The notion of trusting birth is an interesting one, and I am divided as to the meaning of this. Birth, as a process, can be trusted in the same way that we trust other bodily processes such as respiration, digestion, growth and repair, elimination and so on. Yes, our bodies know how to give birth, and in normal circumstances, birth occurs without incident to mother or baby. But if we trust birth, does this imply that the process always goes well? Does this mean our babies will be born healthy and that we will not be harmed? Working alongside the process of birth, sometimes we have other processes at play. These might be the processes of disease or infection, or even death. And to be respectful, yes, I trust these processes too. Having recently experienced a bacterial infection and subsequent successful treatment with antibiotics, I can say I do trust the process of infection, and also the medication that was available that helped me to get better. I dread to think what happened to people pre-antibiotics. It would have been an awful way to die. Slowly and painfully. But it was a possible outcome, without antibiotics: we can trust the process of infection.
Likewise, birth, as a process – a bodily function – leads to a certain predictable outcome most of the time. But what of birth when it is combined with disease, infection or complications? Can we still trust it? I think, yes we can. It is a bodily function and it can be trusted. The expectation of an unharmed mother and baby who are well and healthy at the other side, is a different discussion, and I think that if we wholeheartedly trust birth, we must also appreciate and trust the other processes that can also be at play. If we ignore these other processes, we are more likely to experience an outcome that may lead some people to distrust birth.
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