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At our professional forum our speakers commented on the following: Question #1: What is the most important thing that women need to learn: Amber Price: They have the power to change anything. One voice can make change. Consumer demand is important. Lewis Mehl Madrona: Consumer demand brought the epidural epidemic. If consumer demand was for fewer epidurals, it would happen. Women need to see birth as a joyful experience and not a fearful one. Nancy Wainer: Remind women that their bodies are designed to give birth. Michel Odent: The most important question to ask today is, “What is the future of humans?” Obstetrics is trying to neutralize the cesarean section. Most people are looking at the past – nobody looking at the role of hormones. We must consider another question, “Are we neutralizing the laws of natural selection by obstetrics?” Question #2: What will it take to do this? Is the pendulum swinging in a way to create better outcomes? Amber Price: Ways to change the world perspective is through the images that are shown in the media, at baby showers, and other birthing events. We need to change the words we use around being a woman and women at birth. Lewis Mehl Madrona: We need more funding for midwives. Studies do count and need to show the value of midwives. Maybe midwives can get masters and PhDs, do research, and publish. Nancy Wainer: Have big billboards saying, “I had a natural birth!” Give talks in elementary schools about natural birth. High schools are too late – we need to reach younger children. In the media, have TV commercials of “I had a beautiful unmedicated birth!” Michel Odent: Before asking the question, it is more effective to analyze the current situation. We are neutralizing the laws of natural selection. Some women give birth easily and some don’t. Some mothers and babies die. This is the law of natural selection. But today, some give birth naturally and some by cesarean section. We have neutralized the law of natural selection. We need to change our way of thinking. The key word is “protection” against factors that cause stimulation of neocortical activity in labor. Lewis Mehl Madrona: I believe that today, epigenetics is more important for the natural selection of genes. Autoimmune disease is now known to be a change in function of the gene. The environment is a switch that can turn genes on and off. Michel Odent: The secret is the evolution of evolutionary thinking. Pure genetics is hereditary but suddenly some traits are acquired in life through epigenetics. We have to enlarge our concept of evolution. The mother is transporting genes and the microbiome to her baby long term – we need to think pure genetics. Question #3: If there was one road block for peace in birth, what would you replace it with? Nancy Wainer: Replace the belief that a cesarean section is an okay way to have a baby. Michel Odent: It depends on your perspective…there are two places to give birth: home and elsewhere. Both need to be safely available to women. Amber Price: The biggest impact is for normal birth to be staffed by midwives. Lewis Mehl Madrona: Have equal payment for equal work. Question #4: What advice would you give to birth workers? What can they do today? Lewis Mehl Madrona: Tell positive birth stories wherever you are be it in line at the grocery store or at Walgreens. Guide them to think positive about birth. Amber Price: Use a common language with consumers such as RMC or Respectful Maternity Care. Michel Odent: Talk with pregnant women. Birth must release hormones; one is oxytocin, the shy hormone. Talking with them about birth helps them understand what is happening in their bodies. Nancy Wainer: Share your joy. Question #5: Peace in Birth is achieved through….? Nancy Wainer: Chocolate Lewis Mehl Madrona: Peace anywhere is achieved through the process of radical acceptance. When making a judgment, breathe deeply – realize the whole life that person must have had…send love. I’d be happy to have a doula come talk to my medical residents. Have the courage to reach out and have conversations. Ambe Price: First, find the right persons to talk to. Be willing to have casual conversations, one on one. This is the modality for moving forward. Invite providers into your community. They will come because they want to learn more. We can’t change a culture from the outside. Secondly, birth for one woman may be great and for another traumatic. Women are asking for the image of empowered birth without doing the work of labor. Technology is here to stay. They need to see positive images of women giving birth. Monday morning quarter backing is extremely dangerous as in “If I’d been there, she wouldn’t have had a cesarean.” Gabe Tullier: If you don’t understand what a person is doing to you, get on the same page. That releases serotonin and brings peace. Nancy Wainer: Peace comes from doing the best you can do in each moment. We can’t control everything.