In Rayner's words:
The Sad and Scandalous Connection
between Childbirthing Methods
and Drug Addiction.
I really think that this may
turn out to be the major scandal of the century-- bigger by far than the tobacco or asbestos controversies of the 20th century.
Unhappily, by any reasonable professional standard, I much conclude that most persons
practicing Anaesthesiology and in the birthing medical community are not fit to hold their positions. Neither are most members
of the British Home Office. It is a national tragedy of major proportions about which the medical profession and Home Office
has had its head in the sands for, by now, many decades.
Millions of women
and their children have suffered needlessly. By ignoring a very few pioneers in birthing and drug addiction they have consigned
further millions to a very miserable existence as drug addicts. Earning the scorn and the approbation of the community in
which they were born into and for an addiction for which they are innocent.
There has been ample evidence from The Bedouin and other tribal communities that even a first time mother can, and does give
birth quite safely by herself or just accompanied by a woman of the tribe who does not re-stimulate the birthing mother and
cause the reaction so common to Westernised women. (From an email sent to me by a Doctor working in the Sinai Desert during
the war, who observed a first time mother of about seventeen give birth by herself quite painlessly and without any distress
by squatting in the desert, totally unaccompanied by anyone.)
God (however you view the human dilemma) would never have expected that a woman in labor would need a highly toxic and dangerous
drug that had never been tested to see if it was toxic over the long term to get through the birthing experience.
Apart from Westernised women out of touch with their primal instincts and indoctrinated
by horrific images by the public media other indigenous cultures do not experience trauma when giving birth. Apart from a
minority of potential mothers who are suffering from various genetic abnormalities and other conditions, the majority of labouring
mothers is entirely fit to be able to give birth by herself or with a labor assistant that they can trust by their side. There
are many cultures where women give birth by themselves or just with another woman whom they trust implicitly.
In the normal birth endorphins are released which give the mother ample help in the feelings
and stretching of muscles that ensue in normal un-restimulated birth. It is of course essential that such a birthing assistant’s
presence must not arouse the instinctive flight or fight reaction which is invariably aroused when the presence of a relative
stranger is perceived, whose stimulation will incur failure to progress. It is a national scandal of major proportions that
this earlier evidence and anthropological observations has been ignored or derided.
The squatting position which until recently was not used in the birthing community because instrumentation was required in
hospitals or birthing centres. Mothers have to lie on their backs, a position that impeded the easy gravitational assisted
drop of the neonate Squatting is ideal in that position opens up the pelvis and also gravity further aids the neonate in its
passage down the birthing canal.
I do not know if the medical community
has been willfully ignoring all of the evidence accumulating in the last 40 years, or they have the belief that they are the
only ones who are qualified to pronounce on these matters. Or, I suspect, it could be that midwifes and physicians have unconsciously
absorbed the usual panic and anxiety frequently experienced by professional staff because of their own traumatic births.
They may not be aware of this subterranean anxiety, which may be simmering below
and will undoubtedly effect their behaviour, and state of mind in a subtle manner. As far as I have been able to discover
there have been absolutely no long term trials or research of any possible danger to the new-born of administering anaesthesia
of any kind, to the labouring mother. Short term effects, yes, but long term, no.
I think that the time has come when research should be undertaken into the possible use of Neuro-stimulation to ease the pain
and distress of labour, when undergone with unsuitable companions. This was banned by the Home Office for such purposes in
1966. Since then I have been exploring other non-chemical alternatives in order that birthing mothers in labour can experience
some semblance of comfort. One method that I have proposed is that mothers give birth without being exposed to unconsciously
perceived potential predators.
In every labouring mother’s unconscious
there is a primal drive for survival which in more primitive days ensured the survival of both mother and neonate. As Professor
Michal Odent wrote, "All mammals require a private, safe and quiet place in which to give birth." (In an e-mail
message sent to me by him from the Primal Health Centre in response to an article I had had printed in Midwifery Today some
years back. Dr. Odent is a pioneer in gentle birthing practices,)
Grantly-Read, MD first proposed this over 50 years ago in his seminal book, Childbirth Without Pain, and gave a very clear
description of the physiology involved. Unfortunately at that time, he did not have any thing to offer to the birthing community
to relieve the extreme pain felt by some mothers other than general suggestions for relaxing.
Here is the way I believe it should be done. Birthing centres should be equipped with simple but
comfortably designed rooms that could be accessed by the labouring mother without seeing nursing or other professional staff.
All documentation should be filled out before labor commences. She would then be able to go into labor peacefully and without
being disturbed by staff communicating their own anxieties about the mother’s and infant’s safety. In this manner a camera is installed in these birthing rooms which would be
monitored by a fully qualified professional from a central viewing station. Medical professionals would would be on call and
could, if the rare emergency were to occur, be in the room in an instant. In this way the safety and comfort of both mother
and child would be ensured. Of course sufficient
staff would be vital to ensure that any needed response would be timely and without undue wait or delay. It is a national
scandal in Britain that insufficient midwives are available for birthing mothers. Britain and it seems the US, too, waste
billions of public money on schemes which do not benefit the public, and which are badly needed in the health service, education
and adequate housing to mention just a few needy areas of public life.
In natural settings the mother is alone or with a trusted person. There is nothing to arouse the fight or flight mechanism
in her. (Of course, the way things are all too often the bright lights, noises, voices, and just the presence of strangers
is enough to bring on fear, and the scared mother goes into fight or flight, the body naturally delaying the birth until things
are safe. Of course, then all too often jumps in the wise M.D. with Demerol and, especially in the US, an offer of a Caesarian! However, under my method, should the fight or flight reflex somehow have been activated
nothing will suffice except that the labouring mother is instructed by birthing staff to discharge the adrenaline by using
strenuous exercise. This can be as simple as beating on pillows for about twenty minutes or so. Relaxationtechniques, Bradley and Lamaze systems and birthing pools are a waste of time and resources and do not prepare the
birthing mother for the birth. They may well provide some superficial comfort but when fear, fight and flight kick in, real
help is vitally needed.