Spiritual Midwifery And The Positive Birth Conference
By Gavin Ryan
I was lucky enough to speak to world-famous midwife, Ina May Gaskin, author of the seminal publication, Spiritual Midwifery and the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Centre in Tennessee, one of the first midwife-led birthing centres in the U.S. For anyone hoping to have a natural birth and wondering how best to proceed, Spiritual Midwifery is one of the most important and inspirational texts on the subject yet written.
What brought you into midwifery?
I would say it was the birth of my first child. When I was about half way into my pregnancy my friend told me that I had to go see an obstetrician, so I went. The obstetrician said I’d already gained too much weight and he put me on a very strict diet. He didn’t want me to gain any more than 12 lbs. Imagine that! Normal weight gain would be 35-40lbs. That was hard. I didn’t like it much. I thought I better tell him that I didn’t want anaesthesia. Sure, when having wisdom teeth out, I wanted anaesthesia, but not for having a baby. He said, “Oh no, you’re going to need anaesthesia because you’re going to have a forceps delivery.” “That’s crazy,” I thought. I’d never heard of that anywhere in my family. I just thought that was nuts. So I thought, “I’ll just be real quiet and they’ll not do that.” That was a bad mistake.