Homebirth, Civil Rights and the Ritual Life of Childbirth- by Gregg LaHood (LW4)
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To write about home birth in depth is to write about
Western medicine and the de-medicalisation of childbirth.
The chequered history of medicalised childbirth in the Western
world is well beyond the scope of this article as it would
require several large volumes. Because my background is in
transpersonal psychology and social anthropology, I will limit
myself here to a theme current in transpersonal psychology
known as the participatory turn: the notion that spiritual events
are ‘conditioned’ by context, the participant’s intention, the
community and the ‘place’ where the spiritual event emerges.
In the Western world, the ‘place’ of childbirth has been at the
centre of political battles for some time and it is the context of
birth-giving that draws transpersonal psychology into the fray. Dr
Stanislav Grof, one of the original founders of transpersonalism,
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First printed in Living Wisdom #4