See that beautiful little girl holding that sign? Her parents told me a story the other night that I wanted to share with you. They told me that the morning after the Rally she was marching around her house chanting "BIRTH IS NORMAL!" And that every time they drive past the capitol building she points to it and states, "birth is normal!"
That my friends is social change.
Do we even have to wonder what this little girl is going to grow up to believe about birth? I'd say no. Sure she'll likely still face other kinds of social pressure(s) around birth (although we're working hard to change and reduce that my sweet little one), but hopefully there will always be something inside her that will be chanting "BIRTH IS NORMAL."
Just imagine if we started today telling the next generation of women (the littlest of girls now) that their bodies are beautiful and not broken, that their minds are strong and not weak, that they are made just how nature intended them to be – to start telling them now, what so many of the participants in this study longed to have heard, that they can do it and that they are okay! We need to begin building a village and providing that support to them now....What would the picture of maternity culture be in 20 years if we started doing that today? Instead of spreading fear and isolation, technology, industry, and management we spread positive messages including encouragement, support, and capability. It is not difficult to conceive the powerful trickle down (and up) affects such small and simple changes would make. This generation of girls (the babies now) will soon be consumers and as such will have a powerful and influential voice. We have the power to impact those voices such that they be ones of change!
Hearing the story of this little one brings me such hope. It is a truly great honor to know that I (and all of us who stood with her that day) made a true (and I believe) lasting impact. We influenced the next generation. See her sweet little friend standing there next to her? She heard us too!
~ Mandi Hardy Hillman