I work in Miami. It is a strange and wonderful place. When it comes to giving birth in the Magic City, the accounts are often less than magical. We have a C-section rate that is the highest in the nation, and I hear repeated stories of traumatic experiences and obstetrical violence. Does it happen? Yes, unfortunately. It is true, real, and so very wrong. Today I am writing about something much different. It is what I call obstetrical kindness. It is something I have witnessed many times, but something that I have never read about. I want you to know about the beautiful things that I see.
Recently, I supported a mother at Miami’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center as she gave birth to her baby. It was a beautiful birth. She was calm and peaceful, and her partner was loving and supportive. Labor was progressing quickly, and the mother asked if I could help to get the doctor there. I stepped outside and saw Dr. Bitran in the hall; I told him he was wanted in the room. He came in and greeted the mother with a genuine hug, a kiss, and words of encouragement. It wasn’t quite birthing time, but the mom said to him, “Please don’t leave.” It would have been easy for him to exit anyway, but instead, he held her hand, told her how wonderful she was, and waited patiently. This birth would be one surrounded by love and patience, and kindness.
As the baby was nearly ready to be born, there was no interruption of the calm, no aggressive position change or decrease in the feeling of peace. Instead, the mother birthed in the position of her choice, in subtle lighting, with no coached or forced pushing. She breathed her baby down until crowning. Showing how much he understood the spiritual nature of birth, Dr. Bitran placed the mom’s hand on her baby’s head, and did the same with the father’s hand, as the baby made his entrance into the world. How beautiful to be the first ones to touch your baby and together bring forth the life you created.
How wonderful it was to be a part of birth that was free of fear and surrounded by love. How wonderful to be supported by a doctor who exudes kindness and truly believes in a woman’s ability to give birth normally without hurry, negativity, or threats. How blessed is this baby whose first moments were gentle, in his parents’ own hands. How grateful was I to witness such raw beauty, love, and power. Thank you, Dr. Mauricio Bitran, for your kindness, for believing in women, and for embracing the transformative power of birth.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #62.
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