The kids and I went to The Beautiful Birth Festival In February. It's part of the Fringe, and the aim is to celebrate, honour and revere pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Being a mother of three, a rebirthing graduate and with plans to train as a doula, I have a strong professional interest in safe, supportive birth options for mother and baby....and I was not disappointed. The information provided by professionals
(doulas, midwifes, rebirthers, home birth groups, massage therapists etc) was extensive, without being excessive. It's so exciting to see the changes being made around pregnancy and birth due largely to the committment and hard work of these professionals.
If you are at all interested in pregnancy, birth and parenthood, I would suggest you get along to the 2012 Festival...you'll love it.
On the subject of birth....I think the correlation between a healthy, attached birthing experience and unconditional parenting of the older child is quite profound. Properly managed, a healthy newborn will move quietly into the world, remaining with mother after birth. Slowly they adjust to the world around them, taking what they need, and not being pushed out into the world too soon. At his/her own pace, they take tiny steps from the mother toward independence, confident that this person will hold them close as long as they need...
I take this correlation as reassurance that as parents we instinctively know what our child needs, whatever their age. When I first became a mother, I opted to do what I was told in relation to many birth, education and parenting choices and ended up feeling invalidated and ill-informed. Once I'd gained more confidence and experience, I realised how gently empowering following my own intuition could be. It makes parenting a whole different experience :)
IMAGE FROM BEAUTIFUL BIRTH FESTIVAL SITE