Spurred on by my annoyance over reading what celebrity gossip blogs were writing about silent birth this week (they are dredging up every possible scrap they can talk about relating to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes) I submit this very simple explanation from the Scientology Parent blog.
WHAT IS “SILENT BIRTH”?
It is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no-spoken words by everyone attending as much as possible. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of noises that are meant to be avoided.
It is based on Mr. Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit. He found that words spoken during moments of pain and unconsciousness can have adverse effects on an individual later in life. They are recorded in the reactive mind as engram. Anyone can read about this in the book Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best possible start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet as possible.
HOW DOES THIS ACTUALLY WORK?
There is no specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words. Different women have done different things.
Is it true that Scientologists can’t touch or talk to their baby for three days to a week? Or are there seven days of silence after birth?
Absolutely not, this is a complete fabrication and not a practice of Scientology. What L. Ron Hubbard actually said about the matter is:
“Scientology parents make the baby part of the family at once. They start talking to the baby. They usually make very, very sure that the baby didn’t have a rough passage prenatally and that the baby had a decent and easy birth.
When a child arrives, the normal thing they tell the child is, “Well, how are you? Glad you’re here.”
And you’d think offhand that this would simply be fond parental belief that the child was answering up, but it isn’t. It’s amazing.
You tell a little baby, if you’re its parent, “We’re going to keep you. It’s okay. We’re going to keep you.” And you always get a sigh! They’re so happy about that. It’s such a relief to them.” – L. Ron Hubbard
IS IT A CHURCH RULE THAT THEIR MEMBERS MUST ADHERE TO THIS PRACTICE?
Not at all. A woman’s delivery is always up to her and her doctor.
DOES THE CHURCH HAVE RULES AGAINST PAINKILLERS, ANESTHESIA OR OTHER MEDICAL DRUGS?
The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation. When it is a medical problem, it is up to the doctor and the patient.
DOESN’T L. RON HUBBARD RECOMMEND/ADVOCATES A NATURAL, DRUG-FREE BIRTH?
Yes, because it is best for the mother and the child. It is common knowledge that natural childbirth is best, but that doesn’t always work out, and it is up to the mother and her doctor.
IT HAS BEEN REPORTED THAT MANY SCIENTOLOGISTS WILL DEMAND A NATURAL CHILDBIRTH WITH NO DRUGS. WHY?
It is the mother’s choice. If they don’t use drugs it’s simply because a mother wants the best for her new baby.
DO DOCTORS AGREE WITH THESE PROCEDURES?
Of course. It’s a personal decision of the mother and doesn’t interfere with any medical procedure. Doctors naturally respect the right of a mother to choose her own birth experience.
In the 1960s and 1970s a number of popular natural child birth methods evolved from the principles of a calm, quiet and relaxed birthing environment and little or no anesthesia. Two of the most well known and followed were the Bradley Method developed by Dr. Robert A. Bradley and the Leboyer Method developed by the French obstetrician Dr. Frederick Leboyer.
The Leboyer Method includes dim lights and gentle handling without sudden movement that may jar or startle the baby. In his book Birth Without Violence, Leboyer wrote:
“Nothing could be simpler: be silent. Easy? Less so than it might seem. By nature we’re talkers. Even when our lips are still, the interior monologue does not slow down. Besides, to be silent in someone else’s company is so unsettling that we rarely attempt it. To be silent, attentive, to listen, to hear that which is unspoken – all this demands great effort.
“This apprenticeship of silence – so indispensable for mothers – is just as important for those who perform the delivery: the obstetricians, the attendants.
“People speak loudly in the delivery room. The calls to “push, push” are rarely whispered.
“So profoundly wrong.
“These loud outbursts upset the mother more than help her. Lowered voices can relax her. And do far more for her than shouting.
“Those who assist in deliveries must learn this new silence. They too must be prepared to receive the child with care and respect.”
Bradley urges darkness and solitude, quiet, physical comfort and relaxation. He also teaches exercises and muscle relaxation for labor with slow, deep breathing, take-your-time approach in a quiet, unlit, pillow-laden environment. In a 1965 he made the statement that:
“We warn husbands to be quiet and not disruptive, to rub the back between contractions.”
In a book called The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Thomas Verny, M.D. wrote:
“[T]he unborn child is a feeling, remembering, aware being, and because he is, what happens to him—what happens to all of us—in the nine months between conception and birth molds and shapes personality, drives and ambitions in very important ways.”
A 1998 Swedish study found that “minimizing pain and discomfort to the infant during birth seems to be of importance in reducing the risk of committing suicide by violent means as an adult.”
CAN YOU EXPLAIN FURTHER WHAT DIANETICS IS?
L. Ron Hubbard discovered the single source of stress, worry, self-doubt and psychosomatic illness, which is the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions in times of pain and unconsciousness and in particular, words spoken during these moments can have very adverse effects on people later in life.
Full information on this is available in the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
HOW DOES SCIENTOLOGY APPROACH PARENTING?
There is a lot written in Scientology about children, and more on this site. Scientology helps people understand their basic nature and this alone helps parents tremendously.
Some of the basic principles Scientologists apply to parenting are summed up in the following quotes:
“Today’s children will become tomorrow’s civilization. Try to be the
child’s friend. It is certainly true that a child needs friends. Try to
find out what a child’s problem really is and without crushing their own
solutions, try to help solve them. A child factually does not do well
without love. Most children have an abundance of it to return.” – The Way
“The spoiled child is the child whose decisions have been interrupted
continuously and who is robbed of his independence.” – Dianetics: The
Modern Science of Mental Health
“Affection could no more spoil a child than the sun could be put out by a
bucket of gasoline.” – Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health
“A good, stable adult with love and tolerance in his heart is about the best therapy a child can have.” – Child Dianetics
“A human being feels able and competent only so long as he is permitted to contribute as much or more than he has contributed to him.” Child Dianetics