Unconventional Childbearing

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Unconventional Childbearing
Sharon Kennedy
Grand Canyon University

Unconventional Childbearing
For every person born, there is a story of their birth and their mother’s experience. Each story is different and because of these experiences and stories there are many methods of the delivery of a baby. What is considered normal versus what is considered unconventional is dependent on the culture you were raised in. Various cultures have different access to traditional medicine and therefore have different beliefs and methods. To me, anything other than a hospital birth at the hands of a doctor (preferably with analgesia) is unconventional. There are many unconventional methods that don’t seem to be cultural specific, but fairly widespread, such as aromatherapy. Some women believe that it is helpful and soothing to be massaged and inhale essential oils during the birthing process. Some of the oils believed to aid childbirth are; rose, neroli, lavender, sage, peppermint, and rosemary (Childbirth Solutions website, 1999-2011). According to, Patricia Davis its important consult with someone educated in the use of essential oils as some, such as jasmine, sage, and rose are believed to induce menstruation and should not be used at certain stages of pregnancy. Another aid, perhaps not as widespread but related to aromatherapy is acupuncture. Acupuncture, originating in Chinese medicine is the insertion of needles into a “series of points that help relax the tendons and ligaments, soften the cervix, strengthen the uterus, and relieve tension and stress. Studies suggest that pre-birth acupuncture can decrease the length of labor, and reduce the likelihood of interventions such as chemical induction of labor, use of epidural anesthesia, and Caesarian delivery” (Yohe, 2008). According to Betts (2006) acupuncture is widely practiced in New Zealand as well. Another rather widespread method that is unconventional is home birthing. In some countries, such as...
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