What Helps Labor go Easier, Faster, Better?

IMG_1725Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a MAN, but its end is the way of death.” I think this particularly applies to childbirth. If it seems right to a MAN, it might not be the best way for a woman. Of course there are some rare men, such as Michel Odent who left his OB practice to become a midwife, but overall most women, most times, are going to have a much better birth outcome by trusting the way God has made their body, and trusting a woman who respects the natural birth process, to be her birth attendant.

There is a little booklet, called The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labor, written by an acquaintance of mine from Cape Town, South Africa. This short powerful book is a gleaning of information gained through working alongside Michel Odent and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all pregnant couples.

Through Dr Odent’s many years (more than half a century) of attending births (around 15,000 births) in both hospitals and at home, Dr. Odent has come to the conclusion that a laboring woman needs not much more than to be left alone, simply to be attended to by a quiet, non-invasive and low profile midwife.

If you’d like to read more information on the safety of homebirths, this is an important study recently published:

Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Volume 59Issue 1pages 17–27January/February 2014 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/abstract

And this is a discussion of the study by the Midwives Association of North America: http://mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes

[The study] confirms the safety and overwhelmingly positive health benefits for low-risk mothers and babies who choose to birth at home with a midwife. At every step of the way, midwives are providing excellent care. This study enables families, providers and policymakers to have a transparent look at the risks and benefits of planned home birth as well as the health benefits of normal physiologic birth.

Birth is such a wonderful, incredible event in the life of a woman. Most of us don’t have enough children to allow us to “get it wrong” too many times. I urge all pregnant or wanting to be pregnant women to choose your birth attendants with much information and awareness.

Once you have made important decisions about your baby’s birth, you need to do some research on the necessity and risk of giving your newborn vaccines. I’ve written extensively on this topic.

Author Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, writer and speaker, is passionate about health, Jesus, and joy, and has been helping mothers breastfeed their babies for over 22 years. Becky blogs at http://journeyboost.com and shares health information on her Facebook page. Please like Journeyboost on Facebook!

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Please share your thoughts or comments below!

The Great Physician

Boy in hatDead Doctors Don’t Lie is a popular talk first given by Dr Joe Wallach in 1994. He has repeated this talk hundreds of times, adding significant substantial information along the way. I highly encourage you to watch his talks. He has a unique viewpoint with a degree in Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, before becoming qualified as a Naturopath to treat humans.[1]

I have seen several versions of his talks. Dr Wallach explains how over 900 diseases in animals have been conquered. These diseases were once BIG problems. Every disease was shown to be a result of a nutritional deficiency, and when the deficiency is addressed, the disease disappears. The same incredible success using nutrition with animals has also worked to avoid and prevent birth defects. Those who raise animals for a living appreciate that they can increase the health and longevity of their animals, and thus their profits, by understanding and applying principles of nutritional science.

This information is so brilliant, you would think every human doctor would be thoroughly instructed on the vital role of nutrition in disease prevention and cure. Since doctors enter their profession to help people, and there is a clear way to make the lives of people better through correct nutrition, you would think that their training should include learning the details of every nutrient required by the body and how to motivate their patients – the most intelligent of the primates – to feed themselves well.

Yet doctors receive little to no nutritional training in medical school. It leaves me wondering:

  • Why does the public follow the advice of the medical profession today in 2015?
  • Do the doctors giving us information and advice have superior health?
  • Do doctors live longer, better lives?
  • Are doctors bright and vigorous right up to the time they die?
  • Do doctors have strong healthy relationships?
  • Are doctors are best role models for health and wellness?

If you research the stats on doctors, it would appear from a variety of sources that the average life-span for those in the medical profession is approximately 57 years. I’m not against all doctors. My father was a doctor and I have met many wonderful doctors over the years. Doctors provide life-saving treatments for many conditions and we all want an excellent medical facility available if we are in need of emergency trauma care. But perhaps, at least sometimes, we exalt ALL doctors just a bit too much.

What do doctors have going for them?

The medical profession, especially of the Western variety, has long had a reputation for being wealthy. With wealth comes power and prestige. Those fortunate enough to be accepted into medical schools and who manage to successfully pass the rigour of the training are revered by most in our society for their knowledge, education, and prosperity.

