Holly Lammer BSN, RNC, RYT-500, RPYT, PPNEstudent
“Instructions for Life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
~ Mary Oliver
According to Webster’s dictionary, Activism is “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.” I like to think of myself as an activist. Believe it or not, birth is a controversial issue in this country. No matter where you live, the color of your skin or your income level, your gender or your religious affiliation, accurate information about the importance of gestation, birth and the first year of life is hard to come by. Talk to ten different people and you will get ten different and sometimes opposing views on what is best to do for you and your baby during pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, the consequences of the practices surrounding pregnancy and birth the last 120 years or so are becoming more and more obvious. Stress related conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, behavioral disorders, allergies and asthma, obesity, diabetes, mental illness and substance abuse are higher in the United States than most other developed (and many developing) countries. All of these things can be linked to a variety of causes, but prenatal and perinatal psychology, neuroscience and epigenetic research experts all agree that the womb environment, birth, and early childhood experience plays a a major role and can cause changes in genetic expression over generations.
After years of observing thousands of birthing people during pregnancy and birth and how parents bond with their unborn and newborn babies, I am convinced that peace on earth begins before and during birth...and even before conception itself. More than just a philosophy of empowering birthing persons to have a powerful and positive birth experience, the approach that I have taken in my work as a ‘birth activist’ is to bring information to as many people as possible about the importance of gestation and birth on the development of the type of brain that supports an environment of peace. When we are focused on peace and love during pregnancy and birth through mindful awareness of the state of our own being, the developing baby's system is also being wired for peace, joy and contentment that can last a lifetime. This has the potential to change the trajectory of stress-related disease and violence for generations to come.