AMANI Birth Certified Labor & Birth Doula, Jennifer Fisher-Siddeek, shares some insightful responses to questions that are on every mother's mind:
- In your opinion, why is it important for a woman to prepare for her birth?
If she does not prepare, she will likely end up with countless medical interventions that come with high risk to herself and her baby that may have lifelong implications.
If she has not had proper nutrition and exercise, she will not be fit for the exertion of labor.
If she has not learned about various labor positions and how movement helps baby to descend as well as to ease her discomfort during contractions it will require more effort for her baby to be born, so the doctors will "help" her with an epidural or other pain medication that carry risks, despite how they try to minimize those risks.
If she has not learned about typical protocol for how baby is treated after birth, nurses and physicians may make decisions for her that she would not have made for herself from cord clamping to vaccination, as well as formula feeding rather than breast milk.
- What does good birth consumerism mean to you?
Good birth consumerism means to at least spend as much time choosing providers and place of birth as someone does when choosing what kind of television to buy.
It means to consider priorities and needs and to research providers and locations (birth center, hospital, home) that best match those priorities.
It means to also learn about typical protocols for each stage of the process from beginning to end and decide for yourself if that is what you want for yourself and your baby, or if you wish to refuse certain things.
Really it means to take responsibility for yourself and your baby and not just hand over your fate to others.
- Can you reflect briefly on the safety nets of pregnancy?
I had never thought about the inherent safety of pregnancy and labor. In the West it is usually presented as this fraught, dangerous time when death is just a heartbeat away. So this instills a lot of fear into women and families.
But we have faith in the design of our Creator. Looking at the differences in pregnant physiology and the safety nets it provides a more reassuring perspective that allays many of those societal fears.
- What have your impressions been on what AMANI Birth has to offer in terms of training and support?
Ma-sha-Allah this course and the materials that come with it are so thorough.
To put things in perspective time-wise regarding how long labor takes and whether women can persevere for those relatively few hours in her life for the sake of protecting her baby from potential harm, will hopefully open many eyes and be of benefit.
But again, above all- seeing pregnancy, labor and delivery presented as inherently safe and from an Islamic perspective is unique. It is so necessary for our Ummah, as well as the wider community and I pray this program continues to grow and benefit everyone who comes across it.