Yet perhaps when it comes to understanding how to achieve and maintain true health over a lifetime, many medical professionals are blind. It is well-known that a doctor’s medical training includes very little information regarding nutrition. Even gastroenterologists, who specialise in the gut, are not taught much about the essential role of diet and nutrition in gut health. Those doctors who have figured out relevant aspects of nutrition and health, have usually learned from their patients or through their own research, after completing their formal medical training.

We all know what Jesus said about following a blind guide – both fall into a ditch.

Sometimes people hear an interesting alternative approach they can easily implement in their life and they say, “I’ll have to check with my doctor about that.” Or, “I couldn’t take that supplement without first asking my doctor.”

I guess they have their reasons. Maybe they are already taking so many medications prescribed by their doctor that they are worried a specific supplement might interfere with the pharmaceutical drug they are taking.

My question is, Why do people give doctors so much power in their lives? Why do they think a doctor would know anything about a natural remedy or a nutritional supplement? Why wouldn’t they research it for themselves? If they are taking pharmaceuticals, why wouldn’t they research and find an effective non harmful natural alternative?

I have heard repeatedly by doctors themselves that they received no training in nutrition in medical school. Ok, maybe they had a ½ hour lecture. If they are married, sometimes their spouse knows and understands more about nutrition than they do.

Properly prescribed medical care is either the leading cause of death or the third leading cause of death in the USA, depending on the year of the study. Even if it is only in the top ten, that is a little too frequent for my liking. What this means is that doctors and hospitals cause A LOT of deaths every single year. This is not the case that someone goes to the hospital gravely ill and dies. It is when an otherwise healthy person receives medical care and then dies.

You are the chief expert on your own body and condition. You live with yourself and your aches and pains every single day. You know what you eat and you know how your body responds to it. You know how your digestive system is working and exactly what your poop looks like (which is, by the way, one of the biggest indicators of health). You know your energy level and how you handle stress. Those are all the key indicators of health.

Your doctor is only one consultant. He works for you. You can consider his recommendations, but you are by no means obligated to follow them.

We were all formed in the image of our Creator to display His glory. I would urge everyone to seek God’s answers to every question. For those who have accepted Jesus Christ, God’s human expression on earth, as their Lord, you have the Spirit of God living inside of you! You have direct access to the same power that raised Jesus from the dead!

Don’t settle for a human answer. If you get worrisome or troubling information from a doctor, don’t just accept it.

Fast, pray, worship Jesus. Do not worship at the altar of the medical industrial complex. You will not find salvation there.

Are you afraid? What is the basis of your fear?

“As we live in God our love grows more perfect. Such love has no fear. Perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18

God has your life in His hands. He can guide you to exactly what you need. Seek His peace. Your doctor might be a wonderful person – I hope so. But your doctor is only a person and any wisdom s/he does have has been bestowed by God. Seek God first and He will make your paths straight.

Becky on stage

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

 

[1] Dr Joel Wallach, BS, DVM, ND https://www.youngevity.net/category/dwj.html

Is Vaccine Injury Real? A True Story

Lora's 3 Boys

This is an absolutely beautiful photo taken by a photographer mom. I was so traumatized after reading her story of vaccine injury, but THRILLED to learn of how she has learned the truth, recognized the damage the vaccines caused to her older boys, and chosen to keep her new precious son healthy without injecting him with toxins! This is a warrior momma sharing truth learned the hard way! She gave me permission to share her story in the hope that others would avoid all the trials she has gone through. Learning from experience is a good teacher, but learning from the mistakes of others – so that we can avoid those mistakes – is the best teacher.

These are my three sons, two suffered damage after being vaccinated for YEARS according to the current CDC schedule and their pediatrician’s recommendations. My eldest has experienced numerous tics* and G.I. issues. My second son, I had to stop breastfeeding at 4 months due to his serious digestive issues, so sad. He was born in December and was fully vaccinated and sick for almost a year straight. He ended up contracting whooping cough even though he was vaccinated against it…….hmmmm……vaccine failure much? He also contracted measles, but his pediatrician would not even CONSIDER he had the measles because he was vaccinated against it — this medical response is dangerous! and pure laziness! We have been working on the gut issues with diet; eating more organic, non-GMO, less pesticides and additives, less milk and more fluoride free water. Our youngest (the baby pictured above) was born peacefully at home this month, delivered by my husband and is EBF, and NO, he has not had the Hep B vaccine AND we have actually lost very close family members because of the medical decisions we are making for OUR children. It’s very sad, but we need to protect our children and keep them healthy.

