Sunday, February 08, 2009

Slow Birth is born


Maybe I'm just a little slow...but I've finally decided that I have to act on my decision (2004) to start focus-writing on Slow Birth (think slow dancing, slow cooking, slow kisses, slow lane, take it slow, baby...)  Don't you just take a big breath and sigh when you read those words?

I loved reading "In Praise of Slow" by Carl Honore, and discovering the Slow Food and Slow Travel movements as they emerged.  We had always raised our children according to the "slow" philosophy.  We talked, we listened to music, we read books together, and my husband and I kept our lives in pace with our children's development - we kept things slow, and the family flourished. When the slow movement began, it was nice to see that other people were discovering this way of living.

Every week, I still make my slow-cooked soup, just like my mother. I treasure my red Staub Cocotte and joyfully watch my family eat my lemon-braised chicken (then love to hear my brother talk on the phone about trying to replicate the tastes in his own home in Oregon). We eat local produce (carrying our bags to Granville Island market or riding to outdoor summer markets) and try to do our best to honour the 100-mile diet (though, we're gentle with ourselves when we fail). 

Now that our children are all grown up, we live in the centre of it all, live small (in a loft), ride our bikes, and walk every day (I love walking to client visits, or walking through leafy Shaughnessy on my way home from a birth). When we're on holiday, we don't try to "bag the sights". We take our holidays slow. This summer, we'll be hiking the Scottish hills, riding our bikes across the Provencal countryside, and sleeping in stone-built cottages for a week at a time - exploring new places at a snail's pace. We'll carry our reusable bags from shop to shop in Montmartre (thanks to Clotilde for telling us where to go) and take our baguettes and veggies home to our flat, then bike ride through Paris using Velib.

So, it's only natural that I would try to help my clients (okay...you're seeing my bias here) to have a Slow Birth.  Slow Birth honours each woman's hormonal rhythm, allowing for the ebb and flow of labour.  If there's a plateau in labour, Slow Birth means listening to the wisdom of the body, and letting the body take its own time.  In Slow Birth, the clocks are all turned around. If we rush the body, we often do it harm. Slow Birth is like lovemaking...it just doesn't like to be rushed...and interference can stop it completely. 

Slow Birth doesn't mean that the birth has to take a long time.  Birth should stand outside of time.  It may be fast.  It may be slow.  But birth should be allowed to take the time it needs.

Slow Birth - reclaiming the natural rhythm of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Watch for the launch of slowbirth.com....coming soon...but slowly...

And in the meantime, take some time to check out my debut blog on SlowPlanet

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula...and SlowBirth...and SlowPlanet

1 comment:

ebbandflo said...

Great ideas and a great blog post, and thank you for helping my 'fast' birth go sloooooooooow .....

PS: if you haven't done so, check out the Slow Food Cycle held in Pemberton each year (late August I think) - it's a real family food affair, have never seen so many methods of conveying children by bicycle on one road system!