I’m sharing a wonderful short film with Laing narrating below. The dehumanization that happens during the birth of a baby to both mother and child has been compared to some of the traumas that happen in psychiatry too. The fact is a lot of medicine can be traumatic and coercive, both.
To avoid birthing trauma for both mothers and our newborns we need to understand this and makes changes. I’ve often said we live in a culture of abuse. I’m not always explicit about what that means. Here is one glaring and mostly avoidable example of how we are out of touch with the nature of our being and impose abuse on ourselves and our children. Even the process of being brought into the world is often unnecessarily traumatic when it should be simply joyous.
Birth with R.D. Laing (1978)
Another brilliant article about this topic on Beyond Meds written by Leah Harris is: Parallels in obstetrics and psychiatry
That article is truly a gem. I hope you’ll click through and read it. There are other ways of approaching birth and life in general that minimize what can be deeply traumatic for many people.
A more recent film that also underscores the problems with how birth is managed these days is The business of being born. I highly recommend this film too. This sort of dehumanization of the mother and baby still happens now and in fact probably more so than in 1978.
And wow! The whole film is available on youtube now! I really loved this film. I may watch it again too.
Birth: it’s a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America. Focusing on New York City, the film reveals that there is much to distrust behind hospital doors and follows several couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. There is an unexpected turn when director Epstein not only discovers she is pregnant, but finds the life of her child on the line. Should most births should be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?
LETS START TO EDUCATE OURSEVLES! You made that baby, you held him/her for 9 months how you knew best, so let your birth go on your term’s too.
The Business of Being Born — DVD available for sale