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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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