The main thing to know and remember is that childbirth is a completely physiological natural process. And it begins from the very first days of pregnancy. It is not known why, but a pregnant woman is called a “future mother”, and a child is called an inanimate noun “fetus” until the very birth. Nevertheless, modern science confirms that already in the ninth week of gestation, a man no more than two centimeters tall moves its tiny arms and legs. How can you call an inanimate word one who quite clearly moves, grows and develops every day? All spiritual traditions and teachings, as well as our very human intuitive nature, say that there is a living soul in the womb. So how can a mother be future if her child already lives in her, he already exists?
Even the phrases adopted in our speech try to bypass the topic of pregnancy, childbirth and intrauterine development, presenting everything as if a person’s life begins only with his birth. What about the previous nine months of life? Indeed, during this period, the mother also took care of the child and loved him, and he also grew up under her protection. Ekaterina Osochenko draws attention to the fact that in the medical literature the period of attempts is called “the period of fetal expulsion.” That is, the mother does not help her baby to overcome all hardships and be born, but expels the inanimate fetus from herself. They usually drive out what burdens, interferes, harms, etc.
In addition, in our time, pregnancy and obstetrics are surrounded by so many medical terms, specialties of doctors and medicines that many women forget that the mechanism of childbirth in their body is provided by nature itself. They begin to perceive childbirth as an unpleasant surgical operation. Even in medical documents, a pregnant woman, from the moment of registration at the antenatal clinic until discharge from the maternity hospital, is referred to as “sick”, and pregnancy is indicated in the “diagnosis” column. However, has it always been this way? And is such a perception of childbirth that deep, hereditary female wisdom? “If I were a queen,” said the third sister, “I would give birth to a hero for the father of the Tsar” … Are these words accidental in Pushkin’s tale? Are they talking about the expulsion of the fetus or the birth of a Human in peace and joy?
The well-known psychiatrist Stanislav Grof was the first to endow the quality of the animality of a child in the womb at the turn of the 1960s-1970s. Working with his patients, he suggested that the cause of their mental disorders lies in the traumatic experiences that accompany the transition from the inner safe environment of the uterus to the outside world. At the same time, the ultrasound method is actively developing, clearly confirming the presence of life inside a pregnant woman. The use of ultrasound at least did not make doctors consider the unborn child as a person, as Grof argued, but nevertheless led to the development of various techniques that pay attention not only to the physical, but also the psychological (energy) state of a woman during pregnancy, and shifted the focus of doctors and obstetricians towards the developing child inside.
Obstetrics as a delicate craft of obstetrics has ancient roots and a rich history of formation and development, in which there have been falls that have led to a break in the contact of this profession with mother and child for many decades.
Midwives who are involved in the highest mystery of the emergence of a person from oblivion and help him to come into this world have always been considered the most worthy people. “In the oldest written monuments of human history, in the sacred books of the Hindus, Egyptians, Jews – everywhere it is mentioned about midwives as a special class of specialists, and among the ancients many goddesses were revered as the patroness of women in labor.”
It is known that one of the deities of the pantheon of the ancient Slavs was the goddess Rozhana. It is no coincidence that her name is consonant with such words as “childbirth”, “nature”, “fertility”, “native”, etc. The initiation of a woman as a mother was the moment of transition to her of the female wisdom of the race. Rozhana had a son, Lel. From his name in the Old Russian language there were “children’s” words: “lyalya, lyalechka”, “cradle”, “cherish”. Rozhana was glorified with the arrival of spring at the end of April: women and girls kindled bonfires, brought plant gifts, sang songs and danced in circles. The holiday was purely for women, men and boys watched the celebration from afar. With the advent of Christianity, Rozhanu and the baby Lelem were replaced by the Most Holy Mary with Christ. However, the essence of these images did not change in the minds of people, since a mother with a child in her arms always carried holiness within herself,
Like any sacrament, inaccessible to the human mind, childbirth was accompanied by a series of important ceremonies and rituals. Great importance was attached to the connection between the child being born and the parents, demonstrating that the child is expected and desired. For example, in some villages, shortly before giving birth, the father had to gouge a trough with his own hands. Sitting in this trough, the woman in labor underwent contractions, and often gave birth to a baby. The boy was usually wrapped in a mother’s undershirt, a girl in her father’s undershirt. Thus, the feminine and masculine energies were balanced in the child’s unprotected, receptive energy body. The umbilical cord was not cut immediately. All the time the woman and the child were in the bathhouse or hut. And only when the Sun appeared in the sky (the supreme deity among the Slavs, as well as among many other peoples), the father carried the child outside and exposed it to the sun’s rays. This was how the new man became acquainted with the gods and was established in this world.
