Birthing Stories - Childbirth History
One of the best ways to learn about the experience of childbirth is through the birth stories of others. The stories that'll help you the most are probably ones that describe the experiences of family members or close friends. If you don't have any living family or close friends that have had a baby, you can still find out about the birth experience from pregnancy books and birthing classes. From these sources you'll learn about the experiences of others through pregnancy test stories, early pregnancy stories, pregnancy symptoms stories and even twin pregnancy stories.
Public Gatherings for Birth Stories
There aren't many organized public gatherings that allow women to publically share their birth stories. One of the better known public birth stories gathering is the one sponsored by the Beautiful Birth Festival in Australia. The Festival's main aim, according to the organization's website, is "establish birth as a positive, life affirming and beautiful experience to counter the fear and negative birth stories that often prevail in our society." The organization wants to celebrate the significance of birth and encourages women and their partners to increase their knowledge of pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
The Birth Festival in Australia provides seminars and workshops presented by skilled professionals such as midwives and obstetricians. There's also a period for birth stories where participants gather in a dimly lit room scattered with comfortable cushions often before a decorative fireplace. Women are encouraged to share their experiences and revere in the marvel of childbirth. The purpose of sharing these stories is to draw inspiration and encouragement from other women.
There are also festivals that celebrate multiple births where women sometimes share their pregnancy stories and the joys and challenges of raising multiples. These festivals are also an opportunity for multiples to meet others like them and that is the focus for many of these types of festivals. Twinsburg, Ohio holds an annual Twins Days Festival in August. It's the world's largest gathering of twins and has been held yearly since 1976. Italy hosts the annual European Twins Festival. Other festivals include the French Twins Day Festival (since 1994) and the annual convention of the International Twins Association (since 1937). Various American states take turns hosting the Multiple Birth Awareness Family Festival.
Celebrity Birth Stories
There aren't a lot of details about the birth stories of historical figures. Historically, it wasn't a topic that was discussed in details. But in our modern era it's acceptable to publically discuss one's birth experiences and many celebrities are more than willing to share their birth stories.
Thandie Newton (big screen films like W and Crash) is the mother of two girls, 10- and 5-years-old. The girls were both born in a birthing pool and the star is an advocate of water births as a way of natural pain management. She found the experience of a water birth so rewarding that she is quoted as saying: "I'd like to give birth every year if I could, just for that experience."
When discussing her birth story, 24 star Mary Lynn Rajskub is candid about the 2008 birth of her son. She said she wanted a home birth but her labor didn't goes as planned. After 24 hours the baby was still stuck in the birth canal and she was rushed to the hospital for an emergency c-section. She said the doctor who performed the surgery was the same one she had fired just two weeks earlier which made for a very awkward situation.
Melissa Joan Hart of the show Melissa & Joey admitted she had a lot of medical intervention with her first son but insisted on a drug-free childbirth for her second son born in 2008. She said the drug-free birth allowed her to heal much faster.