My husband and I have been eating a paleo diet/lifestyle since we were engaged. It not only helped us lose a total of 40 lbs put together for the wedding, but it also changed the way we think about our health. The philosophy behind the paleo diet is can be found here and Mark’s Daily Apple‘s blog is an excellent resource on how to get started. Here’s also an overview of the history of food and what this diet is based on. Also, here’s a short video by Mama Natural, who I enjoy watching, and her first week of the Paleo diet!
So what does this have to do with Natural Childbirth? Chris Kresser gives an easy explanation for why you should birth at home, naturally:
Throughout the vast majority of human history, women have always given birth in a familiar place, with family members or other trusted companions. Even now, babies are still born at home in most places around the world. And although the move from birth at home to the hospital began in the 18th century, home birth was the norm even in westernized countries until the 1950s.
Think of it this way: humans have been giving birth at home for 999,998 generations, and it’s only in the last 2 generations that hospital birth has become common. This means that women have given birth at home for 99.998% of human history.
Yet in the U.S. today, fewer than 1 percent of births happen in the home. This abrupt and almost complete transition from natural childbirth toward industrialized childbirth has had profound repercussions on mothers, babies and the culture at large.
I didn’t realise the link between eating Paleo and birthing naturally until I taught a couple who drove all the way from London for Bradley Classes! They ate Paleo for 5 years, and then moved on to the GAPS diet, which is their current lifestyle. When I first found out, I thought “What a coincidence! We eat Paleo too!”
However, the connection is deeper. See, the Paleo lifestyle makes us reconsider what we think about nature, relying on nature and our bodies to function naturally. The invention of agriculture and the production of wheat, grains, and corn in huge abundance caused people to change their diets from relying on unprocessed whole foods to highly processed foods. Similarly, the invention of medical interventions and hospitals caused a shift from birthing at home with family, friends, and maybe midwives in attendance to birthing in a hospital surrounded by doctors and nurses. We even went through a dark time in our history where husbands and fathers were banned from the hospital rooms and women were drugged, “put out,” and their babies were “extracted” from them. Hence, the development of the term “delivery” instead of the customary term “birth.”
So if you eat a Paleo diet and you haven’t considered natural birth, it’s worth investigating. The female body was created to give birth, and to give birth without the help of drugs or other interventions. There are times when medical interventions are necessary to save lives, but instead of thinking of birth as a medical event, we should be thinking about it as a natural part of life. More and more studies are showing that any sort of medical intervention is causing a domino effect of interventions.
I’ll leave you with this:
The miracle of life is intricate and amazing. The development of a baby from conception until birth is impossible to understand fully. How does a baby know when to start the beating of his heart? How does a baby know when to start swallowing and practise sucking his thumb? Would we intervene on a baby’s development to “help it along” in growing its brain? No, the miracle of life is too intricate for us to understand. Similarly, a baby knows when he’s done developing inside the womb. The baby knows when to turn head-down, or other times, to stay bottom-down. The baby knows when to start giving off oxytocin to start mother’s contractions. Why would we interfere with the miracle of life by intervening before the baby is ready to come out?