“Why do we, then, continue to treat women as if their emotions and comfort, and the postures they might want to assume while in labor, are against the rules?"
- Ina May Gaskin
I’ve been intrigued for some time by Michel Odent’s description of what he calls the “fetal ejection reflex.” Personally, I would like to rename it the “spontaneous birth reflex.” Essentially, this reflex involves the spontaneous birth of the baby without coaching or conscious effort on the part of the mother. It is most likely to occur when the mother feels very safe and very private, which may be why we do not read descriptions of it occurring during many births. In an article about the fetal ejection reflex Odent writes: “During the powerful last contractions the mother-to-be seems to be suddenly full of energy, with the need to grasp something. The maternal body has a sudden tendency to be upright. For example, if the woman was previously on hands and knees, her chest tends to be vertical. Other women stand up to give birth, more often than not leaning on the edge of a piece of furniture. A fetus ejection reflex is usually associated with a bending forward posture.“
Flicked forward hips?...