Think about it. Your pregnant and labor sounds like hell. Are you looking forward to it? Does it scare you? Do you feel like your fear of labor is giving you anxiety? Did you know that anxiety during labor can lengthen you labor? Did you know that the best thing you can do before labor starts is to work through your fear of labor? How? By becoming empowered.
Did you know that there is a rising number of women that birth at home, unassisted? No doctor, no midwife, no hospital, no medical intervention. Now mind you I am not suggesting that you do that. But we can learn a lot from these women that free birth their babies. They have doubts and fears, but they work through them. How? They read everything they can about birth and the birth process. They find a tribe, either on Facebook or another way, that believes in their decision. They express their fears and doubts to their tribe and the tribe lets them know that they can do this. That they are strong and empowered. That their body knows what to do. Do they have doubts during labor? Yes. Do they work through them? Yes. Can you do this in a hospital setting or at home with a midwife? Yes! Yes! Yes!
As women we are made to give birth. Our body knows what to do. All we have to do is let it happen. Sounds easy, right? Well not so easy. Labor is painful. They call it labor because it’s not a picnic. They call it labor because it can be one of the most terrifying and rewarding thing that we do as women. Think about this. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. For many years without any medical help whatsoever. They probably watched their mamas give birth when they were young and knew that it wasn’t always pretty. They also saw that their mamas survived. They may have also been privy to rituals before birth that would help prepare their moms for birth. They had traditions that would bring women together to help dissolve the fears that come with labor, birth and having a new baby. Usually a gathering of women that are relatives and/or friends. This gathering can help women overcome the fear they may have concerning labor, birth and being a mom. It also lets them know that they aren’t alone in this. That they have help. Their tribe.
I feel like these types of gatherings are not as common as they used to be. I personally feel we need to bring them back. How? It seems like most women have baby showers. Why not have a time at the end of the shower to have a blessing ceremony that empowers the woman so when she moves forward in her pregnancy, labor and birth that she feels strong and ready to do this. How? Well here’s some tips on how to do this.
You can have a foot washing ceremony for the mom. You can use several kinds of herbs that are good for calming. It only takes a basin, some water and some herbs. While you do this, you can have her guests right down affirmations for her labor and birth. Like – you can do this; you are strong; just breath; don’t give up; your body knows what to do, just go with it; I love you, etc. She can hang up these affirmations at home so she can be reminded daily that she is ready and can do this.
If foot washing is not your thing, how about a good birth story circle. No bad birth stories, only good ones. After the stories, you can do a visualization of birth with her. Really think about how it’s going to be. How labor is going to be easy and she handles it like a champ. Her birth is easy and quick. Her baby is beautiful and smiles when he or she is first born. She has no issues breastfeeding. You can also write down affirmations for her. You may need one person to kind of facilitate this.
You can also just have everyone write an inspiring note to her for her labor and birth. Something like “You are strong and your body knows what to do. Just let all your fears go.” Or “You’re a beautiful strong mother that can handle anything.” Affirmations. Then you can put them in a beautiful jar for her to take home and hang up on the wall, the mirror, the fridge, a place she is going to labor. She may have some kind of alter set up so maybe candles might be a good idea for a gift too. Battery powered so she can take them to the hospital with her. Essential oils are nice too. Lavendar is great and citrus.
Why is empowerment regarding labor and birth for women, especially now, so important? My personal feeling is that hospitals and western medicine have taken over labor and birth. There is a movement to get it back, but it hasn’t reached all the hospitals yet. Don’t get me wrong I am not against a hospital birth or a assisted home birth. When women are exhausted because the labor process has lasted for days and they want some meds, they are there for them. When it’s complicated and c-section is the only way to get a healthy baby or babies or to save their mamas life, go for it. I’m not against it. I’ve seen both sides of birth and I, as a doula, will always, always, give the laboring mama support no matter what she chooses. I just want her to be empowered to make her own decisions. To learn that you can tell the Doctor “no, not yet.” Or, “can you give me 5 minutes to talk to my partner?” Or a slew of other things you can say. Like “can we change positions and see if that makes it better?” “Can I push on all 4’s.” Can I, well fill in the blank.
As women we need to take back birth. As I said, there is a movement that is trying to do just that. We can start at home by empowering each other, especially women that are pregnant, in labor, during birth, during the postpartum period and beyond.
Be kind to each other. Don’t tell your terrible birth story to a pregnant woman. Don’t judge because you don’t agree with how or where she’s birthing her baby. Support her, no matter what. You may think that she is putting herself or her baby in danger. Don’t worry, she knows the risks. She knows what she’s doing. Support her, as we should support all women in their choices of labor and birth. This is why I’m a Doula. To support women in their choices and to give women and their families have an amazing birth.
Here’s a website that I found for blessings:
Birth Warrior’s Affirmation
I am a birth warrior
I embrace my strength
I embrace my power
I surrender to my body’s wisdom
and bring forth life in joy…
A few Affirmations for birth!
I am enough
I truly believe that I can do this
I can ride the waves of my contractions easily
I know that I am safe
Fear has no place here
I am free because I am fearless
My body is made for this.
Do you need someone to help you with this celebration? Contact me. I can help.