Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

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Offline SimPattyK

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Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 14, 2012, 03:07:08 PM



I simply LOVE LOVE LOVE this MAN for the beauty of his soul, the brilliance of his mind, the softness in his voice and his kind nature...
These videos are so touching !

His book "Birth Without Violence" is AMAZING!! Though I have heard about it and knew about his revolutionary vision of how babies should be welcome in this world, I have only very recently read it. It's impressive, really, not only by its scientific content, also by the artistic, poetic expression... capturing all aspects of this miracle: medical, spiritual, philosophical... It's really a pleasure to read his words!! He seems from another dimension!! I wonder how is it that a man was able to come with these thoughts and not a woman who one would expect to understand best what a child birth means both for the child and a woman. Yet... this man's extraordinary ability to fully understand what goes through their minds and hearts in those what stunned me the most! Maybe he was a woman in another life....who knows! just an angel sent by God to teach humans how to be and how to act human!!
Ohh God, why aren't all doctors like him!!??  :bowdown:

"Birth Without Violence"  by Frederick Leboyer  ~ Birth Without Violence - Part One
"Birth Without Violence"  by Frederick Leboyer  ~ Birth Without Violence - Part Two
"Birth Without Violence"  by Frederick Leboyer  ~ Birth Without Violence - Part Three
"Birth Without Violence"  by Frederick Leboyer  ~  Birth Without Violence - Part Four

Source: Frederick Leboyer
Dr. Frederick Leboyer was the first physician to challenge society's deeply held beliefs about awareness in the newborn. His pioneering works on birthing, including “Birth Without Violence”, have forever revolutionized the course of prenatal care and the way babies are introduced to the world. He also pioneered introducing infant massage to the Western world.

Frederick Leboyer first visited India in 1959 and spent two months of every year there in the following two decades. He developed a keen interest in yoga and its applications for pregnant women and new mothers, particularly the use of breathing and sound.

In Frederick’s book “Loving Hands”, he details the techniques of infant massage and throughout the book follows a young mother, Shantala. He first met, observed and photographed her with her baby outside a hostel in Calcutta. He says, “I stopped short, struck by what I was witnessing: In the midst of filth and misery, a spectacle of purest beauty. A silent dialogue of love between a mother and her baby.” There he learned how to use the flowing rhythms of the art of baby massage to communicate love and strength to infants.

Frederick Leboyer, through these two books and other publications, has contributed, perhaps more than anyone else in the twentieth century, that the emotional environment of birth has a profound impact and life-long effects on everyone.

Dr. Frederick Leboyer states, “Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant.
Food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Deprived of this food, the name of which is love, babies would rather die. And they often do.”

The art of infant massage has been practiced throughout the ages in India as a sacred art, handed down from generation to generation, from grandmother to mother to daughter. This form of massage can be traced to its origin in Kerala in the South of India.
Frederick Leboyer Books

    Leboyer Frederick. Birth Without Violence. Date Published: 1975
    Leboyer Frederick. Loving Hands: The Traditional Indian Art of Baby Massage. Date Published: 1976
    Leboyer Frederick. Inner Beauty, Inner Light. Date Published: 1978
    Leboyer Frederick. Shantala
    Leboyer Frederick. The Art of Breathing. Date Published: 1991
    Frederick Leboyer, Peter Lorie, Joseph Chilton Pearce, George Meredith.
    The Wonder of Childhood: Recaptured
“Yes, we should not forget that the five senses are one.
And all of them extensions of the skin”

- Frederick Leboyer
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 03:13:05 PM by SimPattyK »

Offline SimPattyK

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Re: Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 14, 2012, 03:22:45 PM
----- > Birth without Violence, by Frederic Leboyer

How do you want your baby to be born ?

