20 Feb Women are Magnificent & All Births are Sacred
By Deborah Sweeting-Talens
I have been giving great thought to what Women need most to prepare them for their Births as well as Motherhood. And what I have concluded, is that what they need most is to be listened to and really heard. They need to be heard by those who can listen as though they are a ‘Heart with Ears.’
Each woman is an individual and comes to their Birth with their own story, history and experience. So what they are going to need in Birth, is going to depend on what they bring to the table. There is many an unlocked box in a Woman’s soul; we must tread softly as if on Sacred Ground…for indeed it is just that. I think that a good Doula is one who can listen to their needs, lovingly present factual information about the great mysteries about their bodies and babies, how they work, and then support them in whatever choices they make to birth. We as Doula’s are not here to tell women what kind of Births they need to have, but rather find out what the woman both wants and needs, perhaps ask the right questions, and then provide factual information, and lovingly support the choices they make.
I do believe though that due to our age of technology, woman perhaps have lost touch with the sense of Wonder and Power that they mysteriously hold in their Bodies. I think that it is a wonderful thing to reintroduce women to what lies dormant within them. Sometimes this is like a precious treasure that has been lost and when found, gives a new awareness of ourselves and our innate Power. This world is full of wonder; Women’s bodies are full of wonder and power, and Birth and Motherhood is an experience that is full of mystery. We all need someone to hold hands with as we walk into this new unknown. Blessed is the Woman who has someone to walk through that door with her into the magical world of motherhood. I call Mothering ‘nutty magic’, because one minute you feel nutty and the next minute you feel the magic. It is all mixed up like a nice Snickers Bar.
I have long wanted to put together a book that covered all the Magnificent Women in the Bahamas. Yet in fact I truly believe that all birthing Women are Magnificent. I have borne witness to this, watching women birth for over 20 years, and there is one thing I know for sure–All Births Are Sacred and a very Holy Place, and Women are amazing!
“We have a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful, It is that Women are Strong.” -Laura Stavo Harm
What amazes me is that, We as Woman ourselves, do not know this. We have somehow lost this power, and this knowing. Even our Care Givers have come from such a place of fear (the fear of litigation and multiple other factors) that they are no longer coming from this “power and knowing” place in their care of the birthing women. However a woman is treated in her birth has a very powerful affect on how she perceives herself as a mother. Mothers need to be Mothered gently in Birth.
Women have always sat beside other women in birth. They used to call them granny midwives or Wise women. Today we call them Doulas. So What the heck is A Doula? She is a wise woman who knows about birth, who passes this knowledge on to the mother and sits by her side, supporting her as she births. Unfortunately in our society, Women are extremely uninformed about their bodies and their power to birth their babies. Did you know that even Whales and Dolphins doula each other?
I have had the privilege of being with women in the capacity as a Maternity Nurse for 10 years and as a Doula in the last 10-11years. I have seen long births, and short births and medium sized births…and all so very beautiful. I’ve watched woman sing thru their births, chant thru their births, rock thru their births, moan thru their births and cuss thru their births. And it has all been so very beautiful. Yet the births that I have attended that moved both heaven and earth for a few minutes were the ones in which women knew that their bodies could birth and surrendered to this power as it roared thru their bodies. We need to be reminded that we can trust our inner knowing and our inner power. I think that we have been so anesthetized by technology that we have forgotten our earthiness. Out of every 100 women only 10-15 will fall into the category of ‘high risk’ and need an intervention or a c/section (in fact the c/section rate can be as low as 5% with really skilled caregivers.) And for those women who need intervention (the 10%), how much more do they need a sacred place to be treated with gentleness, support and dignity.
All women deserve to be treated as divine beings during their process of birth and this is what a doula brings to the table. To remind you that you are amazing, and powerful and strong . To invite you to surrender to the movement of your birth. That you can do it . That you are doing it.
Women also have the right to birth the way they want and need to birth, whether that means having a birth with no intervention, birthing in a pool of warm water, to having their Epidural when they ask for it. The important thing is that Women are given all the information so that they can make informed choices on how they want to birth. They are given all the risks and benefits and then supported in their choices. We are not here to tell women what kind of births they should have. We are here to give women the information they need to make informed decisions and then to support them, so that they are in the driver’s seat of their birth experience. If women could really experience their Magnificent Powerful Selves, maybe more women would dare to surrender to the Power of their Bodies and go for the ride and come out on the other side, Blown Away by the Power of themselves, their bodies and the Miracle of Birth itself.