*Pentru limba română, click aici.
Dear friends and Family,
On Sunday, April 10th , the day my grandmother turns 87 years old, I will be running my first marathon ever, age category 40+, with the intention of raising money to stop obstetric violence in Romania, my native country. As many of you know, the NGO I’m leading, Lion Mentor Association, militates for human rights, primarily for women and children’ rights at birth. Basically, Lion Mentor fights for women’s right to give birth naturally without any medical interventions, such as c-section or episiotomy. Unfortunately, Romania finds itself in complete contrast with WHO’s recommendations when it comes to c’section rate per country (44% vs 10%) and episiotomy rate (68% vs 5%). I hope that by 10th of April you’ll help me raise 1200Euros to be able to print out 1100 copies of our “Guide for a Conscious Birth” that we intend to distribute among the top 50 biggest Romanian hospitals in terms of the number of births per year. There are 55, 625 women giving birth through c-section, which in most cases is not for medical reasons and not necessary, this could have negative consequences on both the mother and the baby. At the same time, there are 36. 510 women that experience a vaginal birth with what is considered a routine episiotomy in Romania. Most of the time, the episiotomy is done without any medical indication. In fact, episiotomy is considered a true form of female genital mutilation, and can have big negative impact on the women’s future physical and mental health. Raising the 1200 Euros will help us change 1100 births from being a traumatic experience to a natural, kind, empowering and dignified birth.
Why printing this guide?
BECAUSE this cause means so much to me that I cannot stay still. BECAUSE childbirth touches me to tears, tears of happiness and of fulfilment. BECAUSE childbirth should be the most beautiful moment in the life of a woman, not the most traumatic one. BECAUSE if women don’t know their options and rights they don’t have any! BECAUSE obstetricians want full control of the birth process, turning the physiology of birth into a 100% medical act. BECAUSE while screening the first Romanian documentary about birth “Audacity of Childbearing” all over the country, I met tons of medical residents who confessed that they have never learned anything about normal birth and the normal physiology of birth in medical school and that all they are taught is how to do a cesarean. BECAUSE I also met tons of women who experienced a traumatic birth. And last, but not least, BECAUSE Information does matter!
I know that every single Romanian knows at least one woman who was traumatised at the birth of her baby. Both, the pregnant woman and the newborn need love, understanding, affection, empathy, and most importantly, they need respect! I know that I can count on all of you to help out as well. Helping those in need, especially newborns, doesn’t have boundaries! That’s why I’m asking you for help. If every single one of you gives $5, $10 or even more if possible, will enable us to print as many guides as possible to distribute them, ideally, through all the hospitals in Romania, even in the most remote areas of the country where women don’t have the means to download the free version of it directly from our website.
There are 5 more days until 10th of April when I will run 42 km at the Rome Marathon, 5 days in which we can change the paradigm of birth in Romania.
I would like to personally thank each one of you for your support, and at the same time I would like to thank you in the name of the 1100 pregnant women for giving them the chance to have a magical, natural, physiological birth. I will be using GoGetFunding.com to help fundraise, and you also have the option of directly transferring money into Lion Mentor Association’s bank account RO39INGB0000999903707355 .
Below are a few testimonials from women that have watched the documentary produced by Lion Mentor Association „Audacity of Childbearing!” which was the first Romanian documentary about birth:
“I was 37 weeks pregnant when I watched the documentary. All the obstetricians that I have been having my antenatal checks and appointments with untill that point did not want to hear anything regarding me giving birth naturally, they were making up all sorts of medical reasons and excuses for me not to give birth naturally. This project has helped me extraordinarly because it helped me believe in myself and my ability to give birth naturally! And I did it! and I am very happy and proud of it!” Claudia Elena
“I did not attend the public screening of the documentary because I have already seen it a few weeks ago. I was very keen to hear the reaction of other people after watching it. I cried when I watched it. I watched it late at night together with my husband (I really wanted him to be able to watch it, I wanted him to understand what I have been thru when I gave birth) and I cried a lot because I re-lived the moment when I gave birth to Sofia. I wish with all my heart to have the power and the courage to give birth as I want and the way we are intended to with my second birth....” Ramona Toderascu
“I would have loved to have the room full of doctors....maybe this way they would have understood the next women they will look after when she starts crying when she hears the word cesarean, and maybe they would stop threatening her that she is risking the life of her own baby because she wants to give birth naturally, or she wishes to at least labor before having the cesarean section. I wonder if there would be any change if I were to buy a few copies of the documentary and offer them to obstetricians? I am thinking of at least offering it to the next obstetrician that will be involved with my care in the next pregnancy...” Nicoleta Camelia Nitu
“I got really angry with this documentary. It made me so frustrated and angry that I had to pause it a few times to calm down. I made the mistake of watching it on my own, so I did not have anyone to share my anger and frustration with and explain what was happening to me. It was similar with my first birth experience. On my own. I was angry because the documentary producers have managed to achieve an extraordinary thing: they managed to win the trust of the doctors they have interviewed, so that they have talked in front of the camera without any inhibitions, like they would be in their medical practice talking with a patient. For all the women that have not gone trough the experience of birth yet, I recommend watching this documentary, even if it is just for getting to this conclusion. A scared, aggressive and dominant doctor is the most secure way to having a traumatic birth experience (probably cesarean), as furthest possible of what the woman wants” Everything about Mothers Association
Many thanks for each contribution,
Information does matter!
Lion Mentor Association
P.S. And if you still think that you are too small to make a difference, even to Romanian health system, there is a popular Romanian old saying similar to "little chips sank great ship". In other words, the change starts with us, with each one of us, with me running and donating and with you just donating!