When you know better you do better……..it’s not easy, but it is WORTH IT.

*Transient tic disorder…Transient tic disorder is a temporary condition in which a person makes one or many brief, repeated, movements or noises (tics). These movements or noises are involuntary (not on purpose)…….the first tic to present itself was the RAPID EYE BLINKING, this was called “normal” by his pediatrician. He said, ‘Boys are more susceptible than girls, he will most likely outgrow it,’  bla, bla, bla…….It may be the “NEW NORMAL” but it is NOT normal and it’s NOT okay! He is turning 11 this year and he STILL has not outgrown them! We thought he had Tourette’s syndrome at one point, it BREAKS MY HEART.

 

Please do your own independent research before agreeing to any medical procedure. Your baby is too precious to experiment with. These might provide more information:

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Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, health enthusiast. I have been blessed through Jesus to come to an understanding of truth and health. I seek only to share this blessing with others. I pray you will be led on a journey towards abundant health.

 

 

God’s Powerful Victory!

DangerSometimes we feel overwhelmed. We may feel surrounded by evil forces, wicked plans for our harm. We have become sensitized to the plans of man for evil and not for good. When we become aware of the many lies used to lure and deceive us into actions we are told are for our “good” but are actually going to harm us, it is an unsettling experience. We realize many plans have been set up for greed and profit, but are promoted for our health or safety.

What do we do? Do you ever feel besieged just by entering a grocery store, knowing that there is so much unknown poison lurking in many of the items sold as ‘food’? Or bombarded by the news, especially when our country debates whether it is ok to sell aborted baby parts for science?

In 2 Kings 6 the enemy king sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city in which Elisha lived. They were intent on capturing Elisha because he was interfering with their plans. God had given Elisha special insight and he was boldly proclaiming God’s truth.

Elisha’s servant got up early in the morning and saw the troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. He panicked, “What will we do now?”

Elisha had a knowledge and awareness of the presence and power of God – a presence and power that remained in EVERY circumstance.

“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!”

Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses, and chariots of fire.

Ask God to open your eyes to see the protection and deliverance He has provided for you. For our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He desires to deliver you from the hands of the wicked. Seek Him. Put your trust in Him. He has already achieved victory over every evil scheme of the enemy. The enemy has been defeated, so let’s walk together in the victory God has declared.

IMG_0423Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

No need to fear

Terrible judgment is coming on the earth.
The Scriptures predict it.
All around us we see signs.

Jesus said we should watch
And notice the signs.

Daily we are exposed
To the rampant evil in our world.
Our hearts cry out for justice
As evil dominates
Nearly every realm of life.

Our food, our health, wars,
Parental rights, personal freedom.
There is predicted climate chaos,
Drug addictions, our toxic environment,
Destruction of the planet.
Slavery, human trafficking, hunger,
Racial inequality, discord.

Some seek to change or fix
What they see is broken
The only fix apparent to me,
is the fix Jesus provides.

The fix every individual human heart
Desperately needs.

Yes, there is coming judgment
Against the evil plots we see all around us.
But we don’t need to fear
We can look forward to the return of Jesus –
Whom God raised from the dead*
Whom the disciples saw ascend to heaven
Forty days later.

He is the one who has rescued us
From the terrors of the coming judgment.*
As we embrace God’s message with joy
Realizing “God loves me,
And has chosen me
To be among His very own people.”*

Ever confident that
He will rescue me.

*see further 1 Thessalonians 1

12Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Facing a world quite different from the one in which I grew up, I seek to research and understand the true route to health, freedom and joyful family living!

Evidence

thumb-print-1-1151991-639x889Honest researchers in every field will gather, examine, weigh, and discuss evidence. Dishonest researchers will ignore, hide, alter or falsify evidence. They are generally not open to a rational discussion of ALL the evidence, and do not readily change their conclusion even when faced with overwhelming evidence that is contradictory to their conclusion.

Dishonest researchers aren’t all terrible evil characters. There may be many reasons for the way they deal with evidence. They may have some preconceived convictions or theories that prevent them from viewing the evidence rationally. Many times there are financial concerns that strongly influence the interpretation of evidence. Sometimes certain life experiences and the interpretation of such experiences can strongly influence a person’s views.

