prelude to The Birthing with Confidence in the GCC Conference 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Birthing With Confidence in the GCC


BirthKuwait is pleased to announce an upcoming Conference: Birthing With Confidence in the GCC, Promoting Maternal and Infant Health Through Training Workshops for Professionals, Community Health Care Workers and Maternal Health Care Advocates, which will take place in October from the 14th to the 18th include:

1. Lamaze Childbirth Education Workshop (5 days Oct 14th-18th)

2. Breastfeeding Counselor Training (4 days, Oct 14th-17th)

3. "Breastfeeding Your Baby" Lactation Educator Workshop (For Professionals Only, 1 day on Oct 18th)

4. DONA Doula Training Workshop (3 days, Oct 16-18).

For more information check below:
(This document opens in google drive document)
Course Description

Training Workshops are facilitated and approved by renowned international maternal and infant health advocates: Lamaze International, EPI,  DUKE AHEC, DONA, and our local partner FSRI.

Please fill in the Application Form and e-mail it back to us on the e-mail below.
Kindly note that you need to fill this application on your pc or laptop
Here are some simple steps to fill the form:
1. Download the application
2. Open the application
3. Fill the application  ( by using sign mode )
4. Save as : add your name to the saved file ( save as a file on your pc or laptop)
5. Email to : with the attachment
6. Send

For details and registration, please visit or e-mail:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Make the Most of Your Epidural

The majority of birthing mothers at private hospitals today decide to get an epidural. Sometimes this is a decision made before labor ever began or a change in plans after a long and drawn our labor. The great thing about an epidural is it allows women to be awake and aware yet free from pain during labor and birth. It allows an exhausted mother to rest or sleep. And while an epidural’s usual effect is to slow labor, the profound relaxation they offer can sometimes put a stalled labor back on track.

However, epidurals, like all medical interventions, come with inherent risks, including the increased risk of a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery, an increased risk of an episiotomy or tear, an increased risk in a drop in blood pressure, possible nausea and itching as side effects of the narcotics, and the possibility of problems with breastfeeding. A very small percentage of mothers may experience life-threatening complications. Some mothers may also feel more anxious or stressed by all of the cords and beeps and noises associated with the epidural, and the common side effects (drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing or swallowing) may case temporary psychological distress.

But most women experience epidurals as they are meant to be: almost complete pain relief with minimal side effects. To make sure you get the most out of your epidural and lower your risk of complications, I would suggest the following:

First, choose a care provider with a cesarean surgery rate of 15% or less. Studies show that in the hands of care providers with low rates, epidurals do not increase cesarean odds. Practitioners who have vaginal birth as a goal will have more patience and manage labor and epidurals differently than others.

Second, delay an epidural until active, progressive labor (around 5-6 cm). This will help prevent two problems: running a fever, which becomes more likely the longer the epidural is in place, and the baby persisting in the occiput posterior position (head down, facing the mother’s belly). These complications increase the likelihood of cesarean or instrumental vaginal delivery. And because epidural-related fever cannot be distinguished from fevers caused by infection, babies are more likely to be kept in the nursery for observation, undergo blood tests and possibly a spinal tap, and be given precautionary I.V. antibiotics.

Third, move every 30-60 minutes by rotating from your left to right side. If you baby is in an anterior position, keeping a pillow between your legs will be sufficient. If your baby is in a posterior position, trying extending your top leg far over the bottom leg and lie with a pillow supporting your top shoulder and arm so that you are almost lying on your belly (but obviously not fully on your belly!!) This often helps the baby to navigate the pelvis during a posterior birth.

Fourth, many mothers begin to shake and their teeth chatter as the hormones of birth, including adrenaline, fill their body. A wise midwife once showed me a way to help keep a mother “centered” during these episodes and help the shaking to stop. Place the father’s (or other support person) hand over the mother’s heart, directly on her skin, providing firm pressure over her heart chakra. Encourage the mother to draw on the strength of her partner or other support person to become centered and grounded once again and to reestablish calm and steady breathing. Keep the firm pressure of the hand over the heart for as long as needed or every time the shaking returns.

Finally, whether an epidural is Plan A or B, take classes that prepare you for coping with labor without one and consider hiring a doula. You will want a variety of comfort measures and coping strategies at your fingertips. For one thing, you may need them if you are delaying an epidural until active labor. For another, the anesthesiologist may not be available when you want your epidural, or you may be among the 1 in 10 women for whom it does not work. It is also possible that labor will turn out to be easier than you thought and you decide you don’t need one after all.

