When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

In Nature as In Business, the Process Matters

In Nature as In Business, the Process Matters

Hosted By:
Elane V. Scott
Featured Guest:
Suzanne Arms

Dear Valued Stakeholders,

Every year, many millions of people honor the birth Jesus Christ on December 25th. Whether or not you are religiously affiliated, everyone can likely agree that the birth and immediate care of that baby (as the story goes) was something remarkable. One woman had a baby all by herself, in a stable, wrapped it in rags, and put it in a crib made of hay. How did she know how to deliver that baby? Or what to do afterwards? We are left to speculate, but we are assured that medical intervention was far away.

From the moment a mother finds out she is pregnant, in the United States today, she is lead to believe that she is not knowledgeable enough to have a child on her own. She must seek out experts to tell her how, and intervene at every step along the way. This is a phenomenon of the system we rely on as a culture when we learn to trust technology first, instead of ourselves. If we had a better birth rate than in countries where they do less intervention, this might make sense, but we don't. The United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world.

As reported by CNN, May 10, 2006: "The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn death rate is higher than any of those countries," said the annual State of the World's Mothers report.

The report, which analyzed data from governments, research institutions and international agencies, found higher newborn death rates among U.S. minorities and disadvantaged groups. For African-Americans, the mortality rate is nearly double that of the United States as a whole, with 9.3 deaths per 1,000 births.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst place in the world to be a mother or child, with Scandinavian nations again taking the top spots in the rankings by the Connecticut-based humanitarian group.

Why does it matter for all economic stakeholder groups to know more about this issue? With health care costs going up at nearly astronomic rates, can we go beyond seeing every birth only as a pathological, medical/health issue or are there other hidden issues that drive millions of people to agree on a single best path to birthing? For example does the quickness with which many seek to find blame through the legal system when there is a problem, leave millions of mothers with no choice to birth within the system, or be accused of negligence? Can we do better in our communities?

For thousands of years women have birthed, alone sometimes, but mostly with the help of other women and without any interventions by medical science. Mother Nature figured it out! But women (and men, in fact) have been taught over the last 100 years that every pregnancy and birth situation is potentially a catastrophic illness rather than a natural life process, and they are afraid to the point that over 98% of our births are done in hospitals with multiple interventions. And yes, medical miracles have saved lives of those that in the past would have died. No one is negating the miracle of modern medicine to help in emergencies. But the true necessity of intervention to save the lives of mother and/or child, are still very rare compared to the number of live births. The truth is, having a child in a hospital, with I.V. drips, drugs, etc. is not “normal.” Our radio show guest, Suzanne Arms, has been an inspiration behind the natural birth movement since 1975. She is an author, filmmaker, speaker, and consultant who, I hope, you will find as inspirational as I do.

From Suzanne: "My purpose is to help shift the paradigm that drives the loneliness, anxiety, addiction, greed, and aggression so prominent in post-modern societies to one that promotes joy, wellbeing and peace. I work at the beginning of life, where the patterns are set. We must transform how we bring human beings into the world and care for each childbearing woman and mother-baby pair from conception to the first birthday, when they are one biological system and the baby's developing brain and nervous system are laying down patterns for a lifetime."

Join me in celebrating new life this season with a call to doing it without unnecessary "interventions."

Elane V. Scott