We are all subject to our own bias. We are often deceived. It is hard to see our bias and the nature of deception is that we are not aware that it is happening. I admit my bias falls toward believing the Bible, understanding it and applying it to my life. That may disqualify me from being taken seriously by some people. I challenge anyone to read the Bible for just 30 days with an open mind.

Intuition, hunches and feelings may all be valuable in leading us to uncover further evidence or to interpret the evidence we have, but these are not reliable on their own. All honest evaluations must proceed based on clear evidence. Faith is another factor to consider in evaluating evidence. For me, faith is only as significant as the thing I put my faith in. If I have faith that my government will never fail me or lead me astray, I might be disappointed. If I put faith in my own wisdom, I could be deceived or wrong. If the object of my faith is the eternal God, creator of all things, who alone has power to bring everything under His control, I can be confident in HIM. The object of faith is very important.

I eagerly seek to know and understand truth in every area, but when exploring historic events the evidence may be limited.

In the field of medicine most informed people seek an ‘evidence based’ approach. Their health is too significant to accept popular opinion or hectic marketing. They want to research and discover the true facts regarding all medical or life-style practices. Often they question or research standard medical recommendations. It is wise to seek truth and evidence in the realm of health care treatment.

I propose that the subject of God, what we believe about the existence of God, and the possibility of life beyond death, is probably the most important aspect of our lives. Our physical health concerns will pale in comparison to such an eternal reality. This is the most significant subject that we could possibly research and get to the truth. Eternity is too important to be wrong about.

What evidence is available?

I have spent many years studying the ancient scriptures collected together into what we know as the Bible. Many people have opinions about the Bible but haven’t read it. Some start at the beginning, thinking the Bible should be read from beginning to end as most books. The Bible is not like other books; it’s actually more of a library filled with books. It can be challenging, but a serious exploration is well worth the effort.

What does the Bible say about itself? What does the Bible say about Jesus? What did Jesus say about Himself? What does the Bible say about future events?

I hope to explore some of these questions in future blog posts.

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Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate follower of Jesus Christ and truth seeker, especially in the areas of health and children. Navigating our present day world can be challenging, God’s timeless truths in the Bible are my guide.

 

 

 

Vanquishing Darkness

The extent of evil
Oozing in every sphere of life
Forces me to seek the LIGHT.
Wholeheartedly.
Unreservedly.

Not on my terms or conditions
For how can I impact or dictate
To the LIGHT?

I seek the totality of the pure LIGHT.
The LIGHT of truth.
The truth that brings healing; wholeness.

The truth that seeks good;
Demands justice.

The truth that fully accepts.

The truth that does not conform
To my ideals or expectations.

I must conform and align
To Truth.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by Matthew 5:14-16

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 8:12

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 8:44

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
spoken by Jesus, recorded by John 14:6

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Author: Becky Hastings, a forgiven, cleansed sinner who seeks to walk closely to the LIGHT of Jesus Christ and seek truth every day.

 

A Tragic Loss

Dr Bradstreet AutismOne 2015I was not privileged to meet Dr Bradstreet, I have learned of him from his patients and from his highly informed talks at Autism One in May 2015.[1] I can assume his message to us might be something like this: “Be a difference maker, even if it costs you everything.” Dr Bradstreet was by no means perfect – he was a man who struggled – as we all do. Yet, he was brave in the face of adversity, he was compassionate with those overlooked by society, he demonstrated strength and hope and sought to bring healing and inspiration to many despite enormous obstacles. May his life inspire many to great levels of courage.

A Tribute to a Man Whose Work I Admire

We may not understand how and why Jeff Bradstreet died. But countless families can tell you why he lived.[2]

Dr Bradstreet didn’t claim to have the last word or know everything, but he valiantly explored and experimented with many treatment options and brought healing to many who had been given a diagnosis of ASD. He tirelessly researched ALL the science available on the topic of autism. His depth of knowledge of all the factors related to autism, and the personalized treatment protocols for individual children were epic. He was a walking PubMed reference resource. His primary goal was to understand what was going on in the body and brain of children trapped in a non-responsive body that had been discarded by mainstream practitioners. He focused on helping parents and caregivers understand that the many overwhelming behaviors displayed by their autistic child had a physical cause and when symptoms were diagnosed and treated, behavior improved.