                 What is the most important event that happened in your life? Birth! Coming into this world was quite an event. Although you don’t remember it anymore, the circumstances in which you were born could have caused traumas that you are still carrying around, unconsciously. People who have been regressed through hypnosis to the moment of birth have remembered unpleasant experiences that caused psychological problems later on in their lives. Frederic Leboyer (see below) demonstrates this with a letter a woman sent him when she learnt about his teachings:
"Allow me to share the following story with you. I can attest to its authenticity, for it is about me. I was born in 1915, on June 22. One month later I became a ward of the state. I will pass over my childhood and adolescence, which were exceptionally happy. Nonetheless, I often had bad dreams at night, and one in particular, which was particularly vivid, woke me up every time. The admirable foster-mother who raised me would then take me into her bed and comfort me. This ghostly vision was always the same: a middle-aged woman, wearing an old-fashioned bonnet, would reach for my throat with such obvious intentions that I would scream ... and wake up. This nightmare is still very vivid in my memory for the following reason: it haunted my nights, about a dozen times a year, until I was about forty (my husband was the one who would comfort me then).
Well, when I was thirty-nine, without having looked for her, I found my mother again. She explained the reason why she had abandoned me. She was unmarried, and as soon as she confessed her "sin" to her mother, the latter flew into a horrible rage. At the moment of my birth, in a little village near here, she threw her daughter down off the bed and leaped onto me, trying to strangle me. Some good neighbors, who were present, called the nuns from the little hospital nearby, and they took us both away. Faced with repeated threats from that irascible grandmother, my mother took me herself to the Public Assistance office in Privas as soon as she was strong enough to make the trip, which was a long one in those days. When I asked her what that woman looked like, I had the (totally unexpected) surprise of recognizing, in her description, the woman who had caused me so many nightmares.
I, of course, have told this story to all of my children, waiting for the time when I could speak of it to a specialist. Now it has come! I hope that this will corroborate your thesis on the ability of the baby to feel: the already conscious state, of a new-born baby. If it is possible for you, I would like you to give me your feelings about my story, which is totally truthful."

The circumstances of birth were primarily determined by midwives. In Greek and Roman times, midwives functioned as respected, autonomous care providers to women during their reproductive cycles. Some qualifications for the practice of midwifery began to evolve during this period. For example, in Greece the midwife was a woman who had borne children herself. This requirement has remained a commonality in the practice of midwifery.
The midwives of these centuries generally continued to learn by the apprentice model. As an apprentice, skills and knowledge were passed down from generation to generation .

As modern medicine gained legitimacy and power toward the end of the nineteenth century, it called for the abolition of midwifery and home birth in favor of obstetrics in a hospital setting. In 1900, midwives still were attending almost half of all births but was steadily declining. Midwives were portrayed as dirty, illiterate, and ignorant, and eventually women were convinced that they were safer in the hands of doctors and hospitals. Midwives were effectively stamped out in the early years of the 20th century. Physicians trained in the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology declared themselves to be the proper caregivers for childbearing women, and the hospital was deemed to be the proper setting for that care. Birth evolved from a physiological event into a medical procedure.

By the 1960s women were forced to endure labor without the presence or support from partners or family. Infants were taken from the mother at delivery and cared for in newborn nurseries and bottle-feeding became the norm. Any babies born outside the sterile environment of the operating room were labeled contaminated and kept separately.
Although modern medicine has given us many advantages in health care, the circumstances of birth have completely changed. Fortunately we have seen many changes in the last decades in hospitals, maternity wards, and a growing interest in natural births, or home births, coupled with the advantages and knowledge of modern medicine.

Why is the environment at birth so important? As the newborn baby arrives into a new world sounds are loud and harsh, light is blinding, and big hands are touching him all over. The baby is very susceptible to what happens to him, and around him. When doctors took over midwifery, this fact was totally ignored. Babies were seen as just a part of a medical procedure. A person who shed new light on the importance of childbirth was Frederick Leboyer.
When I first read Birth without Violence it opened my eyes. Birth without Violence explores in depth the sensitivity of the newborn and the importance of how the baby is handled by the people around him. I first read the book after I had seen a TV program about ‘natural births’, in which Leboyer was teaching pregnant women how they could communicate with their yet unborn babies. He taught that the baby in the womb is able to intuitively understand what the mother is saying, not the actual words, of course, but what she wants. He would teach them to put their hands on their belly and tell the baby to move upwards or downwards in the belly, and yes, after five or ten seconds touch could clearly see that the baby did move into the desired direction. It worked every time.

