Two Things You Will Need For An Empowered Birth
As a birth doula, it is an honor every time I am invited into the birth of another. Every mother that seeks to interview me, brings one, two or all three things with them to our interview.
- First, they have an idea of what they DON'T want for their birth. Often this is the fruit of a birth experience they have either had, witnessed or heard about.
- Second, they know what they DO want, and are eager to prepare to achieve this goal. This value is also the fruit of a birth experience that they have had, witnessed or heard about.
- Third, the woman is unsure of her ideas around her birth and is willing or maybe unwilling to grow and learn in order to have her own sense of personal value that feeds into her birth. Unlike the first two, being reflective of a particular birth experience, uncertainty is often reflective of a lack of information, experience and knowledge of birth in general.
I honor all three of these value sets because, being that they are interviewing me as their potential birth doula, each of these women are intentional with their upcoming birth, whether they hire me or not. I am always grateful to see a "mother to be" taking the time to prepare herself both emotionally and physically for her upcoming birth and family journey.
As I reflect on my own four births, and as I continue to provide emotional and physical birth support to others, I have found that there are two essential ingredients to add to one's birth journey, if one hopes to be empowered and confident at their birth:
Choice and Support!
CHOICE is a powerful concept. It implies that we have options and resources. Often when clients look to hire me, they come to the interview with the impression that I can make their birth " work", as if my influence will sway their care provider to honor their birth preferences. This is where we start. Care providers matter. Our choice is always based on our values. A care provider should:
- support our values
- honor our preferences
- express compassion
These are the ingredients of a care provider worth choosing. Regardless of the birth outcome.. a woman is empowered when she makes the intentional efforts to find a care provider that aligns with her values. The options are numerous and the resources are available.. the CHOICE must be purposeful.
SUPPORT suggest that we are not alone. With healthy birth support, a prospective mother is offered:
- a hand to hold
- a friend to accompany
- a resource
- a coach to inspire
- a mother to comfort
- a sage to bring wisdom
- a voice to speak truth
- a reminder when things are forgotten
- a servant to provide strength
- a shield to hold space
- and most importantly... grace to to feel safe.
When a woman is supported to trust in her unique and creative body, mind and spirit.. she is equipped to "own" her birth and she is offered the gift of empowerment.
It is my greatest delight to witness the "birth" of a mother. She is born long before the birth of her precious one. She is "born" as she courageously steps out of her comforts to seek a care provider that honors her values. She is "born" as she builds her team to support her in her journey into motherhood and beyond.
We as humans, are created to live in community. A mother is not a role made to be isolated. In the creative process of her transformation from woman, to mother, a team is "born." The team will be unique, alive and always growing and changing.
To be courageous and without fear are two of the hardest things to be, when faced with a journey that is as big as life itself, BIRTH. The choice of our care provider being in alignment with our values along with healthy birth support are the two ingredients that I have found to be to essential to a confident birth experience. Such ingredients create a space that allows a woman to feel safe, strong and Empowered!