He was thrust into the autism arena through the reality of autism he experienced with his own son. He candidly describes his journey of having a six-year-old non-verbal, self-injurious, fecal obsessed and fecal smearing son for whom no one would have given any hope of education. He relates his long journey towards healing involving many novel treatments and proudly shared the announcement that his son had just graduated from high school on 25 May 2015 at age 21 AND had been accepted to a college in Florida. Perhaps only those closely associated with a severely autistic child can understand the enormity of such an accomplishment.

The death of Dr Bradstreet is a tragic loss to all.

He was a man with answers, hope, and great insight into healing autism. He didn’t claim to have 100% cure rates and he recognized that many methods that achieved great success for some children might not work for others. Each child was unique. He possessed great optimism that he would find even more answers, better personalized healing programs and faster, more effective healing for many more families through the amazing collaborations he had going with several different partners on the cutting edge of brain research.

Dr Bradstreet demonstrated incredible love for the children and families that he served. He understood their pain because he shared it. He listened to the mothers and encouraged them to be active participants in observing the symptoms and effective treatments for their own children. He called them “Dr Mom.” He said they had earned their degree. He shared love, healing and hope with all who came into contact with him.

Dr Bradstreet wasn’t too worried about pandering to mainstream thinking. He sought effective healing modalities. He was willing to experiment and think outside the box. He sought wisdom from others and collaborated widely with great innovation. He recognized many evil forces in the world that had collided to cause severe illness to an incredible number of children – impacting the entire family. He recognized evil forces colluding in cover-up and harmful drug based treatment promotion and the acceptance of lifelong sickness and labels. He worked tirelessly against the malaise brought on families overwhelmed by the burden of severe autism. He brought restored hope for healing.

Every life cut short – especially a vital life overflowing with helping others and making the world a better place – is tragic. Sorrow is natural. As we reflect on the pain of life, God wants to use it to lead us to a better place.

“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There is no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Life is too short to hate or to allow bitterness to fester. Evil is real. Ignorance of the evil abounds. Our best opposition is love. We love others as we share truth – even in the face of opposition. Dr Bradstreet demonstrated this. He chose a life of honor. He sought truth. He did not seek mainstream praise and popularity. He sought justice and brought hope and healing to many.

Dr Bradstreet will be sorely missed by his family and his many patients. He will be missed by his collaborative partners with whom he designed unique healing modalities. I pray that through this tragic loss, the healing protocols he pioneered will be multiplied exponentially among those who currently suffer with any type of autism/brain injury. I pray that there will be great triumph as we remember his life and the help he brought to so many.

I pray new brave doctors will rise up to continue his bold research in autism cures.

Author: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother with a passion for health, Jesus and joy. 

[1] Dr Bradstreet, Autism One Conference, May 2015, How Close Are We To An Autism Cure? Part 1

[2] Sheila Rogers DeMare, MS, Founder and Director of the nonprofit Association for Comprehensive NeuroTherapy (ACN), is a leader in the field of integrative therapies for neuropsychiatric and behavioral disorders. http://latitudes.org/tragic-loss-of-jeffrey-bradstreet-md/

I will NOT shrink back

Pinochio Told Lies

Beware of those who lie

Christians – I’ve got an important message to share with you. If you’re not a Christian, you need to know, Christians aren’t perfect. We make a lot of mistakes. One of our biggest mistakes has been putting 100% trust in the schemes of men – especially the medical schemes. Modern medicine has made some wonderful accomplishments. If you have a serious accident they do an amazing job of putting you back together. But western medicine has a rather abysmal record in helping healthy people stay healthy.

I seek to love God with all that I am. Nothing would give me greater delight than sharing the great message that Jesus came to demonstrate: God’s grace. I’ve experienced His grace personally and dramatically and seek to share all that I’ve been blessed to receive with others.

Inspired by Paul in Acts 20, I never want to shrink back from sharing this powerful truth – the same message the early followers of Jesus recorded and which has been collected into what we call the New Testament – the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and having faith in Jesus.

This message has changed the entire world, has powerfully brought transformation to individual lives throughout all cultures for 2000 years, has transformed my world, and can transform yours as you fully embrace it.

