I just have to share about a very sweet note tucked into a book that arrived on my stoop today. Both the letter and the book, Artemis Speaks: VBAC Stories and Natural Childbirth Information, were written by Nan Koehler. (The book in 1985, the letter two weeks ago.) Nan says she still has a 1,000 copies of her book "in the barn" but that used book dealers are selling them for $50 a copy. I haven't checked Amazon.
Anyway, in her book it says that Nan is (was?) a traditional birth attendant/botanist/herbalist living in California who was part of the home birth movement back in the day.
In her letter, she remarks that the hormone relaxin is very close to insulin. "One atom different," she writes. "So the solution for easy birth is walking - exercise...to circulation the relaxin in the pelvis."
She also said I should have mentioned that in some cultures there are dietary taboos "that ensure that babies remain smaller - then they are fattened up after birth..." Fair enough. I'd love to know more on this. I bet lots of New York women would buy that diet book.
And then she wrote that the real reason why labor begins at night for so many women is because their hormonal output is greatest at 3 a.m. (when most labors begin) and the low point is 3 p.m., when labor tends to stop. Makes sense.
She also highly recommends castor oil over pitocin. (My response: Anything is better than pitocin...)
She concludes the letter by responded to a section in my last chapter, on the postpartum period, where I discuss various methods traditional midwives have used to dress the cord stump, including cow dung and ashes.
"Cow dung is very sterile," she says. "Check that some more."
Indeed I will!!
Can't wait to read Artemis Speaks.