A Swedish study showed that those who have a traumatic and painful birth are more likely to end their life with violent suicide. The pain the infant experiences is an important factor.
Birth trauma has also been linked to infant crying and resultant child abuse. In a survey of battered infants, eighty percent of the parents reported that excessive crying by their child triggered the abuse and placed emphasis on birth trauma as a source of the stress and crying. Child Protection Service agencies receive more than 50,000 referrals each week alleging that children have been abused or neglected.
One doctor says that crying is a beneficial process that allows people to cope with stress and can be considered an inborn healing mechanism, but constant crying puts babies at high risk for child abuse. This is one possible explanation for the correlation between birth trauma and later violent behavior.
Crying infants are frequently drugged to keep them quiet. One survey in England found that twenty-five percent of babies had been given sedatives by the time they were eighteen months old.
These drugs often make the babies lethargic and unresponsive and babies given sedatives for crying may be at high risk for drug abuse as teenagers and adults. When a child's first attempts to release painful feelings are repressed with powerful drugs, it would not be surprising if they turned to drugs later on in life in order to cope with their feelings.
A calm, quiet and gentle environment can make all the difference. When Tara Gerson, a fitness trainer in Malibu, California read about how birth procedures could affect her unborn child, she and her husband Josh decided to provide a warm and loving environment for the birth of their first child.
"We discussed various methods of birthing," said Tara. "This is our first child and we wanted to take all possible positive steps to give her the best start in life. We decided on a water birth at home, with a midwife trained in the silent birth method, described by L. Ron Hubbard in the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health."
The sounds, noises and words the baby hears while under stress or in pain are a vital component of the effect the birth will have later in life. Hubbard's research revealed that when a person experiences pain, or is influenced by anesthetics or drugs, the conscious mind temporarily shuts down. The "subconscious" or "reactive" mind however, accurately records everything that occurs--sound, sight, words, touch, smell and pain.
"When we read about how pain and sound can affect a baby during birth it made sense to us--and we were delighted to find a midwife who practices silent birth," said Tara. "She understood the reasons for a silent birth and had already done this method with other couples."
During Madeleine's birth the room was dimly lit, sound and talking kept to a minimum and the procedure made as gentle as possible. The result: a short and happy birth for both mother and baby. Madeleine came into the world in a quiet and loving environment without drugs, force, intervention or noise.
She was placed on her mother's stomach right after birth and has been a contented and happy baby from the start. "When I see how even tempered and good-natured she is, I know we made the right choice," says Tara. "I am so glad we chose to make her birth a caring and gentle experience."