It’s been 13 Moons since I last gave birth and had a TRUE undisturbed birthing experience. The one previous came close, but as I have learned so much more since then, and when I reflect I can see much clearer now, that it had its moments, of disruption which took me out of my power and inner guidance.
I am on the other side of that first year after birth! It istruly amazing to watch a human grow.
I almost can’t believe that at this time last year I was preparing and still anticipating this journey into the unknown!
This first year cycle is so jam packed of adjustment, growth, transformation, challenge and sometimes struggle. What eases my struggle is the strength I can draw from that I touched on as I gave birth.
It feels so very true to me that birth is a woman’s most profound initiation into spirituality, but even more so, I see, it is a profound initiation back to YOUR-SELF.
Spiritual – we already really are – we might just be asleep to it and lost touch. The path back to our spiritual nature is the path back to our whole- selves. That means to heal what stands between us and our intuition and inner guidance is all we really need to DO. It may be self doubt, poor self esteem, insecurity, or what have you. All we really have to do, is take away what we are not. What we ARE has always been there. Our essential self. Our true essence.
Big steps are accomplished in this first season and cycle of Motherhood, whether it’s your first, your fourth (as in my case) or your 8th! Every pregnancy, birth and child so unique in the teachings they bring to us. Each one building on the last, always pushing us forward into a new territory of discovery or even finishing the business of the last. Each one pulling us inward so we may closely listen to the intuitive guidance this child to be has to share with us.
For me it’s only natural to become very reflective when my children’s birthdays come close. I reflect on the lesson’s and gifts they have brought in to my life. This will be a lifelong event as I continually keep shedding, all the things I truly am not.
Rowan’s pregnancy and birth was a very special journey for me. I was completely solo in my care this time, by CHOICE, deeply listening to my body and guidance and this is what I want to share with YOU.
How the initiation of motherhood, and the vision quest of birth are YOUR’S to own – not to FEAR. They are your gifts to shifting your own paradigm in growth and healing. To live an empowered life! This is the foundation of your mothering career. A most honourable and important job. This is the stuff that carries –generations! It is sacred and we must reclaim this power while also showing the deepest respect.
This is a great opportunity however, to acknowledge the fear’s you carry and work through them. Most of them are probably not even your own fears but fear’s we have adopted through our conditioning. But we have to want to learn and grow and do the work, not just the physical self care, but the whole package. Actually, when the emotional stuff gets taken care of the physical nourishment takes care of itself.
You can ‘own’ your birth experience, without having a ‘free-birth’ or unassisted birth. That is not the point and that path is not for every woman. Even if we were to look back in history, there are many birthing traditions, some are solo and very much like our mammalian sisters, and some are supported by a community of wise women or the father’s themselves.
The point is to understand what undisturbed looks like and should be, even when attended by caregivers. It is SO important for our caregivers to really ‘get’ what this means, for them. We can’t have birth workers in our attendance who attempt to ‘control’ our birthing process or bring their own unresolved fears into our birth space. We need to call back the midwives who sit around knitting while the mother’s have the space to allow the birth! The midwife can then also tune in and trust her vision and intuitive guidance, as she knits. The shamanic midwife – who sculpts the energies of birth without having to say a word.
This choice of mine was not born of ignorance, but born out of a deep desire to reclaim myself and my inner freedom. To claim responsibility for my life and the life me and my partner created (also all on our own, heh heh).
I believe with ALL my heart – that true freedom – comes from taking full responsibility in our lives, without any blame on anyone or anything outside of ourselves. Only then can we feel truly free as we acknowledge everything as a teaching and a lesson for our own growth and spiritual advancement.
I wanted to rise above my own cultural fear’s and bust through all the misguided attempts in place, to keep me/us in ‘fear’ of all things rooted in Nature. It was a deep longing and strong desire to give birth the way of my foremother’s, ancient, primal and eon’s ago. To be bonded to my child and continue that connection we shared while in the womb without it being broken first. To be the first one to touch this new being.
