Fetal Ejection Reflex

Meme creator unknown. 

The fetal ejection reflex is real -- and it is amazing! Gloria Lemay writes in her excellent article, Pushing for First Time Moms:

Dr. Michel Odent [repeats] over and over, "Zee most important thing is: do NOT disturb zee birthing woman." We think we know what this means. The more births I attend, the more I realize how much I disturb the birthing woman. Disturbing often comes disguised in the form of "helping." Asking the mother questions, constant verbal coaching, side conversations in the room, clicking cameras—there are so many ways to draw the mother from her ancient brain trance (necessary for a smooth expulsion of the baby) into the present-time world (using the neocortex which interferes with smooth birth). This must be avoided. [...] Recognizing ways in which we can support the mother to enter that deep trance brain wave state that leads to smooth birth is imperative. I find it very helpful to have new language and concepts for explaining the process to practitioners. Dr. Odent has taught me to wait for the "fetus ejection reflex." This is a reflex like a sneeze. Once it is there you can't stop it, but if you don't have it, you can't force it. While waiting for the "fetus ejection reflex," I imagine the mother dilating to "eleven centimeters." This concept reminds me there may be dilation out of the reach of gloved fingers that we don't know about, but that some women have to do in order to begin the ejection of the baby. I also find it valuable to view birth as an "elimination process" like other elimination processes-coughing, pooping, peeing, crying and sweating. All are valuable (like giving birth is) for maintaining the health of the body. They all require removing the thinking mind and changing one's "state." My friend Leilah is fond of saying, "Birth is a no brainer." After all "elimination processes" are finished, we feel a lot better until the next time. Each individual is competent to handle her bodily elimination functions without a lot of input from others. Birth complications, especially in the first-time mother, are often the result of helpful tampering with something that simply needs time and privacy to unfold as intended.

The fetal ejection reflex is one that happens for most birthing women -- when they are fully safe, supported, and allowed to birth in peace. This, unfortunately, rarely happens in today's modern, North American birth world -- and is especially hard to come by in induction/pitocin-filled labor and delivery rooms. However, this primal state of birth still exists, and is waiting for us, as human mammals, to return to it: to make birth better, for babies and for mothers.

Related reading:

Pushing for First Time Moms: https://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/pushing.asp

Do not disturb: The importance of privacy in labor: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595201

What is the Fetal Ejection Reflex? http://www.spiritualbirth.net/what-is-the-fetus-ejection-reflex

Optimal Use of Language for Creating Birth Outcomes: http://wisewomanwayofbirth.com/optimal-use-of-language-for-creating-birth-outcomes

Birth from the baby's perspective: https://midwifethinking.com/2010/08/07/birth-from-the-babys-perspective

Excellent birth books: http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20?_encoding=UTF8&node=3

Dear Woman in Target... 'Spoiling that baby' is the most important job I have

By Kelly Dirkes © 2016
Originally shared on Facebook here.
Posted to Peaceful Parenting with author's permission.

Dear Woman in Target,

I've heard it before, you know. That I "spoil that baby."

You were convinced that she'd never learn to be "independent."

I smiled at you, kissed her head, and continued my shopping.

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew how she spent the first ten months of her life utterly alone inside a sterile metal crib, with nothing to comfort her other than sucking her fingers.

If you only knew what her face looked like the moment her orphanage caregiver handed her to me to cradle for the very first time -- fleeting moments of serenity, commingled with sheer terror. No one had ever held her that way before, and she had no idea what she was supposed to do.

If you only knew that she would lay in her crib after waking and never cry -- because up until now, no one would respond.

If you only knew that anxiety was a standard part of her day, along with banging her head on her crib rails and rocking herself for sensory input and comfort.

If you only knew that that baby in our carrier is heartbreakingly "independent" -- and how we will spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years trying to override the part of her brain that screams "trauma" and "not safe."

If you only knew what I know.

If you only knew that that baby now whimpers when she's put down instead of when she is picked up.

If you only knew that that baby now "sings" at the top of her lungs in the mornings and after her nap, because she knows that her chatter will bring someone to lift her out of her crib and change her diaper.

If you only knew that that baby now rocks to sleep in her Mama's or her Papa's arms instead of rocking herself.

If you only knew that that baby made everyone cry the day she reached out for comfort, totally unprompted.

If you only knew what I know.

"Spoiling that baby" is the most important job I will ever have, and it is a privilege.