Epidurals can be a great medical tool when used wisely and with caution by mothers who are informed and supported.

Previously published in CityPages July 2014
By Sarah Paksima, BirthKuwait President Emeritus, Doula, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, Prenatal Yoga Instructor

Monday, December 9, 2013

تجربة الحامل مع تمارين يوغا للحوامل

كنت احس بألم في ثنية الفخذ مع عضلة الفخذ كاملة والألم كان يزيد اذا كنت بقوم من السرير او من القنفة
وكنت اتألم لدرجة البكاء
وصعوبة الحركة والمشي والانتصاب اثناء المشي و الوقوف

حضرت عند  ورشة عمل فادتني وايد
و مدربة علمتني تمارين امارسها اثناء الجلوس على الكرة
وتمرين ثاني اثناء الوقوف
وتمرين ثالث اسويه على أربع مثل الطفل لما يحبي

بصراحة قبل محاضرة
شخصت دكتورة الطوارئ حالتي غلط
وكان تشخيصها راح يضر بصحتي وصحة الجنين

بس مدربة لما شافتني شلون امشي
وموقادرة اقعد عالكرسي
والطريقة اللي كنت اتألم فيها
قالت لي مشكلتج عضلات
ومحتاجة تمارين وشوية مشي

وفعلا نفذت كلامها والله يجزاها الجنة
تغيرت حياتي
وصرت اقدر امارس نشاطات حياتي الطبيعية
وامشي وانا منتصبة القامة
وانام وانا مرتاحة ومسترخية

وكل هذا بفضل رب العالمين سبحانه
اللي خلاني اتعرف على ام عبدالرحمن
واحضر عندها واستفيد من خبرتها الواسعة
بصراحة انصح كل حامل تحرص على الورش
اللي تقدمها ام عبدالرحمن بمختلف خبراتها

انا سويت التمارين ومشيت على نصايحها ومن اول يوم لله الحمد والمنه والفضل حسيت بالفرق
والراحة وقدرت اتحرك بدون ألم

ولا زلت الى اليوم وانا اتعلم منها واستفيد من نصايحها و ورش العمل اللي تسويها

وفعلا اهي شخص انا اشوف ان كل حامل تحتاج وجودها بهالفترة وما بعدها من حمل و ولادة و رضاعه

December Classes at BirthKuwait

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

مهارات تسهيل الولادة

من قلم  MidwifeofKuwait

الحمل و الولادة يوفرا فرصة فريدة  لتعليم لأم حول التغيرات في جسدها, مشاعرها و نفسيتها. و كذلك الحمل و الولاده سياثران في أمومتها و حياتها الزوجيه . و يجب على المرأه الحامل تعلم طرق  حول تسهيل الحمل و الولاده للحصول على أفضل النتائج في مجال صحتها و صحت الطفل

"إذ كنا نأمل إن نخلق
عالم خال من العنف
عالم يسود فيه الكرم  والاحترام
بدل الكراهية و الخوف 
فعلينا ان نبدأ  بالنظر
إلى كيفية تعاملنا مع بعضنا البعض
في بداية الحياة
ففي ذلك الوقت تشكل الأنماط 
و كذلك الجذور(تعامل مع اطفالنا)  ينمو
الخوف والعزلة او الثقة و الحب . "سوزان ارمس

كيف يستعد جسمك للولادة؟ 
الانتقال من الحمل إلى الولادة هو سلسلة من الأحداث التي غالبا ما تبدأ  تدريجيا . إن الإنتقال الفيزيولوجي من كونها امرأة حامل إلى أماً يعني تغيرا هائلا لكل امرأة، جسديا ونفسيا. بالحمل تتأثر جميع أجهزة الجسم، وتمثل هذه التجربة تحولا رئيسيا في حياة المرأة . 
خلال الأسابيع الأخيرة من الحمل قد تحدث عده  تغييرات جسدية ونفسية, منها:
• تقلب المزاج
• تغيير في مستوى الطاقة
• الطفل عادة ينزل تدريجياً داخل الحوض  قبل 2  إلى 3 أسابيع من الولادة و ذلك يقلل من الضغط على بعض أجهزة الجسم مثل : الرئتين, القلب و المعدة و بالتالي على وظائفها  
• انحصار رأس الطفل: يصبح قاع الحوض أكثر ارتخاء لسماح لرأس الطفل بالنزول إلى عمق الحوض حتى يزيد الضغط على (طبقة العجان) مكان خروج الطفل.
• يصبح المشي أكثر صعوبة.
• زيادة حاجة التبول.
• الطلق الغير منتظم اواللا الإيقاعي يسمى بـ  " براكستون - هيكس " و  هو الذي يساعد الرحم على  الاستعداد للولادة ، أو ربما يساعد على تحسين وضعية  الطفل في الرحم  أو يساعد على تحسين وضعية عنق الرحم في وضعية  مناسبة للولادة .
• عنق الرحم يصبح مرنناً و رقيقاً و يبدأ بالتوسع  والتفتح .
و سوف تفقد الأم السائل الوقائي في نهاية عنق الرحم و الذي يسمى بـ "المكونات المخاطية" و يكون لونه وردي.
• التباين بالتعامل مع الولادة.( من الحماسة المفرطة  حتى القلق المفرط)

