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Why Women Choose To Freebirth

This article was written after I undertook some informal research on a freebirth forum that I am a member of, on why women choose to freebirth. This is what I discovered ...



Terminology

 

Firstly, I’d like to just address the issue of terminology regarding birthing without medical assistance;

While the term Unassisted Childbirth (or UC - coined by Laura Kaplan-Shanley in the book entitled Unassisted Childbirth) is commonly used these days to refer to a birth that is planned and occurs without medical assistance, the term ‘freebirth’ seems to be generally preferred by freebirthers themselves, as they consider their experience to be one that is ‘free’ or ‘freeing’, whereas the term Unassisted Childbirth implies that childbirth ought to be assisted by someone, and that the mother cannot or should not be doing it by herself.

 

Also the idea and term of ‘assistance’ is further muddied by differing opinions on what...

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Defining Freebirth and the Paradox of Freedom

Freebirth - it is hard to define. I think that's because as a concept and a practise, it is about autonomy. Autonomy from a system, and agents of that system, who seek to control, co-erce, manipulate and ultimately enforce conformity to a self-appointing institutional disciplining authority. I guess for me a freebirther is someone who autonomously births without having allowed themselves to be disempowered or subjected by said authority.

 

This discussion has spun off from a thread on a homebirth forum today, regarding a lady who wanted to know if she can claim her birth as a freebirth when the midwife was in the room next door. This kind of mentality, I believe, stems from any kind of alternative movement gathering a hip status, cos it's just so “out there man”. Anti-authoritarian political action gains a fashionable following, with all sorts of conformist folk wishing they were that brave/cool/radical etc. You see it in all walks of life, those who aspire to a...

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Born on a Barge - Holly's Birth Story

Holly Elfin was born at 6.55am on Saturday the 11th of August.

 

If you follow the astrological significance of birth, this means she is a Leo, born in the Chinese year of the Water Dragon. She was due at the Full Moon, on her father’s birthday, but was a week and two days late, and so was born on her grandfather’s birthday instead on a waning moon in Pisces.

 

She was delivered by me into the waiting hands of her father, Dan, on our boat, with the support and loving presence of our friends Lisa and Sara. We were moored up in a small wooded copse, in a beautiful wilderness valley in Yorkshire, where the foxes howl, the owls screech and a panther prowls it’s realm.

 

On the bank, within the Aspen trees was a firepit, and an alter to the beauty and power of woman, motherhood and birth. My firekeeper and guardian of the outside birth space was Lee, Sara’s husband, who lit and tended the fire each night for us, for the three nights that I laboured...

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