By Stephanie Ondrack
This is issue is all about labour. Often, birth is portrayed in movies and other media as a fast, dramatic cascade from waters breaking to agonized pushing; a rapid escalation fraught with peril and screaming, with the mother a victim rather than a participant. In reality, labour usually moves pretty slowly, especially for first time moms. While fast labours do happen, the more common pattern is a more leisurely, gradual ascension as labour builds dilatory momentum, heading tortoise-pace towards the birth of the baby, contraction by contraction, hormone by hormone, punctuated by swaying and deep breathing. We see the mother not as a victim of labour, but as the creative force channelling it. When the oxytocin is high, time seems to slow down, almost stand still, revealing an altered space in which the mother can lose herself in the task of bringing forth new life.
In this issue we explore different approaches to labour, different choices you can make, different ways you can spend this slowing of time. Every birth is unique, every mom experiences labour differently, but we hope you find one or two insights in here that might be useful for you. Our wish for you: Love thy Labour!