|Posted by Stacy on February 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM|
Having a baby can be a scary event. But, does it really have to be? Does the mother have to feel alone and afraid and on guard that her birth will not go as planned?
Labor support is such a great need in our world today. I wish in a way we could go back in time in how we view childbirth and children present at birth. Think about it...if you were a girl in the 1800's chances are you viewed some child being born and nursed at her mother's breast. It was normal.
However, today, girls are excluded in many ways of seeing what their bodies were created to do. We were created to birth our child and to nurse our child at our breast. Girls are typically not brought into a laboring room when their mother, aunt, or female cousins are birthing.
I recall a few years ago when I was teaching one night and preparing a birth video. Grace walked into the room and made a comfortable spot for herself. It was a new video that she had not seen. I started the DVD. The soon-to-be father's countenance had a look of deep concern. He asked if we should turn this off, and I chuckled a little and told him how I liked how she was interested in viewing the films and how when our last was born she new more how he would be born than how get got there.
I love that my children are growing up seeing birth as a normal event in our lives. I love that they have witnessed me teaching about normality in birth and breastfeeding. My daughter knows that childbirth should not be scary and that you can surround yourself with love and guidence during the birth to have a peaceful journey. She is understanding the anatomy behind the birth experience and can show you how the baby will turn through the pelvis and decend to become a baby into our world.
I know this isn't particulary about helping you in labor; I have a call to action in this post. I want our children to learn what birth is and witness more births. I want them to know it is not something that is taboo. That seeing a woman labor and witness that life beginning is important. It is important for understanding of her body and what will become of her body someday. It is important so when she feels those surges for the first time she will understand that it is normal to feel the pain and moan and cry and speak her feelings. It is important for her to witness the movement of a mom in labor so she knows that yeah, standing and swaying are normal and not the lying in a bed strapped to a monitor.
I'll just end here saying our children are smart beings. Yes, we should protect them from the unhealthy things in life (drugs, violence, etc.), but keeping them away from birth and shutting them out and treating it like is taboo will change them forever. They will not guard life as precious and birth as a normal event. It will become scary and lonely for our daughters. I ask all you mommas to include your daughter in birth in a way that is comfortable for you and for her. Show her births on video if you cannot bring her to a birth. Surround her with breastfeeding mommas so she can see the actually process at work. Talk to her about your birthing experience and what you would have changed or not changed. Show her pictures of her birth or the moment after her birth or her siblings births. Let her see joy in childbirth not the fear.
Stacy Lewis, B.A. Ed., AAHCC, LE
childbirth educator and lactation educator