Midwives in those days did not have a medical education, but were famous for their skill, based on the experience of their ancestors. The hereditary midwife was considered the best specialist and enjoyed great prestige among all segments of the population. Obstetrics from time immemorial has been a purely female occupation. Most often, the midwives were elderly women, mostly widows, hence the name “midwives”. However, married women could also give birth, but only those who had already stopped giving birth and who had run out of menstruation. Maidens or childless wives could not be midwives, because they themselves had no experience of childbirth.
With the beginning of the reformatory innovations of Peter I, European orders came to obstetrics. Doctors with professional education are beginning to enjoy great authority, who gradually made obstetrics their fiefdom. In 1752, Mikhailo Lomonosov, in his work “On the Reproduction and Preservation of the Russian People”, recommended writing an official guide to obstetrics. Two years later, a document was published (“The idea of the decent institution of the Babichi case in favor of society”), obliging all midwives to pass a special certification. Those who, according to the results of certification, were recognized as worthy, were sworn in and were called “sworn grandmothers.” The list of jury midwives was submitted to the police to notify the people. Following the oath, such midwives were to visit without discrimination both rich and poor women. In 1757, special schools for midwives were created in Moscow and St. Petersburg – “women’s schools”. In 1764, by decree of Catherine II, the first maternity hospital was established in Moscow. However, at first, maternity hospitals were branches of orphanages and were created for disadvantaged women who abandoned their children after giving birth. Women from prosperous families usually gave birth at home, calling in a midwife. And only in 1882 maternity hospitals begin to provide services to all mothers.
Gradually, childbirth is increasingly beginning to be considered from a natural-scientific point of view and is being taken over by male doctors. The intuitive feminine was qualified as unscientific. Women in labor and babies were separated from female midwives for 115 years, as higher education was not available for women. By the time women were able to return to childbirth, the male mind had already arranged the birth process from a purely practical point of view. Baby extraction forceps, caesarean section and toxic pain medications were first used by male obstetricians. Unfortunately, even today, two centuries later, many doctors repeat the mistakes of their colleagues from the past. Ether, chloroform and cocaine, which were first used for pain relief in childbirth and often lead to irreparable consequences for the health of the child and woman, have replaced:
- intramuscular or intravenous injection of analgesics;
- inhalation anesthesia;
- local infiltration anesthesia;
- regional (epidural) anesthesia;
- general anesthesia (short-term).
All these funds, due to chemical-toxic components, cause numbness (temporary stoppage of natural functioning) of a muscle, ligament or internal organ of varying severity. You can find more detailed information about each of them and the consequences of its use in childbirth.
With the advent of Soviet power, such a personal, intimate process for the family as childbirth is also taken under the control of the state. Sterile hospital wards are now considered the best conditions for mother and child. The joint stay of the mother and child is practiced strictly by the clock only for feeding. In the time around the war, from the second half of the 30s to the end of the 50s of the twentieth century, the state takes motherhood and childhood under increased control. Every woman was obliged to be registered in the antenatal clinic. Since they did not hear about non-working young mothers in the USSR, and they didn’t want to hear, a whole system of childcare facilities was created for children from 8 weeks of age, dairy kitchens were opened for artificial feeding. Since then, emotional (energetic) separation, separation, separation of mother and child began.
The medical and educational systems free women from the most important and greatest task of any woman who has a child – the task of motherhood. The holy and gentle image of the Madonna and Child gives way to a ruddy kolkhoz woman clutching not a child to her breast, but a plump sheaf of ears. A completely different image of a happy, accomplished woman is being formed. Children become just a complement to the image of the correct average family. The distortion of the role of Motherhood, the birth of a woman as a Mother, the very process of childbirth, transmitted from generation to generation (from our grandmothers to our mothers, and from them to us), is still present in the minds of most women. We accept our own incompetence to be a Mother, entrusting ourselves and our children to government institutions. Maybe it’s time for us to remember that giving life is natural feminine nature? Remember that, with the exception of rare cases when medical intervention is indicated, we are able to survive the birth on our own with the support of a family, a midwife, adequate doctors?