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Ina May Gaskin Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 69 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Ina May Gaskin.

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Ina May Gaskin Quotes 1552226

The human species is no more unsuited to give birth than any other of the 5,000 or so species of mammals on the planet. We are merely the most confused. — Ina May Gaskin

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I have felt incredible energy and life force through my body, and I have really been reborn a happier, healthier, and more confident person. I have learned I can choose to focus on the darker side or the lighter side of all that is around me. I choose the lighter side and have the discipline to keep it up. — Ina May Gaskin

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We midwives and physicians have a lot to teach each other. — Ina May Gaskin

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Why do we, then, continue to treat women as if their emotions and comfort, and the postures they might want to assume while in labor, are against the rules? — Ina May Gaskin

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Many midwives work as employees in large hospital practices, where the techno-medical model of care is still the rule. In practices like these, midwives are used to attract women who desire midwifery care, but they may in fact be under constant pressure to practice within the techno-medical mode. — Ina May Gaskin

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It does a man good to see his lady being brave while she has their baby ... it inspires him. — Ina May Gaskin

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It would be a mistake, though, to consider care by family doctors or midwives inferior to that offered by obstetricians simply on the grounds that obstetricians need not refer care to a family physician or midwife if no complications develop during a course of labor. — Ina May Gaskin

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Nothing in medical literature today communicates the idea that women's bodies are well-designed for birth. Ignorance of the capacities of women's bodies can flourish and quickly spread into the popular culture when the medical profession is unable to distinguish between ancient wisdom and superstitious belief. — Ina May Gaskin

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When avoidance of pain becomes the major emphasis of childbirth care, the paradoxical effect is that more women have to deal with pain after their babies are born. — Ina May Gaskin

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Let your monkey do it. — Ina May Gaskin

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Squat 300 times a day, you're going to give birth quickly. — Ina May Gaskin

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Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body. — Ina May Gaskin

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We are the only species of mammal that doubts our ability to give birth. It's profitable to scare women about birth. But let's stop it. I tell women: Your body is not a lemon. — Ina May Gaskin

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I have also known of weight estimates by ultrasound to be off by as much as five pounds. — Ina May Gaskin

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The state of relaxation of the mouth and jaw is directly correlated to the ability of the cervix, the vagina, and the anus to open to full capacity. — Ina May Gaskin

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The way a culture treats women in birth is a good indicator of how well women and their contributions to society are valued and honored. — Ina May Gaskin

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The best a health care system can do is to equip itself to meet the needs of each individual woman and birth. Those needs run the gamut from undisturbed home birth to planned cesarean section. — Ina May Gaskin

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Stand or kneel with one hand on your pubic bone in front and the other on your tailbone. Notice how far apart your hands are. Now lean backward as far as possible (taking care not to hurt yourself) and continue to notice how far apart your hands are. Next, lean forward until your torso is parallel to the ground. — Ina May Gaskin

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My midwife partners and I at the The Farm learned by observation and experience that the presence of even one person who is not exquisitely attuned to the mother's feelings can stop some women's labors. All women are sensitive. Some women are extraordinarily so. We learned this truth by observing many labors stop or slow down when someone entered the birth room who was not intimate with the laboring mother's feelings. If that person then left the room, labor usually returned to its former pace or intensity. — Ina May Gaskin

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I dreaded having a boring life when I grew up. And I certainly can't complain about being bored. — Ina May Gaskin

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Simply put, when there is no home birth in a society, or when home birth is driven completely underground, essential knowledge of women's capacities in birth is lost to the people of that society - to professional caregivers, as well as to the women of childbearing age themselves. — Ina May Gaskin

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I have never observed even the slightest laceration in a woman who used clitoral stimulation as a relaxation method during birth. Clitoral stimulation seems to increase vaginal engorgement as the baby emerges. — Ina May Gaskin

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Dear Lord, make us truly grateful for what it is that we are about to receive. — Ina May Gaskin

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I kept thinking while I was pushing, I'm going to get huge. I'm going to get huge! she said. — Ina May Gaskin

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If you can't be a hero, you can at least be funny while being a chicken. — Ina May Gaskin

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Why should insurance companies continue to get away with limiting the skills that a health profession has always previously required of its members if they were to be considered fully trained? — Ina May Gaskin

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An Rh negative mother's blood is said to be "sensitized" when this process has taken place. Procedures such as amniocentesis, aggressive external version, and episiotomy increase the chances of sensitization. — Ina May Gaskin

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... in the ordinary course of a healthy labour, the mouth of the uterus opens by some secret agency; or at least without any apparent force. — Ina May Gaskin