I will carry her for a little while longer -- or as long as she'll let me -- because she is learning that she is safe.

That she belongs.

That she is loved.

If you only knew...


To connect with other gentle parenting families:

Babywearing mom or dad? The Babywearing Group:

Nursing School: OB Clinicals and My Experience With Infant Circumcision

By Sophia Murdock, R.N. © 2016

During my second to last semester of nursing school, I went through my OB clinical (which included antepartum, labor and delivery, postpartum, NICU, and OB triage units, as well as lactation consulting) at one of our local hospitals. One morning, before we headed to our assigned unit for the day, my clinical instructor enthusiastically told my group, "If you get the chance to see a circumcision, definitely do it. It's cool!"

I didn't think much of her words at the time. Of course, as nursing students we wanted to see and experience as much as possible. I had unexpectedly found myself enjoying my OB clinical and was so excited and eager to learn as much as I possibly could.

While in the mother/baby (postpartum) unit, the nurse that I was working with that day told me that we'd be assisting with a circumcision. I had never seen one before, so I took the opportunity, not knowing what to expect.

After we had taken the newborn back to the "circ room" in the nursery, I watched the nurse gather the necessary supplies, place him on a plastic board [a circumstraint], and secure his arms and legs with Velcro straps. He started crying as his tiny and delicate body was positioned onto the board, and I instantly felt uncomfortable and disturbed seeing this helpless newborn with his limbs extended in such an unnatural position, against his will. My instincts wanted to unstrap him, pick him up, and comfort and protect him. I felt an intense sensation of apprehension and dread about what would be done to him.

When the doctor entered the room, my body froze, my stomach dropped, and my chest tightened.

This precious baby was an actual person. He was a 2-day-old boy named Landon, but the doctor barely acknowledged him before administering an injection of lidocaine into his penis.

Instantly, Landon began to let out a horrifying cry. It was a sound that is not normally ever heard in nature because this trauma is so far outside of the normal range of experiences and expectations for a newborn.

The doctor, perhaps sensing how horrified I was, tried to assure me that the baby was crying because he didn't like being strapped onto the board. He began the circumcision procedure right away, barely giving the anesthetic any time to take effect.

Landon's cries became even more intense, something I hadn't imagined was possible. It seemed as if his lungs were unable to keep up with his screams, and desperate attempts to maintain his respirations.

Seeing how nonchalant everyone in the room was about Landon's obvious distress was one of the most chilling and harrowing things I had ever witnessed. I honestly don't remember the actual procedure, even though the doctor was explaining it to me. I can't recall a word he said during or after because I wasn't able to focus on anything but Landon's screams and why no one seemed to care. I only remember that the nurse attempted to give him a pacifier with glucose/fructose at some point.

Landon was "sleeping" by the end of the circumcision, but I knew it was from exhaustion and defeat.

I had watched as his fragile, desperate, and immobilized body struggled and resisted until it couldn't do so anymore, and gave up.

Seeing this happen made me feel completely sick to my stomach and I told myself that I would absolutely refuse to watch another circumcision if the opportunity presented itself again. I was unable to stop thinking about what I saw and heard...

The sounds that I heard come from Landon as he screamed and cried out still haunt me to this day.

A few weeks later when I felt somewhat ready to revisit the topic, I began researching why this was being done to infant boys. It didn't take long before I learned the truths about circumcision - truths that were never told to me during nursing school. I was never taught about the possibility of keeping boys intact or anything about the foreskin or intact care.

During one lecture, I learned about post-op circumcision care as if it was the default to circumcise baby boys. It was as if there was no other option -- this was just what we do. My own research revealed that not only was there an alternative, but that this alternative was the only acceptable and ethical option.

I learned that the United States is one of the few countries that is still routinely circumcising newborn babies, and that this procedure is condemned by most of the world, including Europe.

I learned that the foreskin is not just a useless flap of skin at the end of the penis, but it is a normal, healthy, and functioning organ that is present on every mammal, male and female.

I learned that male foreskin has important protective, immunological, and sexual functions.

I learned that for infants and young children, the foreskin is fused to the glans (head) of the penis (as our nails are fused to our fingers), and that circumcision requires the forcible separation of these structures.

I learned that research evidence does not support the alleged health benefits of circumcision (such as a lowered HIV risk and fewer UTIs) and that the studies that did show benefits had relied on flawed methodology.

