SPIRITUAL CHILDBIRTH Bringing Sacredness Back to the Birth Process
by Mary Betsellie
Childbirth is a deeply spiritual endeavor. It is an awesome task that a woman’s body is designed to carry out. It is at this time that a woman has the honor to stand at the doorway in which life and death passes.
During labor and delivery, her senses are at their sharpest including her intuition and connection to the non-physical world. A woman is in her greatest power during childbirth. She is completely open on all levels, working with the co-creative forces of nature to allow the miracle of life to pass through her.
However, it seems as if there is a great dichotomy in the birth process. It is that while a woman is in her greatest power she is also in her greatest vulnerability. For a woman who is supported, provided for and protected from outside interferences, that vulnerability is her greatest power. It is unfortunate that for millions of women across the country, birth has been or will be anything but spiritual and empowering. It is when we do not care for a birthing woman holistically (body, mind, and spirit) that she goes from being empowered to weak and desperate. Over-dependence on technology, greed, and fear have brought a dehumanizing effect into the delivery room. Birth has been reduced to a medical event, treated more like an illness than the blessed and sacred miracle that it is.
Here are some steps a woman can take to experience the divine nature of birth, whether she is birthing in a hospital, birthing center, or at home.
Take a non-hospital based childbirth education class:There are many philosophies from which to choose. Pick one with which you are comfortable. Some of the more popular ones are Calm Birth, Birthing From Within, HypnoBabies, HypnoBirthing, The Bradley Method, and Lamaze. Interview various educators to select one that shares your birthing philosophy. Gaining the knowledge of how the body works will only reinforce that you and your baby both have the inherent wisdom needed to birth.
Consider hiring a Midwife instead of an Obstetrician:Midwives are highly trained professionals working with a more holistic approach. They typically are better equipped to support the body, mind, and spirit collectively. With a Midwife, a birthing mother is more likely to be an active participant in the birth of her child, allowing her to embrace her divine power. (Some midwives follow the holistic model of care more than others.)
Hire a Birth Doula: A doula understands that the birth process is much more than a physical event; it is a journey that will engrave deep impressions on the soul of the laboring woman and her partner. She is the one constant human being that is there for the birthing mother and has the tools to support her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Doctors and nurses usually have several patients they are attending at once and even a midwife is not always available for the entire labor. Many doulas are also trained in other healing modalities such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Aromatherapy, Massage, and Yoga.
Have a Mother Blessing: A Mother Blessing is a celebration that is done in place of or in addition to a baby shower. The main focus of the ceremony is on the Mother rather than on the baby. It is an intimate celebration where the Mom-to-be has a chance to connect with the important women in her life on a heart and soul level and to receive empowering support and encouragement in the form of positive messages regarding birth and her strength. There is a strong spiritual element to a Mother Blessing, stirring the souls of all who attend to remember that at one time or another all cultures held birth and the act of bringing forth life as sacred and holy.
Have a Homebirth: Homebirth is safe, legal and happening all of the time in this country. For many women, home is the most comfortable place to be, providing privacy and control that cannot be had in a hospital or birthing center. At home a woman is free to listen to her body, instinctual urges, and spiritual guidance. Many women can and do have spiritually empowering births in hospitals and birthing centers but home is the place she is most likely to birth in her feminine power.
Talk to the spirit of the baby: It just might talk back! This can be done even before conception. It is called pre-birth communication. Moms and Dads all over the world have reported connecting with their children long before they landed Earth side. The child spirit may come to you in mediation, in dreams or even in full consciousness. Sometimes the communication just comes in a knowing. Take time each day to sit quietly and allow the time to connect with your baby.
Women have been gifted with the bringing forth of life through their bodies. It is an awesome task indeed, not to be feared but respected and honored for the miracle that it is.
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