ماذا  يحدث إثناء الولادة ؟
الولادة:  هي سلسلة من المراحل , تبدأ من بداية الطلق الحقيقي حتى ولادة الطفل و خروج المشيمة.
  وتنقسم الولادة  إلى 3 مراحل.
1. في المرحلة الأولى: يتوسع  و يتفتح عنق الرحم و يبدأ الطفل   بالنزول من خلال قناة الولادة .

2. في المرحلة الثانية:  ستشعر الام بالحاجة لدفع الجنين أثناء نزوله إلى قاع الحوض.

3. في المرحلة الثالثة :تبدأ الام بولادة الطفل وتنتهي بخروج المشيمة.

وفقاً لمنظمة الصحة العالمية  فان من 85٪ إلى 95٪ من النساء الحوامل  يكن قادرين على الولادة الطبيعية ، الولادة الطبيعيه: هي الولاده دون استخدام الأدويه و التدخلات الطبيه .

و طبيعة خلقة المرأة تساعدها على الولادة الطبيعية . فالولادة  هي  سلسلة من مراحل معقدة جدا، ولكن إذا سمحنا لأجسامنا بالعمل بالطريقه الطبيعية ستكون الولادة بسيطة و سهله .

هناك ثلاثة  هورمونات أساسية تساعد على الولادة:

الأوكسيتوسين هو هرمون الذي ينتج في الدماغ و يزداد تدريجيا خلال فترة الحمل.
ويسمى الأوكسيتوسين بـ"هرمون الحب والعلاقات الإجتماعية "، و يساعدنا على الشعور السلمي و الحنان  والتعاطف، ويساعدنا على الانتقال إلى الجانب الأيمن ( غير عقلاني) من دماغنا. الأوكسيتوسين هو أحد من الهورمونات الأساسية التي تحفز غريزة  الرعاية, الحماية والإرتباط  مع الطفل و تنتج المرأة اكبر قدر من  الأوكسيتوسين خلال الولادة والرضاعة الطبيعية.

أثناء الولادة. هرمون الأوكسيتوسين  ينشط الطلق القوي الذي يساعد عنق الرحم ليصبح رقيقا وجاهزا للتوسع , يساعد بدفع الطفل إلى عمق الحوض ويساعد مرور الطفل من خلال قناة الولادة , أيضاً يساعد بخروج المشيمة و أن يحد من النزيف. كما أنه يساعد المرأة على الهدوء والاسترخاء أثناء الولادة.
بعد الولادة ، الأوكسيتوسين 
يحفز خروج حليب  الأم  للقيام بالرضاعة الطبيعية.

الامهات خلال الولادة  ينتجن هرمون الأوكسيتوسين بشكل طبيعي و بالكمية اللازمة لإحداث التغيرات الفيزيولوجية المتممة للولادة الطبيعية عند  الشعور بالأمن والإطمئنان.

 هنا بعض الطرق الطبيعية  لتعزيز إنتاج الأوكسيتوسين:
• الهدوء والاسترخاء
• تأخير إبرة الظهر ( 
epidurals) وتجنب استخدام الأدوية
 ( بالخصوص الأوكسيتوسين الصناعي و الذي يسمى بـ  Syntocin أو Pitocin)

( إندورفينس )
الإندورفينات: هي مجموعة من  الهرمونات التي تنتج في الدماغ  استجابةً للقلق  أو\و الألم. انها هرمونات تهدئ وتخفف الألم ،  و  يشار إليها  ايضا بـ "المواد الأفيونية " (مسكنات الألم الطبيعية)،
 مثلا على ذلك : شعور الرياضيين بمزاج عالي  و مبتهج  خلال ممارستهم للرياضة.