Leboyer's focus was primarily on improving the quality of the birth experience for the baby. His message was that a sensitive, unobtrusive style of care which is deeply respectful of the natural process, and a peaceful atmosphere at the time of birth would help the baby to be born with a minimum of trauma. His famous book and film 'Birth Without Violence' inspired mothers all over the world to want to give birth naturally and in a more quiet atmosphere. Birth Without Violence illustrates how to create an environment of tranquility in which to welcome our children: a relaxed mother, gentle lighting, soothing atmosphere, and a warm bath that mirrors the child’s prenatal surroundings. Dr. Leboyer’s simple techniques demonstrate how a birth without violence has far-reaching implications for improving the quality of human life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
[...] "
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 03:24:41 PM by SimPattyK »

Offline SimPattyK

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Re: Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 14, 2012, 04:34:03 PM
----- > Frederick Leboyer  ~ Birth Without Violence - Part Three

Extracts from the book:
9. Cutting the cord[/u] the moment a baby has emerged from his mother's womb is an act of extreme cruelty, and harms the baby to an extent that is hard to believe. Leaving it intact, however, so long as it continues to beat, transforms the whole birth experience. For one thing, it forces the obstetrician to be patient, and leads him, as well as the mother, to respect the rhythm, the sense of time ordained by the child. Besides, leaving the cord intact allows the natural physiological changes to take place within the child's body at their own pace.

We have already described the way air suddenly rushing into the baby's lungs has the same effect on him as a burn. But there is more. Before his birth, the child lived in oneness. For him there was no difference between the world and himself' because inside and outside were one. He knew nothing of polarities. He didn't know about being cold, for example, because cold cannot exist without heat. The body temperature of the mother and the baby are exactly the same. How then could he appreciate any contrast? So you might say that before birth, there was neither inside nor outside, any more than there was hot or cold.

As he enters this world, the newborn baby encounters for the first time a kingdom of opposites in which everything is either good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, agreeable or disagreeable, wet or dry. What is the gate through which he enters this kingdom of opposites? Not through his senses, that comes much later, but through breathing. When he takes his first breath, he crosses a  threshold, a border. He breathes in, and from this action is born its opposite: he breathes out. And then in turn ...

Thus he is launched irrevocably into the eternal cycle, the never-ending oscillation, the very principle of our world, in which everything comes back to this breath, this pulsation. He is in the world where everything, for always, is born of its own opposite: day from night, summer from winter, riches from poverty, strength from weakness, never ending, without beginning.

10.To breathe is to become one with the world outside, to tune to the music of the spheres.
Its function is to make the blood take in oxygen, and get rid of wastes, mostly carbon dioxide. But in this simple exchange, 2 worlds come near each other, try to mix and touch: the world of outside and the world of inside. 2worlds, separated, try to reunite: the interior world of the organism, the little "I," and the exterior world, the vast universe.

With his first breath, the child sets forth on the road to independence, to autonomy, to freedom. But practically speaking much depends on the way this transition takes place. Whether this transition is made slowly, progressively, or brutally, in panic and terror, can make the difference
between a gentle birth ...or a tragedy.

11 If the changeover comes abruptly it will leave a mark for the rest of life.
Any future change will always be perceived as threatening. Of course, the child must not, at all costs, be deprived of oxygen, not even for one moment. Here there is no quarrel with medical science which agrees perfectly with nature's plan. Nature provides oxygen for the child through 2 sources: the cord continues to beat, even as the lungs begin to function.
The 2 systems work together, one taking over from the other, like a relay. The first, the cord, continues to oxygenate the child until the new system, the lungs, have taken over completely.  Although the child is out of the womb, he remains dependent on his mother through the umbilical cord, which continues to beat strongly for several minutes, 4-5, sometimes even longer. Oxygenated through the cord, and thus protected from anoxia, the child can, without shock or danger, settle down to breathing without being rushed, in his own time.

12. What should we do during these critical few minutes of the transition of the blood from the old route through the placenta to the newly working lungs? We must understand that Nature herself doesn't take sudden leaps and has her own pace. She has left this time, these few minutes, so that this change over from one world to another can be made with ease. She has made it so that the baby is oxygenated from 2 sources for several minutes as, at the same time, an orifice in the heart closes, and the baby is then safely on his own. For a few minutes the baby straddles 2 worlds, as it were. Then slowly, slowly he can cross the threshold from one to the other peacefully and easily, and with all safety, as long as we don't rush in, interfere, and can manage to quell our old reflexes, our nervousness, born, in fact, out of the anxiety of our own birth.
The effect on the well-being of the child will be immeasurable. We are all so quick to blame Nature, when actually she's so full of love and wisdom, and it is only we who are too blind to see. Whether the cord is cut abruptly or allowed to stop beating of its own accord completely changes, even determines the way in which a child perceives his entry into the world, and, consequently, the way he will react to the continuous change which is life. You might say that his perception of this moment will color the rest of his life.