In the same way, I can’t shrink back from sharing facts and evidence I have discovered in the arena of health. Jesus warned us to watch out for false prophets and deceivers, those who twist truth for their benefit and our harm (read more in these two chapters: Matthew 7 & 24). He specifically said we need to watch out for the doctrine, i.e. teaching, of the leaders (Mark 8:15). Paul, Peter and John all repeatedly warned about deceivers.[1]

Deceivers distort truth for their own gain and often cause harm to others. Nowhere is this distortion more evident than in the arena of healthcare, and particularly the realm of pregnancy, birth and neonatal care practiced by most sophisticated highly trained professionals in western countries. There is a lot of money at stake. Not every professional knowingly practices deception. Some are victims of the deception themselves. Their training has been built on a false foundation.[2]

Too many parents have learned the hard way and experienced devastating health outcomes that impact their family forever. Vaccine injury is real. Some babies die. Some are severely injured. (see further Healthy Babies Don’t Just Die, Healthy Babies Don’t Just Develop Autism, How Many Shots?, It Wasn’t the Truck, Are Non-vaccinated Kids Healthy?).

We need to seek truth in every realm of life. We need to beware of deceivers. We need to ask more questions. We need to question the answers we are given and the source of those answers. We live in a fallen world. We have a real enemy. We need to seek Jesus and the wisdom He wants to give us.

Christian doctors, grandparents, parents, and educators need to seek truth and real scientific support for every procedure they agree to for their children. We also need to be bold enough to find helpful ways to share the truth we discover with others. Our children have been entrusted to us. Jesus said we should welcome children and never harm them. The punishment is severe for those who harm children.[3]

Becky on stageAuthor: Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, passionate about following Jesus, truth and health.

[1] Warnings about deception and deceivers. Read the whole chapters to get more context.  Paul: 2 Thessalonians 2:11, Colossians 2:4 and 8, 2 Timothy 2:26, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Timothy 2:26, 2 Timothy 3:13, Galatians 1:7, Acts 20:28-30; Peter: 2 Peter 2:2-3, 2 Peter 3:16-17; John: 1 John 4:6, 2 John 7-8, Revelation 13:14; James: James 1:16.

[2] Jesus explains that the foundation of our lives is critically important in Matthew 7 “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like the wise man who built his house on the rock. The rains came down, the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mind and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams  rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

[3] Mark 9:42 “If you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.”

My Embarrassing Birth Story

& Lessons I Learned, namely: Why Your Birth Attendant Makes a HUGE Difference & How to Check Them Out Thoroughly. 

Pregnant 3 croppedYou are going to be a new parent. You are so excited. You research car seats, baby monitors, diapers (nappies), have baby showers, get lots of presents, all that FUN stuff.

If you are like me you might also research what kind of birth you want to have and select your birth attendant very carefully. My first baby was born in 1982. It was absolutely the most significant event of my life up until that point. I basked in the grace God had bestowed on me in making me a mom.

During my pregnancy I attended the hospital “preparing for birth” classes AND we also paid extra money to attend the local “La Maze” more natural oriented preparing for childbirth classes. My husband graciously accompanied me to all those classes! I also attended the series of four La Leche League meetings that covered all thing breastfeeding, but also overlapped to discussing how our birth choices can impact our breastfeeding outcome. The LLL distilled wisdom sums it up like this: “Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.” 

Both the La Maze instructor and the LLL meetings had a lending library available for further learning. I read EVERY SINGLE BOOK in both libraries on the topic of natural birth.

I believe I was as prepared as I possibly could be – at the time. This was long before the Internet and before a lot of great courses and books had appeared on the scene. I had lots of theoretical knowledge of birth, the process and how to cooperate with the process for the most natural, healthy outcome – all for the sake of my precious baby.

I spoke to all the more naturally oriented mothers around and got a recommendation for a wonderful OB/Gyn who happened to be 30 miles away from the major center in which we lived. He believed strongly in the benefits of midwives and so his practice included midwives – quite unusual for the Midwest USA at the time. His practice had fantastic outcomes and we were happy to drive that far for all the appointments because their philosophy about birth matched what I had learned that would be best for mom AND baby. I was planning a natural birth, because I did not want any unnecessary medications to interfere with this most precious new life that God had blessed me with.

It seems we had planned for absolutely every eventuality – except the weather. My labor started in the very early hours of the morning in the middle of one of the worst snowstorms to hit the Midwest in over 50 years. There was such a dump of snow that ALL the roads were closed. My labor was quite mild at first and I was quite happy just to stay put. My husband was a lot more concerned, i.e. panicking. We were both very new at this. He decided to phone someone (can’t remember now) and after a large snowplow cleared the major road we lived on, an ambulance arrived to take me to the local hospital about 5 minutes away.

