You have probably heard the narrative that suggests that restoring humanity to birth depends on “improving birth” or “moving in the right direction” when it comes to institutional policies.
In other words, “baby steps."
Here’s the thing though: as I’ve been working with my partner Emilee Saldaya to create our comprehensive course, “The Complete Guide to Freebirth”, I have been reminded again of how much this approach seems to me to come from the same mindset of scarcity and subordination upon which the entire industrial obstetric approach is predicated.
The idea that it takes “baby steps” to make change, represents a perspective similar to the one that says we should be grateful for the fact that women are “permitted” to eat a piece of orange during their hospital births, or that we should be thankful now that doctors are “allowing” women a whole five minutes of “delayed cord clamping” immediately postpartum.
Isn’t this something to celebrate? Shouldn’t we be appreciative?
Nah. Being thrown scraps from Patriarchy’s orgiastic banquet table might work for some. But for other women, including myself, “change", or “improvements” to the status quo hold little interest.
I chose free birth because I will never be satisfied with crumbs being thrown my way.
Asking anyone else's permission to claim any aspect of my birth process is not an option for me. There is no way that I’m going to accept the little contingencies and allowances that are framed as “advancements” within a broken system.
Our philosophy at Free Birth Society is not about taking institutional birth practices and modifying them so they can be brought into our homes, or making institutional practices a little more homey or a little prettier—you know, redecorating the hospital room in pastel colours…
Our philosophy is rooted in transformation.
While change is so often a plodding bureaucratic process, transformation on the other hand, happens in an instant.
And this transformation is possible for every woman.
Some of the most powerful experiences of my life include witnessing mothers, in the space of a moment in time, wake up to the reality that they, and they alone, will from this point forward, alter *forever*, the trajectory and future of their entire family, through freebirth.
Claiming our inherent right to birth happens in a flash of inspiration, and once you get it, your life will never be the same.