For many years I have been invited to be a guest lecturer at Cal Poly in their department of Psychology and Child Development. I present information in the Infant and Toddler Development course which starts out with pregnancy, prenatal development and birth. I speak about current birth practices, our culture, the history of birth in our country and the impact of birth on bonding. I always look forward to sharing with these impressionable young women. To have the opportunity to possibly make an impact on their beliefs and understanding about birth & to set them on the road to empowerment feels fabulous.
Listen to what they say they learned...
Julie: "I had no idea that childbirth was so controversial and so diverse!"
Katie: "Our decisions with birth have a lot to do with our cultural values. Unfortunately for us, the United States values do not correlate well with the process of giving birth."
Michelle: "Her talking about the relationship between birth and our culture surprised me because I didn't realize the importance of money, time, risk management, and how pain is perceived as a negative."
Erin: "I had never really seen the connection between birth and our culture until she pointed it out."
Lauren: "I had such a vivid picture in my mind when she was talking about the 1950's and what it was like to have a baby in the hospital during those times."
Robin: "What I loved most about Jennifer was that she spoke objectively and did not push her beliefs on us."
Stacie: " Our country has really lost its way in childbirth."
Allison: "Her information gave me so much knowledge and taught me that if you have that knowledge you will be able to better make a wise decision on your part and not what you are pressured into doing!"
Leslie: "Jennifer was really fascinating to listen to."
Katie: "I found Mrs. Stover's theory on pain very interesting. She stated how most challenges we encounter in life provoke growth and allow us to develop as individuals through pain."
Leslie: "This class has made me think about things that otherwise would
never have crossed my mind."
Sarah: "Listening to Jennifer speak I thought of several questions to ask my mom about my birth."
Allison: "A c-section has never so graphically been described to me. I now know that a c-section is not an option I wish to take unless it is to save either myself or my child from serious injury or death...This intrigued me to call a friend of mine who recently had a c-section and ask her some questions."
Robin: "It was the first time I had heard about the origins of labor procedures. I enjoyed it immensely because I was able to see what factors and events evolved the procedures to what it is today."
Heather: "Thanks so much to Ms. Stover for being so open with us, and discussing with our class issues that don't seem to be talked about often.
Stacie: "Jennifer Stover's class discussion really caught my attention. It was refreshing because she informed us of the variety of ways a woman can choose to give birth, while not imposing her own beliefs on us. I was not intimidated by what she said nor made to feel ridiculous because I had differing convictions."
Erin: "It actually makes me sad looking at how much humanity is lost for some women during the birth process."
Leslie: "I want to tell all the women I know about what I have learned because there are so many uninformed people."
Michelle: "She definitely opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and made me aware of different birth options so I can make an informed decision when having a baby."
Laureen: "When Jennifer talked about the benefits of natural birth for the baby I really thought about how much sense it made."
Carrie: "She was a wonderful guest speaker. I could tell that she is very educated about childbirth and that she is passionate about what she does for a living."
Angela: "I was able to talk to Jennifer Stover after class, and the information she gave will be useful in my future."
Katie G: "I found what she said about the religious and scientific conflict concerning child birth pain to be very interesting. Being a strong Christian myself, thinking about the pain in those terms somehow makes it less scary and more bearable. I never thought about religious beliefs being a valid reason for not accepting pain killers during labor."
Erin: "Going through the history of birth opened my eyes to how women have been viewed and treated."
Michelle: "Jennifer also cleared up several myths about birth history, physical abilities of women during birth, and the U.S.'s mother and baby outcomes."
Claire: "My mom had a horrendous labor with me, and ended up having a c-section, so I always assumed that I'd be having a c-section too. I'm glad to hear that women are most often equipped to deliver their babies. It gives me hope that a natural birth is still an option for me."
Robin: "Jennifer Stover was a wonderful resource."
Katie G.: "I liked that she made it very clear that the choice you make is not as important as the fact that it is your own choice and it is right for you and based on information and fact."
Carrie: "After Jennifer's talk with our class, I have decided that I would really like to have a home birth with a midwife and a doula. I have decided this because as long as I have a healthy baby, I think my baby deserves to come into the world fully aware to a mother who is fully aware."
Brianne: "I would definitely like to hear her speak again!"
Heather: "Jennifer made me feel more confident about having a baby. Hearing things like, 'almost every woman is designed for a vaginal birth,' and that the size of your body won't make much difference during delivery, helped me to feel like I will really be able to do it when the time comes. Being small framed, people have always commented on how it will be hard for me to have kids...which is scary! But I feel now, that I will most definitely be able to have my children safely."