Who is Ina May Gaskin? Well, for the grand majority of you, you’ll know exactly who she is. Though she may mean something different to everyone. To me, she’s the main reason I was able to give birth naturally with my second birth. Her book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was pivotal in taking me the right direction when it came to natural birthing. She’s also known as being responsible for paving the way for direct-entry midwives here in the United States and helping make the impact they have made in natural birthing community since the 1970s. She is the founder of the The Farm, the founder of The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, the creator of The The Gaskin Maneuver, has lectured around the world, influenced midwives, doctors, childbirth educators, lactation consultants and many more around the world. And this amazing icon is one I got to hear speak at Bini Birth in Los Angeles on Friday.
She spoke about “A Vision for Changing the Paradigm of Maternity Care in the 21st Century”. She covered the history of the change from natural birthing to medicated birthing and how we (the birthing community) have begun to make changes in maternal care a little at a time to bring back birth as it should be. She was brilliant to hear and it was an honor to be in her presence.
Ina May is a highly educated woman that is truly an icon in the birthing community and beyond. And as part of the Childbirth Education program through International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), I’ve come to see how education is key in being able to reach many and to teach women not just what is happening in their body throughout the pregnancy but how to properly nurture themselves and their growing baby, how to prepare their bodies, their birthing team, and to create a birth experience that is natural and healthy.
Ina May’s quotes are many and I could do an entire blog dedicated to her wise words, but here’s one that struck me the most that day.
Reclaim birth and breastfeeding
No male bullies tolerated
Sisterhood is powerful
Women can do anything”
Yes we can…and yes we will.