I learned how easy it is to care for an intact penis on a child, and that cleaning it is just like wiping a finger (as opposed to all of that troublesome circumcision care that I was taught in nursing school).

Most horrifically, I learned that over 100 infant deaths occur yearly from circumcision related complications, such as hemorrhage.

I still believe that Landon's parents, in consenting to the circumcision that I witnessed, truly thought that they were doing what was best for their child. Unfortunately, they weren't given factual and complete information either, and therefore were not able to make an informed decision. They didn't see what their son experienced while restrained to a plastic board, and only saw the "peaceful" sleeping state that his body was in when he was returned to them, post-defeat. Maybe they were told that he "slept right through it" or that he "took it like a champ" just like so many other parents are.

The neuropsychological effects of circumcision have been well-documented, but are almost never spoken of. Most likely, Landon had entered a state of withdrawal, dissociation, and exhaustion after enduring an unbearable trauma to his body that he was unable to escape from.

Like me, you probably haven't heard these truths about circumcision from any health care professional. I still remember how much my faith in the nursing profession shattered on that day. I remember questioning: how could such a blatant violation of the Code of Ethics for Nurses not only be allowed to happen, but be promoted by so many nurses? How could so many members of the "most trusted profession" (as ranked by a yearly Gallop poll - something that was often bragged about by my nursing school professors) be complicit in this atrocity?

Perhaps as you've discovered the truth, you've found yourself asking similar questions.

Parents - as a nurse who has learned the truth, I would like to assure you that you do not need to put your son through this. You do not need to try to convince yourself that your son won't remember being circumcised and that it is "best to get it over and done with while he's a baby." You do not need to attempt to assuage any guilt by telling yourself that he'll thank you for it later. You do not need to suppress and distrust your fundamental, biological instinct to protect your child.

Instead of signing that consent form, ask yourself: what is truly best for my son? If my son could speak up, what would he want for himself?

Instead of telling your doctor that you'd like to have your son circumcised, you can say that you will not allow them to harm your precious child. Instead of handing your son over to be strapped to that board, you can hold his warm and tiny body close to your chest and assure him that he'll be kept safe in your loving arms.

Parents, you have the power to protect your son from the unnecessary pain and trauma that Landon was forced to endure. Keep your son intact.

Graphics by Intact Asheville
Available educational postcards for sharing with patients or friends at SavingSons.org/p/info-cards.html

Related reading from registered nurses

On the ethics of registered nurses assisting in forced infant circumcision:

Circumcision: A Male R.N.'s Perspective:

The day I withdrew from nursing school:

The biggest lie told to parents:

If this stained circumstraint could talk:

Nurse's circumcision tools:

Using a catheter without retraction: my nurse did it and so can yours:

Educating parents about circumcision (from Colorado NOCIRC) &
The Elements of Informed Consent (from Colorado NOCIRC):

Ethical Decision Making in the Clinical Setting: Nurses' Rights and Responsibilities:

Medical Professionals for Genital Autonomy
FB.com/IntactCare (to volunteer to respond to parents' questions or be on the MedPro advisory panel, email SavingSons@gmail.com)



We love Kindercarry's Kinderpack! Especially for bigger/taller/heavier babies, toddlers and children -- this is the most comfortable carrier we have tried, and it is a favorite among our local babywearing lending library. When Peaceful Parenting began (2005) there was no such thing as a comfortable carrier for a heavy/large baby or toddler. With the Kinderpack we can comfortably babywear for many hours, day after day, and do so with special needs children as well. It is truly a blessing in babywearing, and one we'd love everyone to experience. You can learn more about Kinderpacks and their small-batch, USA handmade construction at Kindercarry.com

Each Kinderpack below comes to you brand new, with tags attached, in its original packaging, with all accompanying booklets and papers. The pack has never been tried on unless noted. Photos are of the actual carrier you will receive and the listing will be removed from this page upon purchase. Most packs below have Plus padding straps because they are perfect for every body type and can be adjusted for the most comfortable babywearing fit for parents of all sizes. New Kinderpacks below are $230, unless otherwise noted, plus priority shipping with insurance and tracking - $12.80 in the U.S. [$16 Standard or $36 Priority to Canada, varies worldwide].

Email PeacefulParents@gmail.com to verify your address and pack selection. You will be sent a response and/or tracking within 24 hours. If you do not receive a response, please check the email you are writing to.

