Why I March

Dear Yoga-Mommas,
This week, full of inspiration and empowerment from the Women’s March on Saturday, I pondered all the many reasons why I marched.  For me, prenatal yoga is the intersection of feminism and yoga.  Here, we discover that birth is a powerful rite of passage to be claimed as an act of feminism!  In pregnancy, we discover the secret that pregnancy and birth are deeply important experiences that shape a woman.   Pregnancy is a sacred time that changes a woman spiritually, mentally, and physically – and this is something we were not told as children.  Most of us were not raised to view this time as something to cherish – to look forward to.  Most of us were raised to think that pregnancy is an ordeal and that birth is something to be afraid of.  Our maternal infant health outcomes has been steadily getting worse and worse to the point that now cesarean sections happen in nearly 1 in 3 births.  Let me quote Michele Obama when I say, “This is not normal.”  1 in 4 women report having a traumatic birth experience.  This is not normal.  When a woman has a difficult birth it has a trickle down effect that makes breastfeeding more difficult or impossible, which gets in the way of bonding, which negatively impacts how we view ourselves as mothers.  By claiming our pregnancy and birth as important life events we are taking a feminist act.  We reject that pregnancy and birth is something to endure.  We reject the common phrase, “As long as the baby is healthy…,” which marginalizes how a woman feels about her birth and her body.  When we stand up for our rite of passage, we stand up for ourselves as Mothers.  I march because Mothers are important.  I march because Birth Matters.  This is my activism, guiding women to claim their birth.  Better births make better futures for the next generation.   

Stand with me, tell your friends and family why birth matters.  Ignorance is not bliss -especially not when it comes to your body, your baby, and your birth.  We can help to change birth outcomes for all moms.  To learn more about the current state of birth in America, click here.  Let's march for Moms.  

Jessica Watts