Truly natural birth is a deeply empowering experience - as comments one of the mothers: "if I can do that I can do anything".
Birth has been turned into a medical procedure whereby 'professionals' are paid to 'deliver' a baby and the woman is expected to submit to the authorities rather than the forces of nature.
Nowadays natural birth is taken to mean anything less than a Caesarean section. I was shocked recently to find out the current rate for this - about 25% and climbing in the UK. The passage of birth through the birth canal is a rite of passage and biochemicals are released at this time which shape a child's relationship with the world. If a mother has no drugs or interference during childbirth the release of endorphins and other natural biochemicals give her the most amazing high after the birth and i sometimes wonder whether that affects the rest of your life. I was born at home and had three of my children at home and my closest friends did the same - it still surprises me when I remember this is not seen as normal and even as an act of bravery.
"FATE OF EARTH - FATE OF BIRTH" explores our culture's dependence on technology, not only do we trust machines more than nature and our capabilities, but we also use machines to shield us from natural passages of life such as birth and death. A family centered birth experience at home seems to benefit the newborn and reinforces the natural mother- child bond. Since our cultural rituals reflect and shape our cultural values, changing our childbirth rituals to celebrate nature could enhance our valuing of the Earth.