With each Kinderpack you'll receive two Born 2B Worn advocacy bracelets in cool colors (blue/purple/teal) and warm colors (red/orange/hot pink). Bumper stickers are also free for KP families and produced upon request ($8 without KP) in any color of your choice (black, white, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, etc.). Include selections with your email if you'd like a bumper sticker.

Note: No one at Peaceful Parenting has been given any incentive of any kind to speak upon Kinderpacks. All packs were purchased brand new, directly from Kindercarry, at full retail/shipping/fees ($196-$216 each). We simply love the Kinderpack, have shared locally for many years, and would like to help other families in the peaceful parenting community have access to a Kinderpack that fits their family needs. Any small amount beyond retail/shipping/fees/taxes goes toward Peaceful Parenting education at maternity and baby expos where materials are given freely to new and expecting families; as well as toward the non-profit work that Peaceful Parenting takes on (birth, breastfeeding, baby care supplies and support for low-income families, mothers, and to orphanages overseas). If you have a Kinderpack you'd like to donate toward this effort (to give freely to another family in need, or to send with an orphanage volunteer working with babies/toddlers), write to PeacefulParents@gmail.com

Different options for payment: 

1) Use this link; note your address/pack selection: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5NNRWJBSWG2YU [Note: PayPal takes 5% with this option]
2) PayPal via Friends/Family to PeacefulParents@gmail.com with your address and pack selection. [PayPal does not take 5% with this option]
3) Email PeacefulParents@gmail.com to use a credit card by email or phone, or to request a PayPal business invoice be sent to you. Payment plans are accepted, and we will hold a KP for families for a reasonable amount of time.
4) Send via check or money order to:
Peaceful Parenting
P.O. Box 1302
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
*personal checks will have to clear before Kinderpack is sent; email before sending check so that your new KP is held for you
5) If you are local to Virginia Beach and would like to meet, please email PeacefulParents@gmail.com We have regular fitting dates with parents in the community, and would be happy to meet with you.

Kinderpacks by Size

Hop To It - Plus with Koolnit

Skulls and Roses - Plus with Koolnit
*SALE* $196

Geared Up - Plus with Koolnit

Chesapeake - Standard with Koolnit

Serengeti - Plus with Koolnit
(One time release; retired print)

Twilight - Plus with Koolnit

Narwhal - Plus with Koolnit

Voyage - Plus with Koolnit

Constellations - Standard (full panel)
(very hard to access print, special glow in the dark fabric that costs more to make - add $30)

Safari - Plus with Koolnit

Aqua Bubbles - Plus with Koolnit

Rhino Romp - Plus with Koolnit

Artemis [Arrows] - Plus with Koolnit

Indigo Bloom - Plus (full panel)

Alice [in Wonderland]- Plus (full panel)

Batik Roses - Plus (full panel)
(retired print)

Brilliant Beards - Plus with Koolnit

Terrapin - Standard with Koolnit
(very hard to access print, limited fabric - add $20)

Pounce - Standard with Koolnit

Regatta - Standard with Koolnit

Inked - Standard with Koolnit

Black - Standard with Koolnit

Heartland - Standard with Koolnit

[Harry Potter] Wiz Kid - Standard (full panel)


Hop To It - Plus with Koolnit
*SALE* $196

Skulls and Roses - Plus with Koolnit
*SALE* $196

DIY Butterfly - Plus with Koolnit
(this carrier can be colored to fit your style with fabric markers)
*SALE* $196

Party Hearty - Plus with Koolnit
*SALE* $196

Little Wing - Plus with Koolnit
(special fabric: gold is metallic and glistens in light)

Derby - Plus with Koolnit
pending family in Germany

Lotis - Plus with Koolnit

Summit - Plus with Koolnit

Rhino Romp - Plus with Koolnit

Shark Attack - Plus with Koolnit

Chesapeake - Plus with Koolnit

Blue Poppies - Plus with Koolnit
(special textured fabric)

Midnight Floral - Plus with Koolnit

Synergy - Standard with Aqua Koolnit
(retired, very hard to access print)

Bearly Sleeping - Standard with Koolnit

Regatta - Plus with Koolnit

Clementine - Plus with Koolnit

Riptide - Plus with Koolnit

Dino-Mite - Plus with Koolnit

Voyage - Plus with Koolnit

Aqua Bubbles - Plus with Koolnit

Terrapin - Plus with Koolnit
(very hard to access print, limited fabric - add $20)

