Conscious birthing is as much about conscious conception and parenting, as it is about the actual natural birthing process. Although one would expect India to have holistic doctors and natural birthing facilities available en masse – given its rich yoga and ayurveda traditions – the reality is far from it. When searching for clinics for water birthing, midwives for home birthing and experienced, holistically thinking gynaecologists in Uttarakhand (North East India), there are NONE to find.
While Mumbai and Hyderabad offer already some good alternatives to the standardised allopathic birthing procedures, the region between Delhi and Dehradun are way behind.
India, the largest democracy on the planet with 1 billion people, is going through big changes with the new government. While ambition and strength are needed for the country’s development and expansion, balance and discernment are equally crucial.
Given the speed in which India’s population is growing, shouldn’t the provision of an environment where babies, India’s future generations, can enter life naturally, in peace and calm, without time pressure and trauma, be amongst the top priorities? (Short and longterm implications for mums and children after stressful, hurried, medicated and invasive births are well documented.)
Women who were used to natural births (for example Garhwali women in Uttarakhand), started believing that it is unfashionable to do so. They have to be encouraged to return to their natural ways, which might take a generation of education and training.
Democracy is about choices. And in this fast paced world it is more urgent than ever to ensure the fullfillment of the basic needs of women giving birth. To become aware and understand their physiological and psychological processes, and to give women knowledge and the freedom of choice.
“Being from Europe where natural birthing, home births, waterbirths and trained nurses have long ago started to be widely available – just check Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland–, I see a massive lack of such options in India. The caesarean rate is 98%, presence of midwives maybe 2%. And even if clinical doctors promise to support expectant parents in their natural birthing process, they more often than not change their minds last minute because higher hospital fees can be charged for c-sections.”
HypnoBirthing Practitioner, 2014
Vision for Uttarakhand, the ‘Land of the Gods’:
- To have a reliable network of holistic birthing professionals and experienced midwives for home- and hospital births in Uttarakhand.
- To have reliable support from committed staff in well-equipped hospitals.
- To ultimately have established a holistic integrative birthing sanctuary in Uttarakhand – between Rishikesh and Dehradun – with skilled midwives and doctors (trained under international standards incl. alternative medicine), facilities for natural birthing (e.g. water pools, private rooms, calm atmosphere) and a state of the art ob/gyn department for emergency interventions. To have the space and facilities for parents to stay well in advance of the due date, and stay as long as needed. Focus: Treat expectant mothers with respect, acknowledge their individual needs and allow them to experience birthing without time pressure and enforcement of medicine or invasions. This sanctuary would balance the best of all worlds – mum’s and baby’s body wisdom, naturopathy, spiritual science and healing modalities as well as conventional medicine.
If you are interested in supporting the realisation of such a sacred birthing home, please get in touch.