Silent Birth / Quiet Birth – Understanding Needs of Scientologists Expecting a Baby
My wife and I had a welcome surprise when we made our visit to our midwifery today for a checkup on our upcoming new arrival. The surprise came in terms of a genuine understanding and respect for a very normal demand from an expecting mother: that they want to have a quiet birth.
We are having our second baby with care through a DC-area midwifery, as if all goes well, we’d love to have this one at home. When going over various details and checking on the baby’s progress, our midwife simply asked, “Well, I noticed that you two are Scientologists. I take that to mean that you’d like to have a silent birth, is that right? If so, we can definitely accommodate.” Of course, both of us were quite pleasantly surprised that (a) she was already well versed in helping Scientologists with childbirth, and (b) that she was so happy to help us with such a birth plan and understood well its benefits.
The whole topic of “silent birth” took center stage a few years back when Katie Holmes was giving birth to her daughter, Suri, and due to the media frenzy that generally surrounds Tom Cruise or Katie, the media of course was then all too eager to report all manner of variations on what “silent birth” was, doing virtually everything except referring to actual Scientology writings by L. Ron Hubbard on the subject. Unfortunate, the tabloid pundits were all too willing to point out the “impracticality” of a “silent” birth, leaving beleaguered readers with odd impressions of be-gagged mothers trying to give birth in a cone of silence, or attending physicians jumping up and down with cue cards or sign placards telling the mother, “PUSH!”.
Quite ridiculous, especially when given the sensible and entirely practical nature of having a quiet birth that is devoid of random chatter, emotional conversations and blathering by medical staff which can then adversely affect the baby (and the mother) later in life.
In the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, L. Ron Hubbard states:
“A woman who wants her child to have the best possible chance will find a doctor who will agree to keep quiet especially during the delivery, and who will insist upon silence being maintained in the hospital delivery room as far as it is humanly possible.” — LRH
What is said and done to a person when unconscious and in pain is recorded in the mind below one’s awareness. These recordings can “play back” later in life, causing a person to react inappropriately, or even to suffer from unwanted psychosomatic illnesses, lowered IQ and disabilities.
Thousands of case studies of those undergoing Dianetics counseling prove that what was said by others present during the trauma of birth is recorded in the reactive mind. The idle chatter of doctors and nurses, or loud remarks and laughter, even the commands, “PUSH! PUSH! PUSH!” have been recorded by the person when being born, affecting emotional and spiritual well-being later in life.
So, what we’ve requested, and what our midwife is (thankfully) only too willing to provide is a sane, calm birthing environment, with necessary communication only, and devoid from any other chatter or noise. Seeing as that’s essentially what we had for our first baby (thanking our lucky stars for our midwife, Sue, who naturally stepped right into our requirements and executed them beautifully) and the results have been great – no reason to change anything for the next one!
More on Silent Birth:
18 thoughts on “Silent Birth / Quiet Birth – Understanding Needs of Scientologists Expecting a Baby”
Hear! Hear! That’s wonderful that your midwife was already so familiar with providing this quiet, calm environment! Our midwives were also very happy to participate in this important part of our birth plan. All three of our children were born naturally, with no drugs or interference, and quietly, inasmuch as possible. It served us well, and I look back so fondly on each one of those experiences. Here’s to beautiful, happy babies!
That’s awesome! Yes – when Mackenzie was born, she was the only one in the hospital out of about 30 that DAY that was born with no drugs, all natural. So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when each of the doctors & medicos that came in to inspect her said that she was the most alert and with-it baby in the hospital.
But it’s just so important to have the midwife on board. Our midwife for Mackenzie TOTALLY ran the show during the birth process, good control, quick, calm commands, but she was the BOSS during those few hours, and it was our good luck that she had herself just given an all-natural birth to TWINS just a few months before!
This is so cool! Our midwives here in Oregon are pretty lovely. http://www.waterbirth.net
Oregon has some of the best laws regarding midwifery that allows many things (I got to have an out of hospital VBAC, which is illegal in many parts of the country). Midwives are wonderful people, and I have has such a pleasure working with them, even through a very, very traumatic 1st birth.
I so admire the midwives here. They just filed a federal class action lawsuit against a local hospital and the Oregon licensing agency because they two agencies were working together to try to limit womens’ birthing rights (i.e. not allowing VBAC, twins and breech babies to be born out of the hospital).
They were so great about the silence at the birth. When I brought it up, my midwife looked at me and said, of course, those principles just simply make sense. We apply that to all birthing women!
Anyway, I so approve of this!
That was one thing about moving to DC, is that unfortunately the Midwife scene is not even remotely close to what it is in Oregon. There is only one birth center left in the Alexandria/Arlington area, the rest have been pushed into working in hospitals — i.e. the midwifery that we used with Mackenzie exclusively works out of the Alexandria Hospital, which is not so terrible, but does preclude a home birth. Conversely, when we were searching for such in the Portland area, there’s like 50 to choose from. 🙂
I found that both of the midwives were supportive of a silent birth. However, the midwife who delivered my son was very supportive of the idea of a silent birth and we spent a lot of time talking about it, why we wanted it and how we felt it would affect our baby to not have a silent birth.
