Obstetrical Kindness

May 11, 2018 | Birth

I work in Miami. It is a strange and wonderful place. When it comes to giving birth in the magic city, the accounts are often less than magical. We have a C-section rate that is the highest in the nation and hear repeated stories of traumatic experiences and obstetrical violence. Does it happen? Yes, unfortunately, it is true, real and so very wrong.

Today I am writing about something much different.  It is what I call Obstetrical kindness. It is something I have witnessed many times but something that I have never read about. I want you to know about the beautiful things that I see.

Recently, I supported a mother at Mt Sinai Hospital as she gave birth to her baby. It was a beautiful birth. She was calm and peaceful and her partner was loving and supportive. Labor was progressing quickly and Mother asked if I could help to get the Dr. there. I stepped outside the room and saw the Dr. standing in the hall. I greeted him and told him he was wanted in the room. He so kindly came and greeted the mother with a genuine hug, kiss, and words of encouragement. It wasn’t quite birthing time, but Mom said to him, “please don’t leave”.  It would have been easy to exit, but instead, her Dr. held her hand, told her how wonderful she was, and waited patiently. This birth would be one surrounded by love and patience and kindness.  As the baby was nearly ready to be born there was no interruption of the calm, no aggressive position change, or decrease in the peaceful environment in the room. Instead, Mom birthed in the position of her choice, in subtle lighting, with no coached or forced pushing. She breathed her baby down until crowning.  In a beautiful display of understanding the spiritual nature of birth, The Dr. placed Mom’s hand on the baby’s head and then placed Dad’s hand on the baby’s head as the baby made his entrance into the world. How beautiful to be the first ones to touch your baby and together bring forth the life you created.

How wonderful it was to be a part of birth that was free of fear and surrounded by love. How wonderful to be supported by a Dr. who exudes kindness and truly believes in a woman’s ability to give birth normally without hurry, negativity, or threats. How blessed is this baby whose first moments were those of gentleness in his parent’s own hands? How grateful I am to witness such raw beauty, love, and power.  Thank you, Dr. Mauricio Bitran for your kindness, for believing in women, and for embracing the transformative power of birth.

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