I don’t think I even have a written birth plan. I had so much confidence in the more ‘alternative’ birth center we had chosen, that it wasn’t a necessity. Now I was thrust into the care of a very medically orientated hospital. On top of their differing philosophy and respect for the natural birth process and a woman’s body, because of the huge storm, they were also doing a double shift. Since the roads were impassable, no new staff had been able to arrive for work, thus everyone on duty had to just keep on keeping on.

So I found myself alone in my desire to have a wonderful, peaceful, calm, supported fully natural birth which respected the capabilities of birth my body was designed for. Modern medicine has certainly been responsible for many life-saving techniques. A woman with a complicated non progressing labor may need serious intervention and help. But for most women most of the time, studies show better outcomes if they are supported in labor and their body is able to proceed to do this very important work with as little interference as possible.

Instead of being able to settle in and allow my labor to do the work, I had to battle and think about every single thing they were trying to do to me! First it was the IV, then the fetal distress monitors, then in the middle of the second stage (pushing) it was the huge needle I’d never even heard of that the doctor (or resident) started to inject – without even asking.

I said, “what is that?”

He answered, “Oh, it’s just a pudendal block.”

I said, “What’s it for?”

He said, “So you don’t feel so much pain.”

I said, “I TOLD YOU no medications!”

You see, he had briefly come into my room while I was laboring where I filled him in on the fact that I wanted a COMPLETELY NATURAL BIRTH. To me that meant no medication at all, but obviously to him it meant something quite different.

Well I guess he thought he was being considerate because this is a form of local anesthesia that numbs the whole area similarly to how a dentist numbs the spot before they drill. He thought he was being nice because he knew his next step was a MAJOR episiotomy – routine you know.

I had no idea. I had been rolled into the delivery room on a bed. My labor hadn’t been that terrible. In terms of pain it wasn’t too bad. But the support and assistance and having to question and usually oppose all the routines is never a good way for a woman to experience labor.

Here I am, on a hospital delivery bed and they strapped my legs into stirrups! If anyone tells you they do that for the woman’s convenience, they are too delusional to believe any other word that comes out of their mouth – that is a bold-faced lie.

So in this very undignified position I now have at least three or four “cheerleaders” peering into my private parts. With every contraction they shout in unison “PUSH, PUSH, PUSH MOMMA, YOU CAN DO IT.” It is really hard to ignore such a powerful intrusive force. I’m not sure who those people were. Maybe a doctor, with a resident and a couple of nursing assistants. Who knows. But they were all people with no respect for a woman’s ability to birth a baby on her own. They thought they were helping.

With that much enthusiastic cheering I was forcefully pushing my precious baby through the birth canal – but just a little bit too fast to accommodate all the stretching needed – actually, maybe a LOT TOO FAST. The ‘kind’ doctor decided to help by giving me an ENORMOUS episiotomy.

Thus baby number one came into the world.

_DSC1724I must say that despite the medically mediated “natural” birth, the experience of holding our baby and seeing him was awesome and spellbinding. It was an instantaneous healing of sorts. However, there was still the small matter of momma being sliced up and needing some serious stitching. The ‘kind’ doctor managed to do it in about 40 minutes while momma’s feet were still strapped in the stirrups.

I can’t really remember how much skin to skin we got to enjoy with baby. It wasn’t optimal. In fact he hadn’t even found the nipple or tried to nurse. I was euphoric from all the birth hormones and the sight of our awesome amazing new life – our baby. In the recovery room we were blessed with an experienced nurse who expertly helped baby to latch. I don’t know how long it had been, but he latched like a little pro took a couple of sucks and proved to me that he knew what to do! We continued to practice frequently – as I’d learned at the La Leche League meetings.

The reason I even started writing this blog and rehashing all these memories – some 33 years later – is that I happened to remember a story under the topic of ‘most embarrassing private moments of your life’ based on something that happened later the same night.

You see, the ‘kind’ doctor was worried about his repair job. He was concerned lest I might have a bowel movement that might tear me apart even more. His cutting job had gotten a little too close to a very essential other part of the human anatomy. He thus asked me about my bowel patterns and suggested that a laxative would be a good idea to help soften the stool especially at first.