If we cut the cord immediately, we create a situation which is the opposite of the one nature intended. By clamping the cord before the lungs are fully operative we deprive the child's brain of oxygen. The organism cannot but react violently to our aggression, and then a whole system of stress comes into play. Not only will we have done something absurd and uncalled for, but we will have set up what Pavlov called a conditioned reflex which will recur throughout life. What have we linked together? Life and breath, breath and the fear of impending death.
What geniuses we are!

15. Learn to respect this sacred moment of birth, as fragile, as fleeting, as elusive as dawn.
The child is there, hesitant, tentative, unsure which way he's about to go. He stands between two worlds. For heaven's sake don't touch him, don't push him, unless you want him to fall. Let him wait until he feels the time is right.

Have you ever watched a bird take flight? As he's still walking, he's heavy, awkward, his wings drag, and then suddenly he's flying, graceful, elegant and free. He was the son of earth, now he's the child of the skies. Can you say when he left one kingdom for the other? It is so subtle, the eye can hardly catch it. As subtle as stepping in, or out, of time, to be born, or to die. What of the tide, which imperceptibly, irresistibly rises, only to fall. At what moment did it turn? Is your ear sharp enough to hear the ocean breathe?

Yes, this birth, this wave parted from wave, born from the sea without ever leaving her. Don't ever touch it with your rough hands. You understand nothing of its mysteries. But the child, the drop from this ocean, knows. A wave pushes him towards the shore, another pulls him back, only to push him higher still. One more, and he's out of the flood. He's parted from water, and come to the land. He's frightened, terrified. Let him be. Just wait. This child is awakening for the very first time. This is his first dawn. Allow him its grandeur, its majesty. Don't even stir until he leaves behind the night and its kingdom of dreams.

16. The rest, you might say, is detail. Once breathing is well-established, everything is accomplished. All has either succeeded or failed. But details, as always, are not without importance.
For example, in what way should we put the baby on his mother's belly?
Should we lie him on his side, on his stomach,or flat on his back? Never flat on his back. That would cause the spinal column, which has been curved for so long, to straighten all at once. It would suddenly let loose all the dormant energy locked in there and the shock would be too much. It would be like an explosion. Let the child unfold his back when he feels ready himself. Don't forget that each child comes equipped with his own character, his own  temperament, his own pace.

Then, because the child is on his front, we can keep an eye on his back, and see how he is breathing. In fact, the bending of the spine, of the back, and the beginning of breathing are all one. We can watch how breathing takes over the whole of the baby's body. Not only the chest but also the belly, and especially the sides.

Very soon the baby is nothing but breath, which passes like a wave from the top of his head to the small of his back. This wave is like the shadow of the contractions which, like waves themselves, pushed the baby to the shore. At the same time it is like watching a tree start to grow.
Out comes an arm, usually the right, stretching like the branch of a tree. Then the other. Both seem surprised that nothing stops them any more, that space can be so limitless, so vast. It's like watching branches grow out of the power the breath. The breath is to the child as the sap is to the

Now the legs. One after the other, like roots which will one day stabilize this tree. But not yet. For the time being they are still very tentative, for they have had to fight their way out of the enchanted cave. In order to allay their panic, all that is needed is to offer them some limit: an open hand the baby's feet can meet, offering gentle resistance but able to be pushed away. Otherwise, the baby will feel completely disoriented.
So, little by little, everything settles down, or rather, everything comes together harmoniously. Soon, just as if he is waking from his first sleep, the baby stretches out with a complete sense of his own well-being. Since, while all this has been happening, the cord has stopped beating, we are now ready for the next step. But let us go slowly, pausing often.

17. Haven't we come a long, long way?
We are out of the water, we have touched dry land. We've left behind the ever-moving, changing, treacherous kingdom of the fishes. Now it is the earth that carries us.
Earth which is steady, tranquil, sound and true. Earth we can trust. For the very first time, nothing moves. What a surprise. But since there is a price for everything, we now know for the first time how it feels to be heavy. We'll have to crawl.
And yet the skies are there, above our heads. It is their light, their divine light that gave us
the courage to emerge. And they will give us the courage to stand and walk.

18. A few words about the hands which will hold the newborn baby.
These hands are the first thing that the child will encounter. The language they speak is the primal language, the language of touch. This is how mother and child were communicating.
It was through the child's back that he received her messages. Now that he's born, naked and disoriented, the way we touch him is crucial. Most of the time, the hands of the doctors, the midwives, and the nurses are not gentle enough. Simply because they have not realized what it means to the child. Because these hands are so unaware, and move much too quickly, they terrify the child. Let them be gentle but firm.

