Taking back the power of childbirth

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Article by Victoria Taylor


NEED TO KNOW: Birth (F*ck Yeah) by Sonia Killik is meant to bridge the gap in information regarding different methods of childbirth, giving the power of choice back to expecting mothers.

Right off the bat, you can tell that childbirth is a subject close to Killik’s heart, and one she is extremely passionate about. She may have studied metaphysics and has been a life coach – one of the first in South Africa –but now she’s pumping out books. And the subjects of the books are something most women should be reading up on.

“After the birth of my daughter and going through that whole experience, I became massively passionate and quite enraged, actually, about maternity practices, specifically in South Africa.”

Killik revealed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a 15 percent caesarean section rate, but South Africa is shockingly close to being in the 90s.

Her book Birth (F*ck Yeah) aims to bridge the gap of information about the different types of childbirth. She believes many women are misinformed and bullied into taking a birth plan which suits their doctor and the medical industry. Killik stated that when she fell pregnant and visited a doctor, the first thing he did was try and book her in for a caesarean, without getting to know her or her plan of action when it came to actually having her baby.

She openly admits that her book is somewhat biased towards natural birth, as that is what she chose to do and believes it is an extremely empowering experience for women. “My goal is to change women’s minds and their perception about birth … that a medicated birth is not better for them, it’s not better for their children.”

Caesarean sections should be a last resort, as medicated births have a number of repercussions, such as babies born prematurely in order to fit in with a doctor’s schedule, a longer recovery time, drugs and the inability to breastfeed, she said.

“We live in one of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world, and these women who could feed their babies for free are being pushed to buy formula by the nurses and the doctors in the hospital,” she said.

“I’m saying own your own life, own your birth, stand up against these doctors who are, I’m sorry, taking complete advantage. Women are stepping into their own power, without a doubt. We’re demanding better salaries, we’re in more positions of power, politically and in the business world. But that one thing that is ours, that is childbirth, has been taken away from us.”

Killik admits that she had a fear of offending women who had elective caesareans, but she firmly believes that women should be given all the information regarding all forms of childbirth so that they can make the choice about which suits them better. She states that the book is lighthearted, broken down into easy-to-understand chapters and, although she researched the entire thing extensively, it’s still very personal. “I’ve been very raw and honest and used my own personal experience to help alleviate women’s fears because the biggest problem is fear.”

Killik’s book is currently being placed in bookstores around the country but is also available as a downloadable e-book.