Last Week we Gathered to Chat About Home Birth

Posted by on Jun 14, 2015 in Writings

Last Week we Gathered to Chat About Home Birth

We do this every three months here in Cape Town, in a lovely home in the seaside village of Muizenberg. Lana and I have been running these gatherings for the last five years. They were born out of a need and a desperation to provide support and information to those seeking direction and advice around this obscure birthing option and the gatherings have gained a momentum of their own.

When we first started them we would work so hard to spread the word, posting flyers to all the midwives and interested antenatal teachers. We would arrange speakers and explore themes. We would advertise and spread the word and we would always lose money running them but loved it and loved the responses and stories we got. They were always worth it.

And then something shifted.

The gatherings grew.

And so did the stories.

And the variety and range of people who came.

It has become such a safe space to listen and share.

Mothers, fathers, doulas, midwives, interested parties attend and all seem to leave humbled and moved.

As do we. Every time.

Mothers share their birthing experiences, their eyes still glowing with oxytocin. These women, these strong strong women, share what made them feel strong and empowered. They share their vulnerable and beautiful stories to a hungry audience, an audience who needs affirmation and support in the choices they are making.

“Stories teach us in ways we can remember. They teach us that each woman responds to birth in her unique way and how very wide-ranging that way can be. Sometimes they teach us about silly practices once widely held that were finally discarded. They teach us the occasional difference between accepted medical knowledge and the real bodily experiences that women have – including those that are never reported in medical textbooks nor admitted as possibilities in the medical world. They also demonstrate the mind/body connection in a way that medical studies cannot. Birth stories told by women who were active participants in giving birth often express a good deal of practical wisdom, inspiration, and information for other women. Positive stories shared by women who have had wonderful childbirth experiences are an irreplaceable way to transmit knowledge of a woman’s true capacities in pregnancy and birth.”Ina May Gaskin

I feel honoured and blessed to be part of these gatherings every three months. I do wish we could run them more often but for now, every three months will have to do.

Thanks again to all who come and share.