Birth matters. It matters because it is the way we all begin our lives outside of our source, our mothers’ bodies. It's the means through which we weather and feel our first impression of the wider world. For each mother, it is an event that shakes and shapes her to her innermost core. Women’s perceptions about their bodies and their babies’ capabilities will be deeply influenced by the care they receive around the time of birth. 

...Birth also matters because the journey through pregnancy and birth offers an irreplaceable way for women to explore their deepest selves—their minds, bodies, and nature. Such a journey of self-discovery can help them prepare for the hard and under-appreciated job of motherhood in a world now full of historically unique and complex challenges. There is a sacred power in the innately feminine capacity of giving birth. It is one of the elemental, continuing processes of nature that women have the chance to experience, and it is the one act of human creation that is not shared by men. Why would we not want to explore that territory? 

 

— Ina May Gaskin, Birth Matters