filling in the gaps in our understanding that what we do in the birth process has life-long consequences on human health, the development of character, mental stability and perhaps even drug addiction. Tall order? Perhaps we are only beginning to realize the long term effects of this violation of an innate biological agenda - because that is what early chemical induction is!

As they say, "don't mess with Mother Nature!"

These scientific principals and the evidence to support this thesis are contained in my forth coming book, "Embracing The Miracle: How Pregnancy, Birth and the First Hour Influence Human Potential."  There are already many books and hundreds of research studies from which to broaden your understanding of allowing nature to fulfill its destiny in the creation of new human beings. Parenting For Peace by Marcy Axeness is a great book for any potential parent or grandparent along with my other book, Gentle Birth Choices . 

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