The vision for the future of The Foundation for Living Medicine includes the creation of a Village, a community that includes health caregivers who practice Living Medicine. The core of this Village would be a Birthing Center named in honor of the founder Dr. Gladys McGarey and her vision to promote the initial movement toward life.
Everything about us as human beings begins with conception, gestation and birth. It is becoming more and more researched and well-known that the effects of a mother’s and father’s health impact the development of the fetus. It is the mission and vision of the Foundation to provide a Loving Birth Center that is dedicated to the most natural ways to experience pregnancy and childbirth with the safest and best care possible for mothers, infants and their families.
Birth statistics in the United States are deplorable. Compared to other industrialized countries, the United States ranks last! U. S. infant and maternal mortality rates have actually been increasing. Our reliance on technology has overwhelmed the inner knowing and intuition of mothers themselves. Nonetheless, most young parents are doing the best they can with the medical care that has become standardized in this country.
The Birth Committee of the Foundation for Living Medicine has published a Position Paper outlining the national and international state of birth as well as those policies and practices that are implemented in many birthing situations. In support of the objective of honoring mothers and their new Little Ones, the Birth Committee is providing this written commentary which focuses on childbirth and incorporates Dr. Gladys’ Well-Lived Life principles, specifically those that address the overall commitment to life that Dr. Gladys so eloquently expressed in her book. At age 102, she is an expert on how to achieve and maintain “true health and happiness.” She is an outspoken advocate for the “physician within” each of us, an inner awareness that pregnant and birthing parents are often encouraged to ignore in the allopathic medical system. Respect for each birthing parent’s inner physician is fundamental to those who would be staffing the Gladys McGarey Loving Birth Center.
All people have a life purpose that provides the energy—what Dr. Gladys calls “juice”—to live happily and healthfully sharing their unique gifts with others on this Earth.
Contrary to what the medical establishment believes, doctors don’t heal patients; only patients can heal themselves. As doctors, we apply skill, knowledge and ingenuity to treating our patients. We care deeply about people, and we funnel that compassion into our work. This is our sacred role on Earth. Yet ultimately, the best doctors know that healing comes from within.
Known as the Mother of Holistic Medicine, Dr. Gladys points out that holistic medicine is an approach that sees “each individual as a complete and complex being, one with a unique set of physical, psychological, and spiritual characteristics, as well as a personal set of goals to complete in his or her lifetime.” This philosophy can easily be applied to pregnant and birthing parents.
Thus, each of the “Six Secrets” that The Well-Lived Life details can be adapted to childbearing. The Birth Committee has been in existence for more than a decade and is devoted to changing the existing paradigm in childbirth. Buckminster Fuller is often quoted saying: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” The Foundation plans to build a Loving Birth Center that will exemplify the new model—a prototype for safe, successful childbirth that not only has lower infant and maternal mortality rates but models respect for each birthing mother’s “physician within.”