Ina May Gaskin
Ina May Gaskin is the name to know when it comes to natural childbirth. Before Christina got pregnant, we discovered Ina May and fell in love with her Ted Talk, her documentary and her books. There’s a lot to learn from her incredible approach to childbirth, motherhood and being a woman!
Ina May Gaskin, MA, CPM, PhD (Hon.) is the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Center. Inspired by a difficult first -time hospital birth, other women’s stories and the book, “Childbirth Without Fear“, Ina May began her life’s work in the early 70’s. Her husband, Stephen Gaskin, founded the commune, The Farm in 1971 and it was there, that Ina May and the women around her began to learn midwifery. Over the years, Ina May has encouraged women to pull inspiration for childbirth practices from cultures outside the U.S.A. She encourages everything from sleeping to kissing during childbirth and she is credited with The Gaskin Maneuver — an obstetrics technique that reduces shoulder dystocia.
Today, Ina May continues to work at The Farm Midwifery Center and though she has never been formally trained as a midwife, she and her team of have handled over 3,000 healthy births. She is an advocate for women, fighting for their right to choose how they will have their children and encouraging them to go into childbirth unafraid. She believes deeply in putting birth back in women’s hands and showing them their true power.
She is the author of the seminal book, Spiritual Midwifery and she is the founder of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, a national effort that works to draw attention to maternal death rates. She lectures on childbirth, midwifery and maternity care all over the world.
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
This is our first installment of A Brief History of an Incredible Woman. Each week, we’ll share some facts about a woman we find inspiring, empowering or just damn awesome! We hope you’ll learn more about them and share their stories with others!