Most of all, let them move very, very slowly. Everything we do for the newborn baby is too rushed, too hurried for one who is only just entering time. At this moment, what the child needs is to be massaged, just as newborn animals need to be licked by their mothers - the act without which they
often die. It is most important that the hands that will massage the baby's back can rediscover the rhythm he knows, the rhythm of the contractions, the rhythm that moves with the outward breath.
What the child wants to feel again is not the wild fury, the storm of labor, but the embracing waves that told him of his mother's love. Our hands should travel along his back, one following the other, like wave after wave breaking onto the seashore. The rhythm of dancers, of lovers.
Love ... and the child! Yet what is it lovers are looking for, if not to heal the rift, return to the primal sea, rediscover its infinite pulse. A return to paradise, a pilgrimage back to the source.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 04:40:40 PM by SimPattyK »

Offline RK

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Re: Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 14, 2012, 09:48:45 PM
I had the Leboyer method. It was the" in" thing in 1979. Two thirds of the way through, I asked for some drugs, but I was too far along [time to push]. I've always been secretly pleased with myself that I got through that.
My nieces have all opted to have cesareans. ....multiple cesareans......for convenience, and the fact they don't want to go through the pain of childbirth. I'm not going to judge them, but I don't think that epidurals and all other such drugs can be good for you or the baby.......but that seems to be the trend nowdays. 

Offline LoveShyMichael

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Re: Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 14, 2012, 11:15:55 PM
Well done! Keep the infants away from the mad scientists, we call "doctors", don't get pumped full of vaccines, & breast feed, because infant formulas are over 50% sugar, and dog food has more vitamins & minerals than infant formula does. As long as the new innocent babies stay away from modern medicine, they will thrive.

Offline Tink

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Re: Birth Without Violence ~ Frederick Leboyer

  • on: May 16, 2012, 03:39:35 PM
I kinda felt sorry for my mom - she went to the latest, greatest hospital, that was supposed to have AIR CONDITIONING. I was almost born in the cab, of all things. They ran out of rooms with air conditioning, which put her in agony - she'd have rather stayed home. My sister before me, they used ETHER. My mom described it like being woken up out of 20 painful nightmares, and not knowing WHICH was the real one!

Water broke before I was born, and I was out - and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. They gave my mom an Epidural, and had to be really careful with my delivery. My mom said the Epideral was heaven, compared to the other deliveries - and saved me from being an emergency Caesarian, since she could do what they said, when they needed.

I'd like a book written by a WOMAN, not a man, to be honest. Men get silly ideas in their heads, and it drives me crazy. Childbirth is painful, it's bloody and gross - and you can die from it, if you have bleeders  - one of the reasons we have hospitals.

I've oft wondered about the water birthing, but only knew one woman who did that, but she had complications unrelated, such as a breech birth.

I'm still claustrophobic from being trapped in the birth canal, and breathing; don't like things over my head. My older half sister only had a caesarian, because she had twins, 10 years ago - something about them caught up in each other's cords.

But the biggest reason I've heard of it being painful? Because suddenly muscles that were never used before, had to work overtime.  So riding a bicycle (in a SAFE area), would probably help, along with light gymnastics. It's evidently the UPPER and lower abs, which people don't pay attention to - only the center abs that you see, I suppose?

I did fine on formula; my mom had 4 other kids to take care of, at the time. It depends on WHICH formula you choose. We used a Goat milk blend - lactose is safe, as it's found in breast milk and regular milk. Europe has banned adding Sucrose to formula.

The three lowest on sugars overall on the market when I checked: Gerber Good Start; Similac Advance Complete, and Enfamil Pro-Sobee.

If it's LACTOSE, it's fine, it's milk sugar, natural. But if it's corn syrup, sucrose, look at the three above (but not the others in the lines).

The concern here, is that the extra sweeteners are what's adding to CHILDHOOD OBESITY, by conditioning kids to crave sugar. (I think corn syrup is the culprit, because it takes an awful lot to sweeten anything - when we had regular sugar in soda, we were satisfied with 4 - 8 oz.).

I do believe that those of us who grew up in upper middle-class families always had candy, cake, pie, cookies laying around for good grades. I should've been taking a toothbrush to school, and brushing after lunch.  It ALL adds up!
Black & Proud! I'm like the Oracle/Batgirl, who helps Batman in the comic books. I believe in "Comic Book justice."


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