We are the keepers of our children’s BIRTH STORIES.
The way a woman remembers her pregnancy and birth matters. It matters to her, her future family and her community. It also matters for her baby and she will in turn prepare herself for pregnancy and birth when her time comes. Evidence shows that when we've experienced a fearful birth we become adults who fear giving birth and so the cycle continues.
Our BIRTH STORIES impact our perception of ourselves and how we engage with life. How we choose to communicate the way we gave birth educates the next generation, our future babies. Remembering our birth stories empowers us to break fearful patterns and to create new paradigms, new timelines for future generations.
But Alyson Grauer explains that “We just don’t talk about it.”
She writes, “Women at the turn of the 19th century learned about birth and death from their mothers, their grandmothers, and otherwise women in their families and communities. Midwives attended births at home, and children grew up understanding a great deal more about life and death than most children today.
But women, unlike their grandmothers and great grandmothers, now fear the process of childbirth. Why is that? At least, in part, it is because women rarely learn firsthand about childbirth. Women and men learn about birth from television, books, and Internet sites that describe pain and problems and ultimately increase fear.”
Journal of Perinatal Education 2012 Spring; 21(2): 123–126 Giving Birth: “We Just Don’t Talk About It”Judith A. Lothian, PhD, RN, LCCE, FACCE and Alyson Grauer, BA
One of the fundamental skills as a pregnancy and birth doula is to listen. In fact my intention is always to ‘listen like water’. Water offers full body listening. The deeper I listen, the more I see women who feel safe to share the details of their birth stories. The little nuances, the big and small moments, the scary ones that transform into exhilarating ones before our very ears when our BIRTH STORIES are given time and space to be heard.
Our BIRTH STORIES are our birthright.
The story of how and where we were conceived, the stories of how our parents felt when they first found out our gender, the stories of how the final stage of our birth took place and what happened next are the most precious stories we will ever get to hear about ourselves.
Our BIRTH STORIES are a treasure chest of jewels of awareness and pearls of wisdom which resonate with our truest essence and sense of authentic identity. How a baby remembers her birth story is not always how a parent or a grandparent may remember the same part of the story, which is why they are called stories rather than facts.
Memory is a fascinating field of study especially since science also now agrees that babies remember their experiences before birth. Perhaps not with their cognitive skills but certainly with their physical and emotional capacities to record impressions and multisensory imprints of information that get interpreted by our complex systems.
As I prepare parents for pregnancy and birth from their baby’s point of view, I stress the importance of keeping a baby book or a pregnancy and birth journal because:
· It creates a continuum of experience for their baby
· It helps transform the negatives into positives sooner rather than later
· It contains details and nuances which help a baby understand themselves
· It encourages parents to listen and observe their babies
· It creates the foundations for bonding
· It makes for the best bedtime stories and real life heroes
· It creates ripples into the future
One of my most precious belongings is my own birth journal. It contains the little pink hospital bracelet with my name and time I was born, the first pictures of myself my first cat and even a small snippet of hair. What I love about it most is that it made me feel that my parents cared and wanted me enough to take the time to complete this little book about Sophie’s beginnings.
If you have an untold BIRTH STORY you would like to share individually or in a group please reach out. The healing benefits and sence of belonging which arise from the experience are precious.