Women gathered to support women and in doing so handed down essential knowledge and wisdom that today we have replaced with fear.
As a doula and childbirth educator for almost 30 years, I’ve had the pleasure of being with many children who are attending and supporting women/their mother’s in labor and childbirth- natural childbirth, homebirth, hospital. Some of whom I met years later and could hear their perspectives on birth that were formed from those first experiences. I also had many women attend my doula workshops that have been at births of their siblings. In all cases, attending birth as a child has given them a greater appreciation for women’s bodies, women’s power and a trust in our ability to give birth.
I often discuss at my doula workshops that when we took birth from the social model to a medical model, moving from women’s homes to hospitals, we broke an important cycle of learning and understanding that has led to increasing fear of our bodies and birth. I ask women to raise their hands if they have younger siblings and imagine that 100 years ago they would have been around their mother’s laboring and possibly in the room for these births. Add to this, younger cousins, younger children of friends of your mother’s, and other younger family members, as young girls we would have had an opportunity to learn nurturing and comfort skills passed down woman to woman and to see birth firsthand, which I believe builds confidence.
Knowledge is power! Understanding the process of labor and birth along with tools that help provide comfort is what were all striving to learn today as we approach our births, often the first time we experience birth now, but not what it was historically. Women gathered to support women and in doing so handed down essential knowledge and wisdom that today we have replaced with fear. I applaud a woman’s wisdom who prepares her daughter and listens to what she is ready to learn and see, and meet her there. As we see, birth can be powerful, pleasurable, and gentle. Wishing you a Pleasurable Birth.
Join the discussion taking place on the oBirth facebook page. Did your children attend the birth of their younger siblings? Do you hope to include siblings in an upcoming birth?