Archive for October, 2010

Mary Cronk – what a lovely lady

October 23, 2010

Isn’t it funny how, when we put some-one on a pedestal, we forget that they have feelings, just like us?  I’ve just read an interview with Mary Cronk  in the Doula UK newsletter.  Mary is a pioneer in empowering mothers and midwives, and making advances in the routine de-medicalisation of childbirth.  As such, I imagine her to be strong and fearless.  She had a part to play in changing protocol for “giving” episiotomies.  They were always enforced (along with your pubic shave and enema)  and Mary, along with other midwives, began to question this practice.  They found ways around it, such as “dropping” the scissors moments before incision.   However, one day, instead of dropping the scissors, she told the doctor that she wasn’t going to perform an episiotomy unless there was a medical need.  Simple.  Great.  Why don’t more midwives do that?  Well, it isn’t that simple.    Going against medical authority is not easy.  Going against institutional doctrine is not easy.  Let’s face it, sometimes, just saying “no thanks” to a friend isn’t easy – never mind saying what Mary said.  The part of the interview that surprised me, is when she says that afterwards, she “burst into tears and thought the heavens would fall.  I never forget that day.  I can still feel the fear”.  Bless her for feeling the fear and doing it anyway.  Other midwives followed her example, and said “if Mary Cronk does not have to do it, neither do we”. 

Why was I surprised that she had been so fearful?  I think it’s because, as I said, I had Mary on a pedestal.  And in being up there, she was everything I’m not.  I kind of thought I was inadequate for feeling scared at the prospect of questioning a doctor or midwife (something I have to understand and work through in my role as a birth doula).  So it hadn’t occured to me that some-one as awe-inspiring as Mary would shake at the prospect.  Of course she would.  She is human, she feels the fear, but she cares enough about babies, mums and dads to do it anyway.  The more human she becomes, the higher up that pedestal she belongs, in my opinion.  What a hero!

When will I no longer be needed….

October 5, 2010

“I will no longer teach HypnoBirthing when society regards birth as exciting and joyous, not painful and dangerous.  Until then, I help parents let go of their fears and prepare themselves mentally for birth.  I provide Hypnobirthing antenatal classes”.

“I will no longer be a birth doula when the NHS provides ongoing midwife support – the same person you get to know and trust who listens to you druing pregnancy and is next to you throughout your birth.  Until then, I provide a birth doula service”.

“I will no longer be a post-natal doula when our culture stops expecting women to walk from their birth after 2 hours, be left alone after two weeks in a house that needs tidying and cleaning and a baby that needs 24hour care, when she herself needs looking after.  Until that time, I am a post natal doula”.

Mia Scotland, Clinical Psychologist, HypnoBirthing practitioner, birth preparation service, birth doula service, post natal support service, Mindful Mamma workshop founder.