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It's very rare to see an undisturbed birth in a modern U.S. teaching hospital, but when you see a woman who isn't frightened, who's giving birth without interference, you stand back in awe and realize how little needed you are except in the rare circumstance. — Ina May Gaskin

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I had to learn not to let anyone push me around, to be brave and to say things I knew might make people mad. — Ina May Gaskin

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Pregnant
and birthing mothers are elemental forces, in the same sense that
gravity, thunderstorms, earthquakes, and hurricanes are elemental
forces. In order to understand the laws of their energy flow, you have
to love and respect them for their magnificence at the same time that
you study them with the accuracy of a true scientist. — Ina May Gaskin

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There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we — Ina May Gaskin

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The techno-medical model of maternity care, unlike the midwifery model, is comparatively new on the world scene, having existed for barely two centuries. This male-derived framework for care is a product of the industrial revolution. As anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd has described in detail, underlying the technocratic mode of care of our own time is an assumption that the human body is a machine and that the female body in particular is a machine full of shortcomings and defects. Pregnancy and labor are seen as illnesses, which, in order not to be harmful to mother or baby, must be treated with drugs and medical equipment. Within the techno-medical model of birth, some medical intervention is considered necessary for every birth, and birth is safe only in retrospect. — Ina May Gaskin

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It's easy to scare women. It's even profitable to scare women ... But it's not nice, so let's stop it. — Ina May Gaskin

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The strangest request I have encountered was that of a first-time mother who - just before pushing - asked her husband for a jar of peanut butter and proceeded to eat two heaping table-spoonfuls. She then washed the peanut butter down with nearly a quart of raspberry leaf tea and pushed her baby out. I was impressed. — Ina May Gaskin

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Don't forget to bring your sense of humor to your labor. — Ina May Gaskin

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When you destroy midwives, you also destroy a body of knowledge that is shared by women, that can't be put together by a bunch of surgeons or a bunch of male obstetricians, because physiologically, birth doesn't happen the same way around surgeons, medically trained doctors, as it does around sympathetic women. — Ina May Gaskin

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The suckling relationship is one of the sources of real sweetness that we have in human existence ... The suckling baby can teach adults about the expression of sweet love and gratitude in a way no words can. — Ina May Gaskin

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Many of our problems in US maternity care stem from the fact that we leave no room for recognizing when nature is smarter than we are. — Ina May Gaskin

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When we as a society begin to value mothers as the givers and supporters of life, then we will see social change in ways that matter. — Ina May Gaskin

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I think midwifery was developed by people with common sense, people who were close to nature, and people who observed other species of mammals and saw that there were lessons there to be learned. — Ina May Gaskin

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When you cast doubt on some bodily function- you don't know how sensitive the body is to that kind of idea. — Ina May Gaskin

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I think that women can be just completely surprised by the change in them from giving birth-you have something powerful in you-that fierce thing comes up-and I think babies need moms to have that fierceness-you feel like you can do anything and that's the feeling we want moms to have. — Ina May Gaskin

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Where the techno-medical model of birth reigns, women who give birth vaginally generally labor in bed hooked up to electronic fetal monitors, intravenous tubes, and pressure-reading devices. Eating and drinking in labor are usually not permitted. Labor pain within this model is seen as unacceptable, so analgesia, and anesthesia are encouraged. Episiotomies (the surgical cut to enlarge the vaginal opening) are routinely performed, out of a belief that birth over an intact perineum would be impossible or that, if possible, it might be harmful to mother or baby. Instead of being the central actor of the birth drama, the woman becomes a passive, almost inert object - representing a barrier to the baby's eventual passage to the outside world. Women are treated as a homogenous group within the medical model, with individual variations receding in importance. — Ina May Gaskin

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When a child is born, the entire Universe has to shift and make room. Another entity capable of free will, and therefore capable of becoming God, has been born. — Ina May Gaskin

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Don't criticize nature, stand in awe of it. — Ina May Gaskin

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A society that places a low value on its mothers and the process of birth will suffer an array of negative repercussions for doing so. Good beginnings make a positive difference in the world, so it is worth our while to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies throughout this extraordinarily influential part of life. — Ina May Gaskin

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Why in the world do the insurance companies get to be the boss of birth? That's what I want to know. — Ina May Gaskin

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If a woman doesn't look like a Goddess during labor, then someone isn't treating her right. — Ina May Gaskin

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Your body is not a lemon! — Ina May Gaskin