Monarchy - Plus (full panel)

Indigo Bloom - Plus (full panel)

Batik Roses - Plus (full panel)
(retired print)

Black - Plus with Koolnit

Heartland - Plus with Koolnit

Riptide - Standard with Koolnit

Monster Mash - Standard with Koolnit

Alice - Standard (full panel)

[Harry Potter] Wiz Kid - Standard (full panel)


Skulls and Roses - Plus with Koolnit
*SALE* $196

Twilight - Plus with Koolnit

Fairytale - Plus with Koolnit

Shark Attack - Plus with Koolnit

Superkids - Plus with Koolnit

Regatta - Plus with Koolnit

In the Round - Plus with Koolnit

Clementine - Plus with Koolnit

Riptide - Plus with Koolnit
(pack has coveted aqua mermaid tails on side panel)

Adorned - Plus with Koolnit
(one time special release, very limited, add $10)
pending family in Michigan

Constellations - Plus with Koolnit
(very hard to access print, special glow in the dark fabric that retails higher - add $30)

Fantasy Forest - Standard with Koolnit

Synergy - Standard with Aqua Koolnit
(retired, hard to access print)

Aqua Bubbles - Standard with Koolnit

Batik Roses - Plus (full panel)
(retired print)

Black - Standard with Koolnit

Chesapeake - Plus with Koolnit

Black - Plus with Koolnit

Heartland - Plus with Koolnit

[Harry Potter] Wiz Kid - Plus (full panel)


In Focus - Plus with Koolnit

Fairytale - Plus with Koolnit

Fairytale - Plus (Full Panel)

Shark Attack - Plus with Koolnit
pending family in Tennessee until 9.26

In the Round - Plus with Koolnit

Clementine - Plus with Koolnit

Sky High - Plus with Koolnit

Sky High - Standard with Koolnit

 Indigo Bloom - Plus

Indigo Bloom - Standard

Riptide - Plus with Koolnit

Alice [in Wonderland] - Plus (full panel)

Constellations - Plus (full panel)
(very hard to access print, special glow in the dark fabric that retails higher - add $30)

Batik Roses - Plus (full panel)
(retired print)

Heartland - Plus with Koolnit
(soon to retire print; fabric is no longer made)

Mermaids - Standard (full panel)

[Harry Potter] Wiz Kid - Standard (full panel)

Brilliant Beards - Plus with Koolnit

Chesapeake - Plus with Koolnit

All babywearing families are welcome to join the B/S/T/Chat KP group on Facebook

Where our Kinderpacks have gone... Please feel free to drop us a note or share a photo anytime (PeacefulParents@gmail.com). We love connecting with families and seeing your little ones grow, wrapped up in love. ♥ Thank you for letting us be a part of your babywearing adventure!

Constellations (Preschool Standard) - Washington family

Derby (Toddler Plus, Koolnit) - Germany family

Regatta (Infant Plus, Koolnit) - New Mexico family

SuperKids (Infant Standard, Koolnit) - California family

Summit (Preschool Plus, Koolnit) - Australia family

Wiz Kid (Preschool Standard) - Alberta, Canada family

Riptide (Standard Standard, Koolnit) - California family

Shady Savannah (Standard Plus, Koolnit) - Ohio family

Dino-Mite (Preschool Plus, Koolnit) - Michigan family

In Focus (Preschool Plus, Koolnit) - Washington family

Bearly Sleeping (Standard Standard, Koolnit) - Singapore family

Zombie Apocalypse 2 (Preschool Plus, Koolnit) - Virginia family

Shady Savannah (Toddler Plus, Koolnit) - Arkansas family

Riptide (Preschool Standard, Koolnit) - Illinois family

Twilight (Infant Plus, Koolnit) - Minnesota family

Riptide (Toddler Plus) - Virginia family

Blue Poppies (Preschool Plus, Koolnit) - Virginia family

Shark Plank Duo (Toddler Plus) - Virginia family

Heartland (Preschool Standard) - Virginia family

Constellations (Preschool Plus) - Virginia family

Used KPs to orphanage volunteers in Uganda, Mongolia, Indonesia, Philippines, Haiti ♥

Straps: Standard and Plus (4 extra inches of padding)

Perfect Fit Adjusters
(making plus straps perfect for every babywearer)



Related Posts with Thumbnails