Silent birth is all about providing the best possible environment for the birthing mother and her new baby. Its origins can be found in L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and are firmly rooted in a fundamental and abiding principle that women, particularly expectant mothers, be given the utmost in care and respect.
A silent birth is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no spoken words by anyone attending. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of things that are meant to be avoided.
As L. Ron Hubbard wrote:
“Maintain silence in the presence of birth to save both the sanity of the mother and the child and safeguard the home to which they will go. And the maintaining of silence does not mean a volley of ‘Sh’s,’ for those make stammerers.”
The point of silent birth is NO WORDS. It does not mean a mother cannot make any sound during childbirth. It is doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all.
The principle behind not speaking during childbirth is delineated in Dianetics and to fully understand why, one should read the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. But to provide a brief explanation, L. Ron Hubbard discovered the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurity and psychosomatic illness—the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions during times of pain and unconsciousness—which childbirth is for both mother and child. And words, in particular, spoken during these moments, can have an adverse effect on one later in life.
Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet and peaceful as possible. That being said, a woman’s choice for her delivery is completely up to her and her doctor. There is no requirement to adhere to any specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words.
Doctors respect the right of a mother to choose her birthing experience. Silent birth is not a medical model but a religious and philosophical approach based on L. Ron Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit.
However, since the research, findings and practice of silent birth were first announced by Mr. Hubbard, this method has been applied by doctors, nurses and midwives world over.
The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation and these principles do not preclude a mother from receiving any medical procedure needed to safely deliver the baby, including Caesarean section. These are medical decisions and these, too, are between the mother and her doctor.