كمية الاندورفينات في الأم إثناء الولادة الطبيعية هي أعلى بكثير
من كمية الاندورفينات في عدائين  الماراثون
  خلال السباق ، وهذا هو سبب وصف بعض الأمهات لولادتهم بأنهم تجربة ممتعة.

في حالة  الولادة  الطبيعية دون استخدام  أي أدوية ، الاندورفينات تستمر في الارتفاعتدريجيا  ويمكن أن تسبب حالة تغيير في الوعي لتساعد المرأة في التعامل مع الولادة ،حتى لو كانت طويلة وصعبة. و المستوى العالي من  الاندورفينات يسمح للمرأة بالشعور باليقظه  و الانتباه والبهجة.

 في حالة الولادة مع استعمال الأدوية (الطلق الصناعي)، مستوى الإندورفينات تكون أقللأن الأشاره الطبيعية التي يتم إرسالها إلى الدماغ  لمواصلة زيادة الإفراز سيتم اغلاقها.
 فبالتالي فإن تاول بعض الأدوية مثل (Syntocin أو Pitocinقد يسبب نقص في إفراز الإندورفينات فتكون الولادة مؤلمة بشكل مفرط  مما قد يتطلب إلى الحاجة إلىالتدخلات الطبية.
كيفية الحفاظ على مستوى عالي من الاندورفينات:
1- الهدوء , الراحة  والثقة
2- تجنب الاضطرابات (تجنب الناس غير المرغوب فيهم، والتدخلات الطبية الغير 3- الضروريه)
3- تأخير إبرة الظهر 
epidural))، وتجنب الطلق الصناعي (الأوكسيتوسين ) .

الأدرينالين هو هرمون يعرف باسم هرمون " المواجهة و الهروب " و 
يفرز هذا الهرمون لضمان البقاء على الحياة  والتعامل مع القلق.
وتحتاج المرأة إلى كميات معينة من الأدرينالين من أجل التعامل مع متطلبات الولادة و لكن الكميه المفرطة ستسبب اضرارجسيمه.

النساء الذين يشعرن بالخوف سيزداد معدل انتاج هرمون الأدرينالين وهذا يمكن أن يبطئأو يوقف الولادة .المستويات المفرطة من  الأدرينالين يمكن أن:
• تقلل تدفق الدم إلى الرحم والمشيمة و سوف يبطى الطلق ويطيل الولادة وهذا يسبب العسر للطفل
• جعل الأم تشعر بالقلق
• وجعل الحاجة للتدخلات الطبية

يمكنكي الحفاظ على مستويات منخفضة من الأدرينالين:
الهدوء والاسترخاء والراحة
1- وجود الثقة بالنفس
2- البقاء في بيئة آمنة وخصوصية
3- تجنب العوامل المثيرة لإفراز الأدرينالين

كيف تبدأ الولادة؟
الولادة هي سلسلة من المراحل,  ومن الصعب جدا تحديد بدايتها . و أيضاً من الصعب تحديد عندما يبدأ الطلق الغير المنتظم  و لا الإيقاعي  قبل الولادة ويتطور تدريجيا إلى الطلق الإيقاعي .

 السبب الأساسي للولادة لا يزال غير معروف. ويعتقد أنه عندما يكون الطفل مستعداللولادة فإنه ينتج هرمونات إلى دم الأم لبدء الولادة.

ما هي العوامل التي تؤثر بنجاح الولادة؟
ارتباط العقل والجسم وتؤثرهما ببعضها البعض , يسمى  ب "ارتباط  العقل و الجسم "  و الاضطرابات العاطفية تؤثر على الحالة الفسيولوجية للمرأة.
الخوف ,القلق , التوتر ,الغضب والعواطف المكبوتة يمكن أن يبطئ  الولادة. لأن المشاعر السلبية تزيد من الإحساس بالألم فبالتالي سيزيد انتاج هرمون الأدرينالين الذي قد يبطئ أو يوقف الطلق.
أيضا  سيصل الهرمون أيضا للطفل الذي يعاني من العسر إثناء الولادة.
المشاعر السلبية  تسبب تشنج في العضلات و هذا يسبب  صعوبة في فتح عنق الرحم.

 كيفية الحصول على الولادة الطبيعية و بسيطة و سهله: الحفاظ على بيئة الخصوصية.

