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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Letter from Publisher: Empowered Women

Apr 29, 2015 08:47AM

Every woman’s birth story is as unique as her newborn child.

When I was pregnant with my first child in 1978, I avidly read the magical birthing stories in Ina May Gaskin’s book Spiritual Midwifery, and cherished the idea of having a home birth. Then my son’s birthing journey dictated otherwise. After months of coaching by my loving and capable midwife team in Traverse City, Michigan, we had to call my doctor, who had been prepared to assist with a home delivery, to meet us at the hospital. To my distress, he needed to perform many of the medical interventions we all had worked so hard to avoid.

Still, I felt empowered in understanding why the interventions were necessary. For the record, I was the only one out of more than 500 births my midwife team had attended that landed in the hospital.

By the time I was preparing to welcome my second child in 1983, I was living in Naples, where natural childbirth resources were limited to Lamaze classes and yoga for expectant mothers. I worked with my physician to avoid unnecessary procedures at the hospital and my daughter made her graceful entry into the world.

Because of pioneers like Gaskin, mothers-to-be can now find birthing centers, doulas and even Jacuzzi tubs to ease labor in some Lee County hospitals. But it’s still hard to have an unmedicated birth in many hospitals if you don’t know your rights, understand your physiology and have a doula by your side, says Gaskin. It’s up to women to be informed and ask for the kind of birthing experience we want for ourselves and our babies. This month’s articles on pages 53 and 55 of the printed magazine will help steer you.

Childbirth is just the beginning of a mother’s concerns. Did you know that researchers are now finding traces of GMO (genetically modified organisms) in breast milk? Infertility, autism, gastrointestinal disorders and allergies are just some of the problems implicated as a result of eating GMO foods, which are rampant in grocery products.

Attempts to pass laws requiring GMO food labeling are blocked by the powerful reach of Monsanto, which engineers the seeds and then poisons the plants with Roundup. This month is your opportunity to raise your awareness of how deeply GMOs have infiltrated our nation’s and world’s food supply, the devastating effects it’s having on our health and what you can do about it.

On May 23 and 24, take part of a worldwide March Against Monsanto via local rallies in Naples and Ft. Myers. On May 27, join us at the Shangri-La Springs, in Bonita Springs, for a special talk by world-renowned GMO expert Jeffrey Smith and a panel of local healthcare practitioner.

A mother only wants the best for her children. It shouldn’t be so hard to navigate choices to secure food in its natural state, safe schools and nurturing communities, and a healthy environment free of concerns about climate change.

Bless all those working to change the world’s status quo. Bless Mother Earth with kind stewardship. Bless our children with a good future.

Happy Mother’s Day to all that nurture life on this planet,

Sharon Bruckman, Publisher

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