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Ina May Gaskin quotes (showing 1-30 of 32)

“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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 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
“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, Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta
“If you can't be a hero, you can at least be funny while being a chicken.”
Ina May Gaskin
“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
“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, Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“Your body is not a lemon!”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“The Creator is not a careless mechanic.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Birth Matters: A Midwife's Manifesta
“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, Spiritual Midwifery
“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.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“I have also known of weight estimates by ultrasound to be off by as much as five pounds.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“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
“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
“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, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
“It will take your breastfed baby an average of five to six months to double her birth weight.”
Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
“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

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