Believe it or not, you already know a lot about birth. Since you were a child, you would have come into contact with birth stories and perhaps been influenced by the media. You most likely have been exposed to birth scenes in movies, documentaries or the internet. Maybe you have read books or magazines or heard stories from other people. In a way, it’s hard to escape the bombardment of information.
My childhood birth memories
I grew up on a farm and had the privilege to witness my horses give birth. They seemed to know exactly what to do and were able to birth their foals with ease. At the time, I didn’t make the connection that horses are mammals just like us. It wasn’t until much later that I realised that as mammals we have similar needs when it comes to giving birth. Birth flows better when we have a safe space that is warm and dark and undisturbed.
When it came to hearing stories about human birth, things seemed to happen ‘behind closed doors’. My mother went to the hospital to give birth and I didn’t know much about the process.
First childbirth teacher
Do you remember the first time you heard about or saw birth? What is your earliest memory? Do you know the story of how you were born? How has this effected the way you think about birth?
Birth in the Media
The media tends to dramatise birth and presents it as scary and perhaps even dangerous. It is often portrayed as a medical emergency with a woman lying on her back screaming. Natural birth seems to be under-represented because drama sells and is more ‘entertaining’.
Birth in social media
With the rise of social media, people now have the opportunity to see real-life birth photography and videos. In 2018, Instagram finally changed its policy to allow uncensored birth photography to be shared. This was a movement led by Katie Vigos who runs @empoweredbirthproject.
I feel this new wave of imagery provides a welcome balance. My instagram account (@DoulaWisdom) has over 40 000 followers. This shows that people have a real desire to learn about and appreciate birth in all its glory. You can see all types of births from vaginal births to cesareans to water births. This means holistic birth education is now more accessible than ever.
Explore your beliefs
I strongly encourage you to take some time to look at your beliefs so that you can decipher which ideas are helpful and which beliefs could do with some revision. I imagine you’ve formed some ideas around what you would like for your birth.
Taking time to explore your memories about birth will help you uncover any limiting beliefs you may have. Our beliefs shape our thoughts and feelings about birth and will effect what choices we make. I think it’s a really great idea to visualise how you’d like to birth and to work towards making this a reality.
You may even like to go searching on social media like Instagram or Facebook to find stories or images that resonate with what you’re wanting. It can be very inspiring.