In this culture, Hollywood portrays birth in a strange light. We often see a woman’s water break, followed by a frantic rush to the emergency room where the woman proceeds to scream and yell at her partner or others.
This falsely perpetuates an idea that birth is an emergency, a state of crisis, and something that women can’t handle without abusing others.
In my birth class, I learned that there’s not one particular sign that indicates the start of labor. In fact, the water breaking is often not the first sign.
Beyond that, once a woman experiences her first signs of labor, which could be as subtle as low back pain, or loose stools, she then has many hours, if it is her first babe, before she need think of traveling anywhere.
In many births, when a woman is trusted in her process, and when a safe and sacred space is held, she is able to naturally birth her babe, in her own time, with little or no intervention.
The same hormones that got us pregnant, are the same hormones present at birth. Therefore, birth and labor have the right ingredients for a highly sensual, sexual, even pleasurable experience.
We’ve been falsely trained to think of birth as an emergency. Women have been robbed of honoring this rite of passage and celebrating birth as a natural process in the popular culture.
Here’s what I know about pregnancy, birth and motherhood so far. Please know that this is for me, this is my belief system, what I see and know to be true. This does not mean it’s true for you, so if you don’t agree, that’s fine.
What I Know For Sure:
- It’s important for mama to be calm and peaceful during pregnancy
- Eating lots of protein, greens, and organic food helps, but above all, trust your body and your cravings!
- Buying a maternity pillow is essential for sleeping well
- Taking a birth class is tremendously helpful and helps mamas to have shorter labors
- Doing prenatal yoga creates community and empowerment
- Walk every day
- Indulge in some rituals or rites that feed your soul: I enjoyed henna pampering and photos, pre-natal massage, acupuncture, psychotherapy, physical therapy to ensure my hips and sacrum were flexible, and guided meditations
- Great pre-natal vitamins + fish oil are a must
- Taking time to meditate, rest, and put your feet up brings nourishing rest and deeper connection with babe
- Go ahead and buy the little things that will give you peace of mind. You don’t have to wait until a baby shower. I was having dreams that babe came and we had no clothes, no blankets. I finally just bought the things I wanted, and then the flood gates opened, and people started showering us with offerings.
- Have a blessing way or baby shower. Add a spiritual component, or something that feels sacred for you.
- Connect with babe in utero. Put your hands there. Send light. Surround in love. Ask for dreams to know your baby’s name, and to receive messages. Talk to your babe.
- If you’d like to have a medication free birth, and to birth naturally, without unnecessary, or possibly detrimental interventions, steer clear of the hospital.
- Pregnancy and birth is a natural, healthy state!
- You likely don’t need to be cut, shaved, monitored, induced, or drugged- unless you have a dire circumstance!
- Routine circumcision of boys is harmful and unnecessary
- Water birth limits pain and tearing
- There’s no need to clip the umbilical cord right away and in fact it’s healthier to leave babe attached until it stops pulsing blood
- Bring babe to your bare chest right away- skin to skin contact in the first hours after birth is a very important bonding time for mama, papa and babe.
- When it comes to your aura- there’s a kundalini yoga tradition that says to not be more than 9 feet away from babe in first weeks of life so as to solidify the auric bond between mother and child. This ensures a healthy, strong connection with baby- one where she/he feels secure and loved right from the get go!
- Follow the 5-5-5 rule if you can. 5 days in bed after birth. 5 days on and around the bed. 5 days around the house. Never will you have this sacred, slow, family bonding time again.
- Consider not taking your newborn out of the house for 40 days and resting and bonding with your family. This is a sacred #. It took Noah 40 days to build the arc. 40 days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. 40 days of Lent. 40 days to regenerate all your cells. It goes on and on.
- Intend to use cloth diapers! Disposable diapers are non-biodegradable and the number one item filling up our landfills
There are great birthing centers or mid-wives available for home births that will honor your body, your babe, and your process, and not try to hurry you along, or artificially stimulate your labor, so that you can meet some pre-determined scientific standard of when and how to birth. Rather, they will honor you and your wishes and your bodies’ inherent ability.
It’s possible to have a low-tech, simple, pregnancy, birth and labor.
- Trust your body
- Educate yourself
- Plan to breastfeed- there’s no better food for your babe!
- Wear your baby
- Look in to attachment parenting, consider co-sleeping or a family bed
Read the following:
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Natural Child Birth the Bradley Way
Mind Over Labor
Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation
Watch the Following:
Orgasmic Birth (the movie)
The Happiest Baby on the Block
If you’re local to Boulder, Sarah Mill’s Birth Mojo is a great class. 10 weeks, you and your partner will learn just about all you need to know.
I know that every woman is different, and so is every pregnancy, birth story and experience of motherhood. This is simply my perspective, where I stand, right now.
I honor the process for everyone. I know we each get to choose. And, I still feel that there are things I know for sure that can help a woman in this natural, beautiful, right of passage.
Furthermore, as an educator and counselor, it is my belief that the environment we create for our children in utero and the early years of life have a huge impact on their entire life.
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that we can change the planet and the way humans interact by changing how we connect in our families. It starts in pregnancy and continues through how we choose to birth and mother in the earlier years and beyond.
May all beings be healthy and happy.