My Life as a Mom

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With 6 happy kids, life can be really fun around here! This blog is dedicated to the joys and sometimes chaos of having a large family. Okay, so it's always chaos around here, but fortunately, it's almost always fun, too!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Scientology Silent Birth

Since I am a Scientologist and have had 6 babies myself, I figured I am a good person to set the record straight on Scientology birthing practices.

Especially since Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are about to have their own baby, and Scientology is in the news so much right now!

Scientologists tend to not talk when people are in pain. For instance, when someone falls and sprains something, or if someone gets burned on a hot stove. We just stay quiet for a minute until the shock of the injury is gone.

The reason for this is explained in "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" under the section on preventive Dianetics.

But we do talk if there is an emergency, of course. And, in giving birth, each woman decides for herself what method she prefers to use to deal with the pain. I had an epidural with one birth, and a narcotic with another. I did find that, for me, I am better off delivering without pain medication - the epidural failed and caused a spinal headache, and the narcotic affected the baby negatively, and failed to reduce my pain. It simply made it harder for me to cope with the pain, actually.

But I have a number of friends who have successful epidurals when they birth, and they are Scientologists. Really, the method for birthing is up to us.

I actually listen to instrumental music while in labor - it helps me relax.

But we don't use words. I don't use words when my children are injured, either, or if I am in the vicinity of anyone in pain.

I had an appendectomy when I was 14. I remember waking up in the recovery room, and two young nurses were chit chatting - gossiping about boyfriends, I think. I was in so much pain and I remember wanting to scream at them to PLEASE BE QUIET!! I was not a Scientologist - but I did not want all that noise when I was in this degree of pain.

I DO make noise when I birth! A LOT of noise, actually, towards the very end. This is natural, and no one has ever told me I shouldn't! (As a matter of fact, no one in my church has ever - EVER - discussed with me my birthing options. That's between me and my midwives or doctors. No one ever expressed a problem with my epidural or the narcotic I took, either...) And if the "no words" preference has to be broken to handle an emergency, so be it. We know this can happen, and, in fact, for 2 of our births, it was necessary for a little bit of talking during the birth.

This isn't a rule that anyone is enforcing. We simply, as Scientologists, don't speak when people around us are in pain. (Again, read "Dianetics" to get the reasoning behind this.)

And in terms of childbirth, there is another reason to keep the area quiet for the birthing mother. Animals in labor will stop labor if there is noise in the environment. Human women will also have more trouble in a disturbed environment - which explains why so many hospital births end up requiring help with pitocin to augment labor.

Giving birth in a calm, relaxed environment - and a QUIET environment - is not a new concept at all. Dr. Bradley (the Bradley Method) and Dr. LeBoyer both recommended it and many, many women choose to birth their babies in a quiet environment.

Read more about Silent Birth.