To ensure the first imprint on him was the loving touch of his mother or father and to be born in an environment that supported that love for him. I love that he was born in the same space he was conceived.
Most of all, I felt a strong sense of its ‘rightness’ from the moment I intuited I may be with child. This was my baby, guiding ME, right from the beginning. This path was right for US.
YES. Of course I can already hear the voices of conditioning echoing responses like
“Well, more women and babies have died in childbirth before we had modern medicine”.
Which is partly very true. Death cannot always be avoided, but you know…that can even happen, and does, even within the medical model of birth attended by professionals. And their heroic medicines.
Death is something SO feared yet it is something we must come to terms with, (prior to birth) because Life and death, dance together. Even if a physical death does not happen a symbolic ONE does! As we give birth to a new being, an old part of ourselves dies. Even for the baby, its life is intermingled with a death – as she journeys from one world into another.
Being in a hospital with modern medicine does not necessarily make birth safer, nor being attended by a trained professional or midwife.
What makes birth safe…the way nature intended, is the pure understanding of the physiological needs and functions of the body! To allow the body-wisdom to come forth.
The body is full of wisdom and has a fool proof blueprint >>what it needs – is for that blueprint to be nurtured and be kept undisturbed!
Choosing to birth the way YOU feel is best for you…in your own level of comfort, is not only every woman’s personal choice but a birth right. Where you give birth and who attends your most vulnerable and powerful passage of life, should be up to YOU. But we make those choices based on our society’s and culture’s world view of how those particular moments should unfold and where our choices are very skewed. What you have to choose from is only a small portion of ALL choices available.
What we are given, are half truths, without the clarity and guidance to understand fully.
Undisturbed – physiological birth is safe! It is what nature intended for the survival of the human species! For the survival of both mother and baby the design is meant for them to stay close and be together. Survival is programmed into our nature.
I am not denying that there are circumstances where a mother is in need of medical care – usually because there was already an existing health problem prior to conception & this is when it does become a medicalised pregnancy and birth. The occurrence of a true complication arising is about 5% of all births however, our current C-section rates even in Canada are in the 30% – much TOO high! (maybe a future post I will look at “TRUE” complications of birth, and they are only a few – there are far too many ‘scapegoats of birth’).
Nature took care of it all, and even packed a powerful medicine along, for after the birth. The PLACENTA. So in case there is excessive bleeding you can eat a chunk which is loaded with oxytocin to quickly halt the bleeding. Perfect! So, now lets get back to utilizing this precious organ instead of chucking it to the wayside. OK. Because it is also a very powerful post partum medicine, especially designed for YOU the mama and the baby. For fast healing, extra stamina and a hormonal boost.
Now, when I have a closer look at the circumstances and situations, where women are unattended by professionals or outside of a hospital setting and the outcomes are poor I have noticed the following:
- Cultural beliefs and fear’s regarding childbirth
- poor hygiene
- access to clean water for drinking and cleaning
- controlled 3rd stage of labor (cord cutting and placenta management aka. Pulling on the cord!)
- separating the mother and child – which is still a ritualistic practice in many places
In the book “Unassisted Childbirth” by Laura Shanley she touched on the fact that birth mortality rates in statistics, include the 1st year of birth, and although many infants survived birth itself, it was the first year of life they didn’t, however, that gets recorded as a ‘birth mortality rate’.
Also, keep in mind back in the day when they squeezed women into corsets for instance and the women’s pelvic outlets were deformed. Maybe a true case or rickets due to a lack of vitamin D. Ever notice how pale the elite were? Ha ha. The royal and elite had more birth complications than the peasants believe it or not.
Let us not forget that in 3rd world countries and even in developed countries, there are many other dynamics that weave into play. Poverty in any situation causes plenty of stress and stress affects our biology very negatively. We become tense and tight. Poor nutrition is now linked to many birth complications and good whole food nutrition is proving to be a very simple and effective preventative for birth complications. This day in age, too many people don’t know how to cook or prepare a meal with whole foods! Enough said.
