I always find it fascinating how stunted the conversation is around this topic and how it always seems to focus on the baby's physical body and health --- as if the physical is all that matters in terms of someone's life experience. Clearly, there are other critically important parts of our humanity that need to be recognized and this is why when someone says to a traumatized mother – “Get over it! Just be happy you have a healthy baby!” – we are denying this mother and her baby their full humanity.
We are more than physical beings!!! Every baby has a soul. The spiritual, emotional, psychological, and psychic experience of the baby during conception, gestation, and birth will have a far deeper and profound impact on the child than any concern about his or her “microbiome” – or any other nonsensical scientific category they decide to study. In fact, the child's immune system is largely a creation of his/her spiritual and emotional experience during gestation and birth. And of course, this is combined with the technological and chemical assaults being inflicted on the child by the medical community throughout the gestation and birth process. Focusing on the child’ bacteria as if it were a major indicator of long-term well-being is a huge distraction and will never get us anywhere in terms of understanding the types of changes that need to be made and the absolute necessity of avoiding all technological interference during gestation and birth if we hope to give birth to a fully realized Man.
I am going to share a quote here from the Ringing Cedars Of Russia books, which I encourage everyone to read because the books bring this conversation to a FAR DEEPER level than any of these articles or films have even thought to go. In my opinion, what follows are the things we need to be talking about. This other nonsense will prove itself to have very little import in terms of the long-term well-being of Mankind and, accordingly, its host planet Earth and all of life.
Here is a quote from Ringing Cedars Book 8.2 entitled "Rites of Love." This information can be found on pp 160-163 –
"The appearance of pain at the moment of birth is a sign of an erroneous psychological approach to the birth process on the part of the parents. Many, many animals give birth to their offspring in natural surroundings and none of them perish or experience suffering. Nor did the Creator come up with any thought of pain for His beloved creation, Man. Just as loving parents would never conjure up the thought of pain for their children. As she fulfills her highest purpose - that of co-creating LIFE -- the woman who has carried the Divine child within herself receives a reward ordained by the Creator. This reward is the feeling of bliss and the chain of joyful ecstasies during labor, but certainly not pain. Quite to the contrary, the process of giving birth... should be a joyful and pleasant one.
It is Man himself, deceived by the occult sciences and suggestions from the dark side, who by his own intrusion has made childbirth painful for the mother and a fatal shock for the baby... [The baby] gets born, but it does not understand why it is being so rudely torn out of is pleasant and perfect Space and why its mother suffers and experiences pain.
THE MOTHER’S PAIN CAUSES UNTOLD MOURNING ON THE PART OF THE CHILD…
ANESTHETICS CAN LESSEN THE MOTHER’S PHYSCAL PAIN… BUT THEY INCREASE THE MENTAL PAIN FOR THE INFANT, SINCE ANESTHETICS CUT HIM OFF FROM CONTACT WITH HIS MOTHER.
Such a state instills in him fear and a lack of self-confidence, which continue even into adulthood, even into his most advanced years...
Few women in today's world realize that they do not have to frighten their baby - on the contrary, they can caress their child during labor, talk with it, express their thoughts to it, invite it to be born into the world. And this need not be accompanied by any sensation of stress or pain.
After hearing the call of his mother and father, the child will perceive the labor contractions as a caress - an invitation to make his appearance of his own free will, to explore a world that is brand new to him. TO BE BORN OF HIS OWN FREE WILL - that is an indication of great and extraordinary significance. ALL THE INFORMATION IMPARTED BY GOD DURING A BIRTH LIKE THIS WILL BE PRESEVED IN HIM.
When the woman experiences fear over her labor, this fear is felt by the child in the womb. When the woman experiences pain from her labor trouble and has thoughts only for herself, the child in the womb experiences DOUBLE the amount of pain. He feels abandoned, and, above all, helpless and defenseless. Such feelings are harmful and they are lasting.
In this kind of birth, the child feels for the first time in his life that he is not the master of the Universe, but a worthless nonentity, subject to some kind of external forces.
HIS BODY IS BORN, BUT THE SPIRIT OF MASTERY AND OF A KIND CREATOR IS NOT BORN IN HIM. Such a Man will not become the likeness of the divine. A mere slave of some other entity he will remain, and he will try his whole lifetime to free himself from slavery, but in vain.