التغيرات الفيزيولوجية  للولادة  تعتمد على إفراز هرمون (الأوكسيتوسين) و يمكن ان  تبطئ عملية الولادة مع أي تغيرات سلبية  في بيئة الأم.
من أجل التطور المثالي  سيسيطر الجزء الأكثر بدائية من الدماغ  والذي يسيطر علىالغرائز والذاكرة والعواطف ,  التي يسميها البعض "الذهاب الى كوكب آخر"  تحدث  بمساعدة  افراز هرمونات الولادة . وتجنب العوامل المحيلة للسيطرة على هذا الجزء من الدماغ مثل الإضاءة الساطعة ،المحادثة بصوت عالي و التوقعات العقلانية واستخدام اللغة العقلانية.

Natural birth experience in Kuwait

Re posted with kind permission from MidwifeofKuwait  

" I am a 27 year old Kuwaiti mother of three girls. All my deliveries have been totally natural, thanks to a long tradition from my mother's side as well as my grand-mother's who was a pioneer in natural birth revival in the 50' in Europe.

My mother was always with me to help me remember the simple rules which help a good delivery; uttering words of remembrance of our creator, keeping the hands and face relaxed and breathing deeply from the diaphragm. This precious information was gathered by my mom in a book called '' Child Birth without Fear" . It explained that the more the mother understands about giving birth, the less fear she will have.

Of course in Kuwait , because of the still prevailing ignorance coupled by standardized hospitals procedures, it is a surprise to the medical teams if you require a "natural birth", They often act like they don't believe you know what you are talking about.

Luckily for me, my 2 children were delivered by a doctor who loves to deliver babies naturally! 
Consequently, my birth experience were just great, naturally unfolding, peacefully progressing through the stages with my mom as my very own ''Doula"

The third baby had a natural birth too thanks to our determination. However, I was "dropped" by my initial obstetrician because she refuse to perform a natural birth, qualifying the idea as a "caveman" one! Nonetheless, my third baby and I enjoyed yet again a beautiful natural birth experience because I had the great fortune to be assisted by a genuine "Doula" as well as my mother! 

My "Doula" was Mrs Zuzana who is a certified midwife. This birth experience was especially great as Mrs Zuzana's experience and talent made my mother and me even more confident thru her nurturing approach and her great wealth of knowledge of massage therapies and other methods for relaxation such as breathing techniques, visualization, vocalization, walking, sitting on a birth ball spending time in Jacuzzi bath.

For my self, I am planning to ask Mrs Zuzana to be with me again for my next delivery and I hope that my story will help convince others to trust in themselves and the beautiful process of natural birth, which is so important to the well being of the little one who comes into this world!"

Friday, November 15, 2013

November Lectures at BirthKuwait

Baby wearing Daddy in Kuwait

Mommy Baby Yoga Classes at BirthKuwait

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Intuition, Sarah`s Paksima water birth story

Following birth story is re posted with kind permission from Sarah Paksima of  EngagingBirth  who is Co-founder of BirthKuwait and its Former President.


Each birth is a unique journey. Every time I think that I have figured out my "birthing pattern" you might say...I get thrown for a loop. 

I've always given birth on my due date or a couple days after; we scheduled a business trip for my husband just before my due date that I felt pretty confident about...until of course he left for the trip. I felt uneasy and anxious. It was a leap of faith to follow my feelings and ask my husband to come home a day was an expensive and inconvenient change of plans...but having my husband there for the birth the next morning made it more than worth it.

I've always given birth at night, going into active labor right after bedtime and giving birth early in the morning. At first I kept discounting the contractions I was getting all day...thinking that nothing exciting would happen until evening. But I finally felt like it was time to fill the birth tub that morning while my husband was at Costco. By the time he got home (around 3pm), I felt like I wanted to get in. He raised his eyebrows in surprise when I told him, and asked me if I was sure (even he was in disbelief!!) I was feeling a bit snarky at that point and made it clear that I could get in and out of that tub as many times as I darn well wanted.

I had my sister call my midwives, (Kim Garrett with Dearborn Midwifery) and told her I thought she should start getting ready to head over in a couple hours. Five minutes later I told her to head over now but not to rush. Five minutes later I told her to rush.

I was in the tub by 4:10pm. My sisters were amazing doulas. They encouraged me, kept cool washcloths on my shoulders and forehead, kept my hair out of my face, gave me water...and kept tossing ice cubes into the tub because I filled it up with really hot water thinking it would need to stay warm until the night time. My husband was my rock: when I was out of the tub, I needed him to hold me up; when I was in the tub, I needed him to press on my lower back (constantly!) 

