A voice of wisdom silenced by science/medicine

It is not that human beings are not aware and ahead of their times and speaking wisdom but rather that they are ignored if there is power and profit involved in the system they seek to change.

Grantly Dick-Read was an English doctor who was ahead of his time and who came up with the very sensible theory that pain in childbirth was mostly related to fear. In an age where few women trust their bodies and most fear them and never more so than when giving birth and this is encouraged by society and the medical system, his words remain important, albeit ignored.

He reasoned that in a situation of fear the physiological response is fight or flight and with women probably more likely the latter. Anyway, in such a state the body seeks to close down those organs which are considered unnecessary to the current need – like the gut and of course the uterus.

He saw the suffering in women who suffered in labour, as an enormous battle between the two most powerful forces in the universe – the need for flight and the need to give birth.

One can imagine the physical, mental, emotional impact this would have. He was of course completely ignored by the medical profession but his book is still in print.

I read his book in 1970 when I was pregnant with my son. At the age of barely 21 it had an impact but not enough of an impact to withstand the onslaught and pressure of modern medicine. Both of my children were natural births but neither were the sort of experience a woman deserves when giving birth, or what I wanted.

Standing up to doctors and the medical powers that be is hard and more so when you are so young and in labour.  The meddling and intervention by science/medicine has only increased and so has the pressure on women to fear their bodies and mistrust themselves in giving birth.

The massive rise in C-sections is one part of this propaganda exercise waged by medicine on the basis of preserving and increasing their profits and so too is the encouragement that women fear their bodies and doubt themselves and cannot cope with any pain, should there be pain. It is all a denial and rejection of the power of the feminine to give birth – to do what they are meant to do.

It is not the fault of women but that of the system in which they are now held where pregnancy and labour are treated like any other disease and the doctors as Gods hold sway over that which is natural and should be beautiful. Of course there are exceptions. Of course some women need medical intervention and on those counts one can only be grateful for those skills which modern medicine can offer – but most women do not, and a system which takes an automatic stance that all pregnancies are ‘high risk’ and all babies are ‘under threat’ and no woman can give birth without medical help is not just dishonest it is dangerous.

A baby born naturally, as nature intended gets the very best start in life and that should be the goal of medicine. But in a profit-driven industry the goal in the main is to establish control, maintain profits and ensure there are no opportunities for litigation. In such a system mothers and babies both lose.

The massive rise in C-sections is one part of this propaganda exercise waged by medicine on the basis of preserving and increasing their profits and so too is the drugging of women’s bodies in childbirth, drugs which impact the child in ways not yet known or admitted; all a denial and rejection of the power of the feminine to give birth – to do what they are meant to do.

It is not the fault of women but that of the system in which they are now held where pregnancy and labour are treated like any other disease and the doctors as Gods hold sway over that which is natural and should be beautiful. Of course there are exceptions. Of course some women need medical intervention and on those counts one can only be grateful for those skills – but most women do not and a system which takes an automatic stance that all pregnancies are ‘high risk’ and all babies are ‘under threat’ and no woman can give birth without medical help is not just dishonest it is dangerous.

Grantly Dick-Read (January 26, 1890 – June 11, 1959) was a British obstetrician and a leading advocate of natural childbirth.

Grantly Dick-Read was born in Suffolk on 26 January 1890, the son of a Norfolk miller and the sixth of seven children. Educated at Cambridge he was an excellent athlete and horseman.

He received his medical training at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, where he qualified in 1914. During World War I he was badly wounded at Gallipoli but later served in France as a medical officer.

In the early 1920s he worked at a clinic in Woking and it became very popular. Dick-Read specialised in childbirth and care, observing and writing up case histories and notes.

He published his first book ’Natural Childbirth’ in 1933. Dick-Read’s ideas were at first ridiculed, and he was expelled from the London clinic he had set up with a group of fellow obstetricians. When the Woking partnership was dissolved in 1934, Dick-Read set up a private clinic at 25 Harley Street.

His second book, Revelation of Childbirth (which was later retitled Childbirth without Fear) was published in 1942, and aimed at a general readership. It became an international bestseller, and it is still in print. Dick-Read was invited to give lecture tours all over the world.

In an age where birth has often been overtaken by obstetrics, Dr Dick-Read’s philosophy is still as fresh and relevant as it was when he originally wrote this book. He unpicks every possible root cause of western woman’s fear and anxiety in pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and does so with overwhelming heart and empathy. Essential reading for all parents-to-be, childbirth educators, midwives and obstetricians!

http://www.amazon.com/Childbirth-Without-Fear-Principles-Practice/dp/1780660553

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About rosross

Editor, writer, poet.
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One Response to A voice of wisdom silenced by science/medicine

  1. julespaige says:

    Thinking before speaking is something perhaps more folks should do?

    So far the extra snow hasn’t materialized but I just finished scraping a layer of ice off the driveway and walks. This will be for us a cold winter season remembered. More school closings than perhaps the last ten years before. While shoveling I could hear crackles and then crashes of tree limbs falling weighted by ice. That’s what happens when we get freezing rain for most of the night.

    Be well, Jules

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