[Cesarean birth] is hardly the birth of a Man -- it is more like a routine operation. Who is thereby causing the Man to emerge into the world -- the mother, who has not given birth to the child, or the surgeon, who has torn the fetus out of the mother's body? The infant, who has not yet appeared in the world, suddenly loses contact with his mother and, consequently, with the whole order of the grand Creation. Then he is forcibly torn from the womb? What for? Whereto? And why so rudely? And why is he not in charge of anything himself? The whole world crashes before him!
People believe a child is born into the world, while he, at the moment of birth, feels himself forlorn. AND WHILE IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THIS INFANT MAN HAS THRIVED, WHAT HAS REMAINED ALIVE, IN FACT, IS ONLY THE FLESH. He will try to use what paltry remains he can reclaim of his spiritual substance to search for his Divine self throughout this life. And for this only his father and mother are to blame..."
Could the way we give birth be changing us as a species?
"Does where, or how we give birth actually matter? The many and frequent debates on this topic often end with the perpetual refrain: 'all that matters is a healthy baby.' But could it be that our birth choices are making fundamental differences to our babies, and therefore matter to the whole human race, in deeply important ways? And could the way we are giving birth even be altering our entire direction, as a species?
This week I've been reading about the Human Microbiome, and although I admit I don't fully understand it, that's ok, because turns out nobody else does either – at least not yet. However, cutting edge science is working on it, and – don't save a seat for me at the Science Journalist of the Year awards – here is my attempt to explain it.
The Microbiome is essentially all the trillions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies, everywhere from our mouths to our guts to that little dip between our toes where the fluff collects.
What scientists are only just beginning to understand is the role this vast collection of organisms plays in our health or disease, or indeed in our mental states, our life expectancy, or even our personality. This delicate balance of microbes, which can even differ in species from one person to the next whilst performing the same function, has the power to both keep us in perfect health and be our downfall.
So what's all this got to do with birth? - I hear you ask. Well, turns out quite a lot, as our own personal microbiomes begin to be formed as we are being born, or perhaps even before – there is growing evidence that the baby in utero is not 'sterile' as has long been thought, but that the microbiome is already under construction.
Most crucially, perhaps, is how we are born. Scientists have found that the microbiome of a baby born by caesarean is different to that of a baby born vaginally. This is because, when a baby is born vaginally, they begin to be 'colonised' by the bacteria from their mother's vagina and rectum. In our bacteria-averse world, this might sound alarming, but actually these microbes are an essential part of what makes us human.
This begs the question, if we skip this step and a baby is born by caesarean, what is the impact on the formation of their microbiome, and how might this affect the short and long term health of the newly born?
Similarly, more colonisation of bacteria occurs when the baby is skin to skin with mum shortly after birth – a step that until recently was unfashionable and was often replaced with a newborn being bathed and dressed. Home born babies are colonised with different bacteria to hospital births. And of course, how we feed our babies makes a difference too – a formula fed baby will have an entirely different microbiome to one who gets milk from the breast.
When we start to learn about the microbiome, we stray into difficult territory, as the choices we make when giving birth and feeding our babies quite literally come under the microscope. It is always difficult not to feel judged if we are told we have done something that has placed our most beloved children at a disadvantage.
But the emerging evidence cannot be ignored: every detail of how a baby is born can affect the microbiome, which in turn can affect the long term future of both individuals, and the human race. As the number of caesarean born babies continues to rise, it is perhaps time to ask difficult questions.
Step forward Toni Harman, whose company Alto Films produced the human rights documentary Freedom for Birth in 2012, and yesterday launched a new project: Microbirth. This feature-length documentary will see leading experts from around the world brought together to give their views on the question: is changing the way we give birth changing our species?
Toni Harman – who herself gave birth via emergency caesarean – explains:
"Microbirth is about emerging scientific evidence linking our current birthing practices to the increased risk of our children developing non-communicable diseases - such as heart disease, some cancers, asthma and diabetes.
"The latest science is indicating that if we encourage natural physiological birth where possible with full support for immediate skin-on-skin contact and breastfeeding, then that baby has the best possible chance of a healthy immune system.
But, as this film reveals, through medical interventions and C-sections that interfere with or bypass completely the natural processes of childbirth, a baby's immune system is "incomplete". The immune system never develops to its full potential, leaving its defence system compromised, weak and open to attack."
Many questions about birth and the microbiome remain unanswered, but Toni is hopeful that the film will encourage more research into the way birth affects our long-term health, and be the catalyst for a change in attitudes to maternity policy.
What we can already be sure of is that the way a baby is born matters, and that both mother and child simply being 'alive' after birth might not be enough to declare that good health has been achieved."