I listened to my body and changed positions as I needed to, sitting on the ball and rolling my hips, leaning on my husband standing up, swaying on my hands and knees over the birth ball, in and out of the tub.

My last two water births I pushed on my hands and knees, and my babies' were born after a few long hard contractions. I was really confused when I felt like I needed to put my feet up on the side of the tub (and I still needed my husband to press on my back!) so I reached up my hand without looking. I'll never forget when my midwife and my sister instinctively took both my hands without my verbalizing anything. But the contractions were short and not very strong. I got to the point where I felt like I was slitting in two and I couldn't believe the baby hadn't crowned yet. I just remember asking God to help me over and over again. 

Finally little Fiona was born. I pulled her right up into my arms; she was alert but quiet. Just looking around, eyes blinking, nuzzling into my chest. We both were just so relieved it was over. She latched on while I was still in the tub, and after about 20 minutes we moved over to the couch to wait for the placenta to birth. My daughter cut the cord, and everything proceeded normally. I was so alert and happy. Fiona was born at 5:40pm. I had never had a baby before midnight, and I couldn't believe how awake and energized I felt. My sisters brought me a fruit smoothie, clean clothes, and eventually helped me up to my room. Fiona was a super nurser. Everything was beautiful, peaceful, and perfect...not the direct straight path I anticipated, but by trusting and listening to my intuition we found our way in and out of the labyrinth of birth together.

I went to sleep that night with snow falling softly outside my window, my husband and my new baby snuggling with me in our warm bed, and a team of midwives, sisters, and family watching over us.

My Body, My Baby, My Birth

Following birth stories re posted with kind permission from Sarah Paksima of Engaging Birth who is a Co- founder and Former President of BirthKuwait.

Battle over Birth

My Body, My Baby, My Birth?

Al-Jazeera- I love their work. Recently Al-Jazeera has been exploring the political battles over where a woman can birth in a series called BirthRights. Definitely take the time to watch it on YouTube. You remember the phrase from the 1970's civil rights movements? My Body, My Baby, My Birth (or for those advocating for abortion rights, My Choice). What do you think? Who has ultimate autonomy over a woman's body? Should women have the right to give birth with who and wherever she chooses? Do the regulatory laws that we set up to license professionals and protect women from unqualified practitioners also serve to limit their choices? Do health practitioners truly have the health of women as their top priority, or are they just as territorial as your next businessman? Are you willing to abdicate responsibility for your health to someone else to make decisions for you about what is safe and what isn't?

There is not a place in the world where this issue is at rest- although there are places where there are more options available than others. I had my first baby at a hospital. I took Bradly Method classes to prepare, but even so I wasn't satisfied- I felt stripped of dignity and defeated by the experience. I never wanted to go through that again, so I studied and read more about childbirth. I had my second baby at a birth center- which was better, but it still just felt like a low-tech hospital with a tub that I could labor in. I loved the water birth experience! But even the nurse midwives kept looking at their watches, giving my deadlines to meet, talking about what interventions I should consider. I wanted to birth someplace where I was acknowledged as the ultimate authority on my body- where my inner wisdom and personal wishes were respected, and the people around me trusted the beautiful and powerful process of birth.

My next two children were born at home with a rented birthing tub and two highly trained midwives. They were wonderful and amazing births! That is what birth should be like- a safe environment, surrounded by people you love- who are confident in your ability and power to birth.We had some false alarms (I was even dilated to 5cm)-but the midwives just went home and we waited until labor started again the next night. I remember in the most intense moments of labor, sinking into the water with deep vocalization and letting my body completely relax while the arms of my sisters and husband held me up and supported me.  Safety, privacy, and patience. These are really what birth requires- and they are the three things that it is difficult to find in a hospital.

Moments after Mehrsa was born, I was able to initiate breastfeeding and introduce her to her big sisters.

The more women learn about a different model of birth- a model other than medical interventionism that dominates most places in the world, including Kuwait- the more they are seeking for a return to the midwifery model. Midwifery is woman centered- a model that trusts women's bodies and their ability to birth; a model that recognizes that the intense journey of labor and birth is a rite of passage that transforms a woman into a mother and supports and encourages her through that process rather than trying to "rescue" her from it. The medical establishment- because they are trained to treat you when things go wrong- inherently feeds into cycles of fear and mistrust of the process. This is an ongoing battle that women and men will continue to fight, a battle for information, autonomy, and the right to act on that information- it is political, economical, and deeply, deeply personal.