Laudable medical approach to motherhood
The heart in th womb is written by an obstetrician and gynaecologist
who was born in Sri Lanka but grew up in the United Kingdom. She holds a
BSc (Medical Science) from St Andrews University, MBChB from Manchester
University, an MD from University College London and an MSc in
Epidemiology from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases.
She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and currently a
consultant at a hospital in London. She has authored several peer-
reviewed scientific papers on research studies on women's health.
As I am a creative writer and not qualified in the field of medicine,
this review will consist mostly of passages quoted from the doctor's own
writing which has been formed from her own observations and experience
in the hope it would be of help to expectant mothers in this part of the
Being a mother myself, however, I deeply appreciate her approach to
motherhood, advising expectant women to have more faith in Mother Nature
who, before medical science took over, have been solely responsible for
the creation of life in the universe.....
"My path to pregnancy was an unusual one for an obstetrician and
gynaecologist. I married late in life, after my fortieth birthday,
knowing my chances of conceiving were low. I went through fertility
tests and was further saddened to realise I was also nearing menopause.
However, because I was also an acupuncturist I was familiar with
principles of traditional Chinese medicine. By following this form of
treatment I started to ovulate again. Three months into this treatment I
became pregnant much to my joy.
As soon as I conceived my son, I lost autonomy over my body. The baby
took over all my systems. It transformed me from a driven and highly
academic woman to one that was soft, feminine, unworried and pliable,
longing for a simple, beautiful homebirth.
At one point, though, I developed nausea and began vomitting. My
abdomen became abnormally bloated and began restricting my diaphragm
making it difficult to breathe. Once again I was compelled to check into
Being an obstetrician I knew the dangers involved, one being a blood
clot on the lungs which spells danger for pregnant women. It was during
this brief hospital admission that I became convinced the right path for
the final labour were not wards which were places of agitation and not
Soon after this I came to know Dr Gowri Motha and her Gentle Birth
Practising Yoga and attending an Active Birth Centre as pregnancy
advanced, I found I had inherited diabetes from my mother. My new
doctors advised me to stop working until the birth was over. I found it
difficult because I was attached to my work. However now I had the
opportunity to undergo conscious changes that led to my homebirth.
Some natural- birth gurus advise this silent, supportive, instinctive
style helps a woman to utilize her inner knowledge to deliver the baby.
Towards latter part of my pregnancy my blood sugar level dropped to
The silent, supportive, instinctive style of life helps a woman to
to terms with the continuation of life. Constant interruption which
causes anxiety during labour causes a woman's body to lose the natural
rhythm nature sets up to produce efficient contractions,
as well as preventing relaxation needed to allow maximum stretchiness
of the soft tissue
of the pelvis. Ideally the birthing environment should be dimly lit
and the woman must be confidant that she has support without it
disempowering her. Having been an obstetrician for many years I had not
fully appreciated how disturbing a labour ward can be in the phenomena
of contractions dwindling when attention becomes focused on a woman by
an unsupportive, detached, doctor and ward helpers who, up to the time
of birth, had not been by her side, giving strength.... like her friend,
and supportive mid-wife.
How wise of the child to demand your full attention by making you too
nauseous to continue going to work. The main challenge, I think, is how
to get to the ape consciousness or monkey mind, if you prefer. Of course
the wonderful thing about love is that we can create more and more of
that with our minds, words and actions.
The challenge of helping our women in rural areas living on difficult
terrain with inadequate transport links, a trained mid-wife would be a
blessing and life-saver.
Babies born by normal birth as compared to those born by caesarean
section, have improved survival of white blood cells that destroy
micro-organisms(neutrophils) in their cord blood.
Learning to appreciate nature is crucial for our future, as our
planet has become disturbed by our lack of respect for it. Mothers are a
gateway to fostering love within humanity and wield enormous power on
the individual as well as the collective.
Mothers give people hearts from their wombs....... "