"Birth, Breastfeeding and the Survival of Planet Earth" by Ibu Robin Lim
This blog is based on Ibu (Mother) Robin Lim's recent article by the same name as the title above. The overall theme is a hopeful one: "Healing Birth Heals Mother Earth". Quote by
Jeannine Parvati Baker, Birthkeeper, Author, Midwife (1949-2005)
From Ibu Robin...
"Jeannine’s words cemented my commitment to doing all I could possibly do in my lifetime, to heal Birth, thereby healing Mother Earth.
As I write these words one of my dearest friends, poet Margo Berdeshevsky sends a message from Paris, “It’s been 40°C (104°F) in the city, thank Heaven it rained a bit, and brought the temperature down to the 90s.” Fires fueled by the Climate Crisis spread dangerously close to London. In California a State of Emergency has been declared as fires rage out of control threatening to devour the Earth’s largest grandmother trees in Yosemite National Park. On the Greek island of Lesbos people are being evacuated, running from another wildfire. This morning’s headline: “President Biden could declare a climate emergency.”
We aren’t calling the warming of the Earth’s surface “Climate Change” any longer, for it is a “Climate Crisis.” Every human being I have spoken with, people from Indonesia, Philippines, Europe, Oceana, South, Central and North America, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands… all are concerned, some are struggling to stay positive, and do something, anything, to defend and preserve our Mother Earth, and all species living on her skin.
In my motherland, the Philippine Islands the people who are so vulnerable to super typhoons fueled by climate change are not those responsible for the crisis. Indisputable scientific evidence shows that anthropogenic (human caused) greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to stronger, more devastating, and more frequent typhoons. This is just one example of Climate injustice. Today… as I write, a 7.3 earthquake struck Northern Luzon.
(See our February 2022 blog post, "Climate Crisis Update: Philippines")
Why am I, a grandmother midwife, writing about our environment? Because research points to the fact that being born without trauma is the foundation for having an intact capacity to love and trust. Individuals make up society, and societies either proceed in greed decimating the planet, or creatively, lovingly, invent systems of living that preserve and uplift our environment. It is loving and trusting individuals who will save the Earth. It is up to the BirthKeepers, the midwives, doctors, nurses, doulas, hospital, and clinic administrators, to implement protocols of gentle respectful childbirth, to protect the next generation of EarthKeepers. Each and every vulnerable newborn baby must be protected from trauma, in order to lead their optimal lives, beginning with birth, so they may grow to become adults with empathy. Adults who will grow up and create business and lifestyle practices that uplift and support our Earth’s Ecology, rather that destroying it. Honoring pregnant people and protecting MothersBabies&Families at the fulcrum of birth, and supporting breastfeeding, sets the stage for welcoming humans who will become the stewards of our air, land, and waters.
I Believe in Humans, and I believe that people are doing their very best, yet most people experience grave trauma right at the get-go, while they are being born. The trauma of separation that is part and parcel of most babies’ birth experience in our world today, can take 30 or 40 or more years of healing, before an individual can rise above his or her pain to experience and express the profundity of love that IS our human birthright. The good news is that humans are repairable and incredibly resilient. If you or your children experienced separation from mother at the time of birth, if you or your child’s umbilical cord was immediately clamped and cut, denying the newborn person of up to 1/3 of their blood supply, you can and will heal from these traumas. Indeed, you MUST heal, so you may contribute to the astounding progress of LOVE-in-action, necessary to save Mother Earth, and all sentient beings.
As a grandmother and a midwife, I am very pragmatic. I ask myself; what can a family do, right now, to heal their child born with trauma, perhaps by cesarean, or any other events, so she or he may feel safe and secure and develop a strong sense of empathy and the capacity to love necessary to grow as an Earth protector?
The most practical solutions are normally the most simple and natural. Number one, breastfeed your baby. I know it is not always so easy. I believe that mothers do not fail to breastfeed their babies, rather, the support systems meant to help mothers breastfeed fail. The future of humanity is on us. Each of us, healthcare providers and families, friends, and neighbors, must support MotherBabies to breastfeed. The research is clear, Breastfeeding increases the health and intelligence of babies. Breastfeeding is BESTfeeding, and it is also the most ecological choice. If you want to do one practical thing to decrease global warming, breastfeed your baby.
“The ecological advantages of breastfeeding versus use of artificial human milk (also called formula) include decreased water and air pollution, better land use practices, decreased energy use, and fewer adverse impacts from manufacturing and transportation.
Water pollution flows from production of artificial human milk. Cows used to produce the primary ingredients for most artificial human milk also produce waste products. The fertilizers and pesticides used to grow feed for those cows likewise pollute rivers and groundwater sources.
Artificial human milk production also pollutes the air. Cows used to produce most artificial human milk excrete 20 percent (100 million tons) of methane gas. Methane is second behind carbon dioxide in contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming.Likewise, production processes associated with packaging for artificial human milk involve polluting air emissions. Finally, to the extent that incineration is associated with disposal of packaging, air emissions will increase.”
The Ecology of Breastfeeding by Kim Diana Connolly, University at Buffalo School of Law
If you can possibly plan for a gentle landing on Earth for your baby, please do. If for any reason your baby was born by belly birth (cesarean), remember, it is still a birth, still a miracle, and mothers must be honored and thanked for bringing their babies Earthside, no matter how the birth unfolds. Each of us may reach out and help a family who has had a traumatic experience in childbirth to heal. You may not know it, but the meals you bring to her, the laundry you pick up and do for them, when you quietly scrub the bathroom, these are healing gestures of tremendous power. When you do these gentle favors, you support one MotherBaby to breastfeed, bond and heal, while you uplift the entire planet.
I urge all parents to breastfeed their babies. Breastfeeding supports bonding with baby and healing any trauma of separation at the time of birth. The health and brain-building benefits of breastfeeding are well researched, the positive economic and environmental impact is indisputable.
I learned that a healthy society is made up of loving, trusting individuals, and that these individuals in turn protect their environment, become stewards of our land, air, and water and they make peace rather than war". Thanks, Robin for sharing your heart and your wisdom!
Please contact kay@globalforceforhealing for the full article. Photos courtesy of Bumi Sehat except for final photo.