This March Stand and Deliver!

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188978_1708352587238_1853459_nThis week I enjoyed sharing my passion for Human Rights in Childbirth at New York University (NYU) with midwifery, nursing and law students. It is an honor to take students around the world with images and stories of current human rights movements and point out all the ways that our current broken maternity care system violates women’s rights to evidence based care and informed decision making even here in NYC. Of course if you know me, I don’t like to dwell on the negative, I like to share what is possible and look at models that get it right! I hope to inspire you to action as together we can change and engage everyone in a healthy maternity model. In doing that I love to site my favorite birth slogan “Stand and Deliver – Don’t Take it Lying Down!!”

It’s so hard for me to consider how we have literally put women down. Science shows us all the benefits of moving in childbirth and birthing using gravity. Gravity works! By putting women down, labor is longer, more painful, increases use of oxytocin/pitocin, epidurals and decreases pleasure.

This week Vicki Elson, another filmmaker whose work I have enjoyed showing how the media influences our perceptions of childbirth in her great documentary Laboring Under and Illusion, shared Sharon Muza article published in Science and Sensibility. Sharon compared Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices with the realities reported in Childbirth Connection’s 2013 Listening To Mothers III Report, a survey of 2400 U.S. mothers. For Lamaze’s Healthy Birth Practice 2: Walk, Move Around and Change Positions in Labor.

Only 43% of women walked around after being admitted to the hospital and

Only 40% used movement or position changes as a form of non-pharmacological pain relief.

I will address this more in the future as we know leaning forward and moving offers comfort and can shorten labor.

Lamaze Healthy Birth Practice 5 States: Avoid Giving Birth on Your Back and Follow Your Body’s Urges to Push. It is so sad to learn that 68% of American women gave birth on their backs. This is crazy! When you wonder how birth can be pleasurable, it’s hard to find pleasure or comfort when women who want to stand are treated as they are crazy and our broken system puts pressure on you to conform to outdated practices, takes your power and often your voice away from you on a day that has the ability to be full of power, pleasure and possibilities.

Let’s start a facebook and twitter storm of powerful birth quotes and slogans.

Join me in creating a list of quotes that speak up and stand for women’s right to a blissful, transformative, pleasurable birth. Share you tweet and tag us with the hashtag #OrgasmicBirth

Join Debra in Italy this June! Amalfi Sea

2 Responses to "This March Stand and Deliver!"
  1. Sue Campbell says:

    Dear Debra,
    LoVe your post above …….Stand and Deliver!!
    I have written to you before regarding the Epi-Sling a “birthing harness” I have designed to enable women to be safely supported in an upright kneeling position on the delivery bed, AFTER epidural. I would be delighted to share with you more information regarding the application of the Epi-Sling. I agree that natural birth is the most desirable model for childbirth, however with the extreme overuse of epidural, the Epi-Sling enables the natural physiology of childbirth to take place, by ensuring the best anatomical position can be sought, even after epidural, dramatically reducing the need for induction (when labour fails to progress) and emergency C-Section delivery as well as forceps, vacuum extraction and episiotomy.
    Looking forward to hearing your thought,
    Best Regards,
    Sue Campbell

  2. deb says:

    Dear Sue,
    Thank you for your note. I would love to have you write more about the Epi-Sling for us and share images and stories. Please email me at
    Thank you

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