“In November of 1934, as was customary for women of her social stature, my grandmother was dropped off at the hospital, into the hands of strangers, to be delivered of her first child. Recovering from “twilight sleep” and a difficult “operative” delivery, my grandmother remained bedridden in the hospital for two weeks. My father was brought to her every four hours to be bottle fed as was fashionable in the 30’s. By the time she was released from the hospital, my grandmother had slipped into a deep and lasting postpartum depression that would prevent her from ever really bonding with her son.
Every caregiver who assists a woman in labor knows that the way in which a child enters this world will affect that child’s life and the lives of others indefinitely. A meteorologist termed this type of phenomenon as the “butterfly effect,” based upon his observations that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Hawaii could cause monsoons halfway around the world!
Birth can certainly have a “butterfly effect.” And that is why I am passionate about a woman’s right to gentle birth choices.
In 1996, my daughter’s birth was a wonderful out-of-hospital experience at a birth center in Maryland. When we moved to Wisconsin the following year, I was dismayed to learn that birth centers were not yet an option. Our youngest son was born at home instead–an experience that our family cherishes. It has been my burning desire since then to open a center in the Milwaukee area so that other women would have the same choices that I was lucky enough to have.
All women should be able to birth where ever they are most comfortable, whether at home, in a hospital, or at a freestanding birth center. And to that end, I am grateful to be able to offer women a place where they can have a homelike birth if they feel that their own ‘home,’ for whatever reason, does not feel right.” – Coral Slavin, Director of Well-Rounded Maternity Center