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The problem is that doctors today often assume that something mysterious and unidentified has gone wrong with labor or that the woman's body is somehow "inadequate" - what I call the "woman's body as a lemon" assumption. For a variety of reasons, a lot of women have also come to believe that nature made a serious mistake with their bodies. This belief has become so strong in many that they give in to pharmaceutical or surgical treatments when patience and recognition of the normality and harmlessness of the situation would make for better health for them and their babies and less surgery and technological intervention in birth. Most women need encouragement and companionship more than they need drugs. — Ina May Gaskin

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What I love about stories the most is the power they have to teach us of possibilities that might not occur to us without them. — Ina May Gaskin

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Gardeners know that you must nourish the soil if you want healthy plants. You must water the plants adequately, especially when seeds are germinating and sprouting, and they should be planted in a nutrient-rich soil. Why should nutrition matter less in the creation of young humans than it does in young plants? I'm sure that it doesn't. — Ina May Gaskin

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I know of no country in the world that has passed a law specifically denying a woman's right to choose where she intends to give birth. — Ina May Gaskin

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Stories teach us in ways we can remember. They teach us that each woman responds to birth in her unique way and how very wide-ranging that way can be. Sometimes they teach us about silly practices once widely held that were finally discarded. They teach us the occasional difference between accepted medical knowledge and the real bodily experiences that women have - including those that are never reported in medical textbooks nor admitted as possibilities in the medical world. They also demonstrate the mind/body connection in a way that medical studies cannot. Birth stories told by women who were active participants in giving birth often express a good deal of practical wisdom, inspiration, and information for other women. Positive stories shared by women who have had wonderful childbirth experiences are an irreplaceable way to transmit knowledge of a woman's true capacities in pregnancy and birth. — Ina May Gaskin

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It's good to laugh at times that feel inappropriate. — Ina May Gaskin

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It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or their wouldn't be so many humans on the planet. — Ina May Gaskin

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The Creator is not a careless mechanic. — Ina May Gaskin

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Step one to preventing PPD is to find time to sleep after giving birth, no matter how euphoric you feel. — Ina May Gaskin

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Breast stimulation is especially effective in starting labor at term when it is combined with sexual intercourse. Unless your partner is an abysmally poor lover, this combination is by far the most enjoyable method of induction. — Ina May Gaskin

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Touch is the most basic, the most nonconceptual form of communication that we have. In touch there are no language barriers; anything that can walk, fly, creep, crawl, or swim already speaks it. — Ina May Gaskin

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It will take your breastfed baby an average of five to six months to double her birth weight. — Ina May Gaskin

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Birth Matters ... It matters because it is the way we all begin our lives outside of our source, our mother's bodies. It's the means from which we enter and feel our first impression of the wider world. For each mother, it is an event that shakes and shapes her to her innermost core. Women's perceptions about their bodies and their babies' capabilities will be deeply influenced by the care they receive around the time of birth. — Ina May Gaskin

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If birth matters, midwives matter. In Europe, there are hospitals where the cesarean rate is less than 10%, and you'll find midwives in these hospitals, you'll see a lot less re-admissions with infections and complications, and you'll see a lot less injury to mothers. — Ina May Gaskin

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Whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life. — Ina May Gaskin

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The energy that gets the baby in is the energy that gets the baby out. — Ina May Gaskin

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In the Netherlands, the government health plan provides for a specially trained nurse/lactation expert to help each new baby's parents in their home for a full ten days following each birth (with a small co-payment). Hired for three, five, or eight hours according to individual families' needs, this maternity nurse serves the new parents breakfast in bed, feeds any older children their breakfast, walks the dog, helps the new mother with breastfeeding if necessary, cleans the house, and notifies the midwife if the mother or baby should need medical attention for any reason. The Dutch consider the care provided each family by the maternity nurse to be an investment in good health, which benefits the entire society because it so effectively reduces the number of illnesses mothers and babies experience during the first year of the baby's life and thus saves money — Ina May Gaskin

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Optimum functioning of our various sphincters is easier to obtain when we understand how to better accommodate our thoughts to the needs of our bottoms. I often say that our bottom parts function best when our top part - our minds - are either grateful or amused at the antics or activities of our bottoms. It is amazing how much better our bottoms work when we think of them with humor and affection rather than with terror, revulsion, or, worst of all, look away from them in shame. Lord knows, we can't turn our backs on our bottoms. — Ina May Gaskin

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Only rarely do doctors in training have the opportunity to sit continuously with laboring women for hours. Most are taught to intervene in the normal process so often and so early that they have never witnessed a normal labor and birth. — Ina May Gaskin