Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas Wish for Birthing Women

As everyone rushes around, gathering with family and friends for Christmas, baking cookies, piling their cars high with gifts, and eating more than ample portions of Christmas candy and sweets, I’ve thought about what I really want this Christmas.

What I want isn’t tangible, and I won’t get it tomorrow morning as a Christmas gift.

But I still wish for it, for my future, and that of every young woman who will someday face the prospect of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.

I dream of the day….

~ When pregnant women are honored and treasured by society as life-givers and very special people.

~ When all women will be informed and educated about their bodies, birth, and babies.

~ When maternity care providers will believe that parents are good decision makers when presented with accurate information.

~ When every woman will have access to a midwife, a doula, a physician, a circle of supportive friends and anyone else she needs or wants to give her the best pregnancy possible.

~ When pregnant women walking through the grocery story will hear, “You can do it!” instead of, “I hope you signed up for an epidural! You have no idea how bad it hurts!”

~ When women aren’t expected to have perfect bodies that show no signs of having carried and birthed a baby.

~ When birth and babies again belong to mothers and fathers…. Not the state, not the American Medical Association, not the insurance companies, or the hospitals or obstetricians.

It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen when committed people work to change their own little corner of the world.

You may not be able to transform your local hospital’s policies, but you can educate your daughters, the girls in your neighborhood, your classmates and colleagues about birth.

You may not be able to stem the rising C-section rate, but you can help this mother avoid an unnecessary one.

You may not write a book that improves birth for other women, but you can write a letter to the newspaper about women’s birth options in your area.

You may never get everyone to breastfeed, but you can convince some people of the huge difference it can make in the future health of any baby.

You may never appear on a talk show about birth, but you can talk to your friends about improving birth.

You may never change the world, but you can change your world!

1 comment:

jl said...

How beautifully spoken! That is a wish I hope comes true in the near future!