This midwife was a champ! It was very sweet to see how the whole birth center got behind our request. The midwives made a large sign for the room where I had Beckett which said “Please be silent — birth in progress.”
It was a very special experience and I cherish it. I also think it had a lot to do with how happy my children are.
Very well said and well written, definitely made me laugh. I suppose if the media had included that quote it would have ruined the whole party.
Great post and site overall Thaddeus! My wife and I are planning to have a child next year. There is so much tech for raising children. Glad you’re sharing it!
Going back to 1968 in New York City, we were not successful in our request for a silent birth. The best we could do was to post signs everywhere in my vicinity, saying “Silence Please” and to put my husband on guard. In 1994 and 1998, my daughter had home births with two separate midwives who were more than glad to provide silence. What a difference. Thanks for posting this story to get the word out.
I can completely understand why people would want a silent birth, and really do have nothing against it, because labour, especially for the first time, can be quite scary so you really do want it to go as smoothly and as calmy as possible. But to say that mothers and their children who dont have a silent birth can end up with “psychosomatic illnesses”, or “lowered IQ”, or “disabilities” is a complete insult! I had a very calm ‘unsilent’ birth with my first child, and my midwife was fantastic and coached me through the entire labour. So I say do things the way you feel is best and natural for you, but dont insult others because they’re doing what is best and natural for them.
What scholarly scientific non-biased journals can I find the studies mentioned in the post? How did the tested subjects recall sounds and words recorded at birth? How was this experiment carried out? Please I am very eager to learn about these studies as my wife is expecting..
Please be specific.
Brian – thanks for writing, and sorry that I can’t give you a complete answer right now, as my wife is about to go into labor (!!). But first off, Dianetics – as a substudy to Scientology, is religious in nature. As such, I don’t think you’re going to find scientific journals carrying the case histories of those who’ve had Dianetics counseling, as those studies are protected by priest/penitent privilege.
What you will find, however, are no shortage of Scientologists who will tell you how their birth went, and what they observed as a result. I’ve got several such stories on this site.
What you can also find quite a bit of is case studies on those who have given birth using the Bradley method, as Bradley-trained midwives we’ve found have views quite similar and compatible to Scientologists.
Also, as some who’s done a LOT of reading leading up to this birth and the one of my first child, picking up a copy of the book Dianetics, or the Dianetics How-To DVD (either of which you can get from any library) would give you a rapid background in the subject such that you could likely make an informed decision of how you & your wife want to conduct your labor.
Hope that helps!
Thank you for a great read. Good to hear that some midwives are so receptive.
First of all I’d like to state that I’m not a scientologist (or follow any religion). However I’m currently pregnant with my second child and after research would like to try a silent birth. The media hype certainly made it out to be far worse than it really is.
What convinced me was the fact that during my first birth all the outside noise and instructions were distracting and stressful. I’d much rather minimal, quiet instructions and the allowance that my body can do the rest.
I’m finding out in a few weeks who my midwife group will be so hopefully they’ll be receptive to the idea (I’m in Australia.)
Thanks for commenting! I don’t think you’ll have much of a problem. My wife and I found that just about any midwife that’s been trained in the Bradley method of childbirth has views on such that are essentially compatible with ours, and fit with how we wanted things to go.
I think that if there are any words of wisdom that I’d give you, though, it’s that if you’re planning on a home birth (as we were) make sure that you’ve also briefed your local hospital on your birth plan as well – so that if it comes up that you have to transfer (as we did with our second) that you still end up having the birth that you’re after.
This is the birth story of our second – where we did have to transfer to the hospital – and unfortunately did NOT have time to brief the hospital staff first. Could have gone better, though we did get an awful cute baby anyhow. 🙂
I’ve been accepted into the midwife caseload and my primary midwife is very receptive to the idea.
I’m having the baby in a birth centre at the hospital, and it’s going to be a silent water birth. As with my first pregnancy, I’ve already typed up a birth plan which I’ve made several copies of to keep with my pregnancy records book, so that in the event something unforeseen happens, my wishes will hopefully be followed.
Eighteen weeks down, hopefully it will be this easy the rest of the way!
Great! Glad to hear it! Definitely let me know if you need any help. We’ve got a good community of helpful moms here, and can get a lot of different helpful viewpoints on anything that might come up. Also, I’ve got a number of new birth stories I’ll be posting over the next few days, which should hopefully help you in preparation!
Silent birth, noisy birth, c-section, epidurals, intubation, temporary hospitalization. Frankly, any birth that produces a LIVE HEALTHY KID.
Everything else–you can deal with later.
I have 4 children, 2 who have had silent births. My oldest 2 (before knowledge of silent births) have psychosomatics stemming from the birthing experience. For instance, while in labor with my daughter, I said “I can’t” when pushing. When presented with opportunities, her first response is “I can’t.” My son had the cord wrapped around his neck and with most things, he gets frustrated very easily.
My youngest daughter had a silent birth in a hospital and she’s so determined. She doesn’t have any hesitation about handling her environment. She expresses her thoughts and feelings readily and adapts well to any situation. My youngest son, although a month, demonstrates determinism already and did so in the womb as well.
I am an advocate for silent births based on my own observation.