Normally, I would not write about the Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard. I think they are a bit bizarre, but like all philosophies and religions, there are usually some tenets of truth in relation to humanity that are worth contemplating.
I recently received a press release from the Scientologists advocating “silent birth”. As I reached to click delete, seeing who the source of the email was, my curiosity was piqued.
WHAT IS SILENT BIRTH?
Silent birth is all about providing the best possible environment for the birthing mother and her new baby. Its origins can be found in L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and are firmly rooted in a fundamental and abiding principle that women, particularly expectant mothers, be given the utmost in care and respect.
A silent birth is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no spoken words by anyone attending. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of things that are meant to be avoided.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing during labor and delivery. Particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained and the more gentle the delivery, the better.”
The point of silent birth is NO WORDS. It does not mean a mother cannot make any sound during childbirth. It is doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all.
Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet and peaceful as possible. That being said, a woman’s choice for her delivery is completely up to her and her doctor. There is no requirement to adhere to any specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words.
Doctors respect the right of a mother to choose her birthing experience. Silent birth is not a medical model but a religious and philosophical approach based on L. Ron Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit.
After I delivered my first child (19 hours of natural childbirth), my mother said that I was awful quiet during labor. I wasn’t a screamer; I didn’t swear (as I think my mother expected or would have done herself:)). I probably moaned, but in all, I honestly didn’t have the energy to talk, whine, complain, shout, scream, etc. It just doesn’t suit my personality. It’s not how I relieve stress typically.
My midwives were very calm during both of my childbirth experiences. There was never any “’PUSH, PUSH’ and loud or laughing remarks to ‘encourage’”, although I was taught to push during contractions and suggestions were made for different positions to offer relief. I certainly didn’t have a silent birth (Patsy Cline was singing during the first, the Grateful Dead during the second), but it was a very calm experience. I don’t think I could have handled enthusiastic participation from my partner, midwives, or mother. Then I probably would have yelled for them to “Shut the *#$%@ up!”
Please note, I am not advocating for any particular religion with this post; I am simply sharing another idea that fits well with natural birth, in my opinion. I think a silent birth would create a calm, sacred environment for childbirth.
What do you think? Could you have a silent birth?