So sometime in the middle of the night around 2 am I was holding and feeding my precious treasure – still in absolute delight – when I felt a very strong urgent call of nature. The problem was this was URGENT and I still had to: 1. Put baby down safely; and 2. Maneuver my body with all the associated soreness of a HUGE incision in a most precarious location off the bed and over to the bathroom.

I didn’t manage.

The laxative had done its work – well. The sheets were a mess. I called the nurses who were very gracious and helpful. It turns out there was a good side. While we were in the middle of getting cleaned up, the “baby nursery nurse” came in to collect my baby. I said, “No, we want to room in.” She said, “ALL babies go to the nursery on the FIRST night, even those that room in.” To which I responded (sometimes I think fast), “well, he didn’t finish breastfeeding the last time because we kind of had this big interruption, so I still need to finish.” And she disappeared – and fortunately never came back!

After the first experience of a hospital birth my dominating concern was “I never want a doctor at any future births – give me a midwife.” So the next four births all had midwife assisted deliveries, the last three were at home.

DSC_0062Fast forward 17 years to the birth of my fifth child. I had a relaxing labor, spent part of the time in a water pool which my loving husband had filled in our birthing bedroom. It was early in the morning and all the other four children were still asleep (they were 17, 15, 10, & 7). The midwife arrived, I labored outside the pool for an agonizing half an hour, got back into the pool, where are precious baby number 5 was gently transitioned into the world and onto my chest. My body could do it – all n the matter of a few hours, without the cheerleading, the episiotomy, the medical ‘assistance.’

My daughter-in-laws births are also a fantastic demonstration of the importance of preparation – but more importantly the personnel who attend your birth. These wonderful girls birthed healthy babies at full term with no drugs, no episiotomies and NO STITCHES! They’ve each had two babies and were attended by experienced midwives – one in a hospital and one at home.

The attendants make all the difference. Choose your attendant wisely. I leave you with two thoughts about making a wise choice for your birth attendant:

  1. If you walk into a surgeon’s office what can you expect? Surgery.
  1. The best indicator of future performance (how your birth is going to play out with this person as your attendant) is past performance. What are this person’s stats? How many completely natural births have they ever seen? What is their definition of “natural”? What position do most of their moms deliver in? (This is a very telling question. Most doctors don’t like to be inconvenienced too much, thus they like the mom to be in a position more suitable for them than for the birthing mom and baby.) Don’t ask what they will allow you to do – ask them what their patients have done in the past. Remember, past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

Proverbs 14:12 says “There is a way that seems right to a MAN, but its end is the way of death.” I think this particularly applies to childbirth. If it seems right to a MAN, it might not be the best way for a woman. Of course there are some rare men, such as Michel Odent who left his OB practise to become a midwife, but overall most women, most times are going to have a much better birth outcome by trusting the way God has made their body, and trusting a woman who respects the natural birth process to be her birth attendant.

This little booklet, called The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labor, was written with information gleaned by a midwife who worked alongside Michel Odent and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all pregnant couples.

Through Dr Odent’s many years (more than half a century) of attending births (around 15,000 births) in both hospitals and at home, Dr. Odent has come to the conclusion that a laboring woman needs not much more than to be left alone, simply to be attended to by a quiet, non-invasive and low profile midwife.

If you’d like to read more information on the safety of homebirths, this is an important study recently published:

Outcomes of Care for 16,924 Planned Home Births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009, Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, Volume 59, Issue 1, pages 17–27, January/February 2014 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jmwh.12172/abstract

And this is a discussion of the study by the Midwives Association of North America: http://mana.org/blog/home-birth-safety-outcomes

[The study] confirms the safety and overwhelmingly positive health benefits for low-risk mothers and babies who choose to birth at home with a midwife. At every step of the way, midwives are providing excellent care. This study enables families, providers and policymakers to have a transparent look at the risks and benefits of planned home birth as well as the health benefits of normal physiologic birth.

DSC_0042Birth is such a wonderful, incredible event in the life of a woman. Most of us don’t have enough children to allow us to “get it wrong” too many times. I urge all pregnant or wanting to be pregnant women to choose your birth attendants with much information and awareness.

Author Becky Hastings, wife, mother, grandmother, is passionate about health, Jesus, and joy, and has been helping mothers breastfeed their babies for over 22 years. Becky blogs at http://journeyboost.com and shares health information on her Facebook page. Please like journeyboost on Facebook!

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