Teaching Culturally Diverse Childbirth Classes

Today I conducted a segment of a childbirth class which was the definition of culturally diversity. English and Spanish were the languages that floated in the air. The colors ranged from creamy white to deep chocolate. Males and females were present and the ages crossed the spectrum. How do you lead a childbirth class when there is so much diversity? I have learned that the best way to address the subject is to tell the truth about birth. Birth is…beautiful, wondrous, intimate, liberating, intimidating, joyful, painful, reaffirming, and best of all ours as women. No matter the  language birth belongs to women and while we may approach it from different angles we have the power to make it what we desire. Where’s My Midwife and Trust Birth are two movements that encourage and support the taking back of birth and telling women the truth. I have challenged myself over the years to look deep inside and determine if I am as honest with my clients as I should be about birth. Do I sugar coat the pain and call it feelings, sensations and pangs when it hurts like hell? Have I let them know that all of the birth planning will probably go out the window once they hit triage at the hospital? Is it my place to say your chances of having an unmedicated birth at your local hospital is slim to none? If I believe that birth belongs to women then yes. I tell them once, then I tell them again, and sometimes I tell them one more time (three is the charm) knowing that in the end they must make their own choices. The picture I attempt to paint is not one of doom and gloom, however, I do believe that as we look at the glass half full (when it comes to birth in America) we want to know that there is room to get us to the top.  If you believe that women own birth, or perhaps you would like to believe in birth, then I encourage you to visit the following websites, Where’s My Midwife, Trust Birth and One World Birth.

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