more birth quotes from my next book, PUSH! the Sequel, coming soon!

Paul Michael Bedell’s happiness mantra is: “If you can do something, or believe
you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic within it!”

 “Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think
we don’t.”
~ Melody Beattie

 “All over the world there exists in every
society a small group of women who feel themselves strongly attracted to giving
care to other women during pregnancy and childbirth. Failure to make use of
this group of highly motivated people is regrettable and a sin against the
principle of subsidiarity.” ~
Dr. Kloosterman, Chief of
OB/GYN, University of Amsterdam, Holland

“A child is a most desirable pest.” ~ Max
“The most
precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness
embraces those we
love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~
Thich Nhat
Buddhist monk, peace advocate, and scholar
“The traditional midwife believes that birth proceeds in a spiral
fashion: labor starts, stops, and starts while the baby goes down, up and down,
and the cervix opens, closes and opens. Nature has no design for failure; she
holds her own meaning for success.” ~
Sher Willis

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those
who could not hear the music.”
 ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“Motherhood is like
Albania – you can’t trust the brochures; you have to go there.”

 ~ Mami Jackson

“Nothing ever goes
away until it has taught us what we need to know.”
~ Pema ChÖdrom

“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

“Having a highly trained obstetrical surgeon
attend a normal birth is analogous to having a pediatric surgeon babysit a
healthy 2-year-old.” ~
Marsden Wagner

Unfortunately, the role of obstetrics has never been to help women give
birth. There is a big difference between the medical discipline we call ‘obstetrics’
and something completely different, the art of midwifery. If we want to find
safe alternatives to obstetrics, we must rediscover midwifery. To rediscover
midwifery is the same as giving back childbirth to women.  And imagine the future if surgical teams were
at the service of the midwives and the women instead of controlling them.” ~
Michel Odent

“Logically, the abnormal cannot be identified
without a clear scientific definition of the variations of normal. Obstetrics
lacks this because the risk concept implies that all pregnancy and birth is
risky and therefore no pregnancy or birth can be considered normal until it is
over. In other words, one cannot claim both the ability to separate normal and
abnormal during pregnancy and the inability to determine normality until after
birth. The wide variation which occurs in the healthy experience of childbirth
is too large for a single, uniform definition of ‘normality’, which can be used
to define ‘abnormality.’”
Marsden Wagner

“The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t
understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that
perfects the man. The end product of raising a child is not the child, but the
~ Frank Pittman

“There is only one pretty child in the world, and
every mother has it.”
~ Chinese proverb

“There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“The knowledge of how to
give birth without outside interventions lies deep within each woman.
Successful childbirth depends on an acceptance of the process.” ~

who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.”
~ Leo J.

“If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing.”
Sallet Von Tannenberg

“This may be the hardest part of
being a doula: You have found that inner power and have seen it work a hundred
or more times, but you cannot make that journey happen for another woman, no
matter how much you love her.”
~Stephanie Sorensen
“Babies are such a
nice way to start people.”
~ Don Herold

perfect example of minority rule is a baby in the house.”

“I’ve learned
that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but
people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou (1928 – 2014)

“In achieving the depersonalization
of childbirth and at the same time solving the problem of pain, our society may
have lost more than it has gained. We are left with the physical husk; the
transcending significance has been drained away. In doing so, we have reached
the goal which is perhaps implicit in all highly developed technological
cultures, mechanized control of the human body and the complete obliteration of
all disturbing sensations.” ~

“Mothers need to know that
their care and their choices won’t be compromised by birth politics.” ~
Jennifer Rosenberg

“Natural childbirth allows the hormones that have been working for
women for thousands of years to fulfill their functions. This is more important
than just helping a woman through labor and delivery. Birth-related hormones
also affect well-being much later in life.” ~
Janet Schwegel

“Fatherhood is the
most creative, complicated, fulfilling, frustrating, engrossing, enriching,
depleting endeavor of a man’s adult life.”
~ Kyle D. Pruett

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making
mothers – strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know
their inner strength.” ~
Barbara Katz
“Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being
associated with a spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never
previously been aware. To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within
her memory. She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed
too soon.” ~
Grantly Dick-Read

“Women’s strongest feelings, positive and
negative, focus on the way they were treated by their caregivers.” ~
Kennedy & Penny Simkin

What would happen if bonding with
our babies looked like this?
“Drink your tea (or hold your baby) slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly,
without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.”

~ Thich Nhat

“The effort to separate the
physical experience of childbirth from the mental, emotional and spiritual
aspects of this event has served to dis-empower and violate women.”~
Mary Rucklos Hampton

“What’s done to children, they will do
to society.”
~ Karl Menninger
“No one who has ever
brought up a child can doubt for a moment that love is literally the life-giving
fluid of human existence.” ~
Smiley Blanton

“Sometimes the only thing that makes a woman’s
pregnancy high risk is her choice of a care provider.” ~

“Remember this, for it is as true as 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 as
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, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, 2003 

“We have a secret in our culture, it’s not that birth is painful,
it’s that women are strong.” 
~ Laura Stavoe Harm 

“The way a woman gives birth
can affect the whole of the rest of her life. How can that not matter? Unless
the woman herself does not matter”
Beech and Belinda Phipps

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to
be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding
you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never
be the same again.”
~ Og Mandino

“Relax, nothing is under control” ~ Adi Da Samraj

raising my children I have lost my mind but found my soul.”

 “Never once in my life did I ask God for success or
wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”  
~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

“Sometimes your joy
is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your
  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

“If you
knew exactly what the future held, you still wouldn’t know how much you would
like it when you got there,” Gilbert says. In pursuing happiness, he
suggests, “We should have more trust in our own resilience and less
confidence in our predictions about how we’ll feel. We should be a bit more
humble and a bit more brave.”
 ~ Daniel Todd Gilbert, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University

That first little cry is mightier than the cheers of ten thousand
~ Anonymous

“I don’t know why they
say, ‘You have a baby.’ 
 The baby has you.” ~

“The rush and pressure of modern life are a
form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to
be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too
many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone
in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in
violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for
peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root
of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
 ~ Thomas Merton, (1915 – 1968), Trappist monk, author

“A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how
deeply the lie was believed. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold
gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous
and its speaker, a raving lunatic.”
~ Dresden James

“Natural childbirth has evolved to suit the species, and if mankind
chooses to ignore her advice and interfere with her workings we must not
complain about the consequences. We have only ourselves to blame.”
~ Margaret Jowitt
“A baby
is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
~ Carl Sandburg
“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask
for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and
passes through, carrying the child with it.” ~
Sheryl Feldman

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