Hygiene is a simple way to prevent very preventable ‘after birth’ infections, by keeping unclean hands out of women OR just in general is a good start. Did you know checking cervical dialation is a very poor tool in knowing how long the birth process will be?
There are also still cultural beliefs that favor one gender over another causing much fear and uncertainty as well as the domination and patriarchal attitudes that keep women in fear in many countries.
Fear of the unknown seems to be the biggest player in creating birthing complications. (or just life in general). Fear creates tension and tension creates pain….pain causes more fear….Yes. It is a vicious cycle…etc. Seems simple and easy to dismiss, but the stress that fear causes impedes the exact physiological safety that birth can be.
“The adrenaline released while in fear or stress has been referred to as the antithesis of oxytocin, the naturally produced hormone that stimulates uterine contractions. Another category of hormones called catecholamines (which include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) is indicated by other studies as one of the causative factors in fetal distress and problematic labor. Catecholamines circulate when the pregnant mother is anxious or afraid, and they pass through the placenta to the baby, affecting his environment.”
Often our deepest fears manifest in our dream time (or day dreams), and many of us have very vivid dreams during our pregnancy. This is a gift!
Be grateful when that happens as your dreams help you discover what is deeply embedded in your unconscious and give you a chance to face it and become aware of. Babies can and will accrue memories while in the womb and will feel and embrace the mother and father’s emotions. If fear and low self-esteem are what you feel most of the time, so will your child.
There are many ways our babies intuitively guide us to face our fears and even old wounds. This is often why our bodies attempt different ways to SLOW us down, so we pay attention, and get the most out of this powerful experience called PREGANCY.
It is such an amazing time for healing and transformation. Enjoy this gift it is for such a short time. Enjoy daydreaming of a blissful and ecstatic birth. That is also your spirit and your babies spirit guiding you and creating a powerful field of birth, your secret super power bubble!
Excerpt from: Painless Childbirth: An Empowering Journey Through Pregnancy and Birth “We need to always remember that mothers who are afraid tend to secrete the hormones that delay or inhibit birth. This is true of all mammals and is part of nature’s design. Those who are not terrified are more likely to secrete in abundance the hormones that make labor and birth easier and less painful-sometimes even pleasurable.” Ina May Gaskin, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
In order to understand the nature of birth we have to really ‘tune in’ >>into our bodies wisdom, and understand the functions of the hormonal birth dance that has a very precise orchestration and how that affects our minds and brain.
The birth dance wants to take a mother into a trance – quite literally! It is the Shaman’s dance, the landscape of another world and each contraction is the drum beat of the universe bringing your baby closer to YOU.
We cannot ‘think’ our babies out – it is not a rational nor logical process. It is primal and intuitive and very much something to surrender too. And very much something our ‘civilized’ world has become more and more disconnected from.
Whenever the mother is disturbed, by checking her or talking to her even, you are taking her out of the primitive brain- limbic (mammalian) brain and bringing her consciousness back into the neo-cortex and rational brain – the beta beats.
Birth is very much a theta wave – dance….
Theta (4-7.5Hz) – The Light Meditation And Sleeping Wave
Theta brain waves are present during deep meditation and light sleep, including the all-important REM dream state. It is the realm of your sub-consciousness and only experienced momentarily as you drift off to sleep from Alpha and wake from deep sleep (from Delta).
It is said that a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe can be experienced at Theta. Your mind’s most deep-seated programs are at Theta and it is where you experience vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity and exceptional insight. Unlike your other brain waves, the elusive voice of Theta is a silent voice.
It is at the Alpha-Theta border, from 7Hz to 8Hz, where the optimal range for visualization, mind programming and using the creative power of your mind begins. It’s the mental state which you consciously create your reality. At this frequency, you are conscious of your surroundings however your body is in deep relaxation.
This is the realm of birth and the limbic system. The limbic system is also being imprinted in your child through birth and sets our babies up to receive and feel deep love. Oxytocin is the primary hormone in charge but not the only hormone. Prolactin and even adrenaline have their place.
Oxytocin is the ‘love’ hormone needed to initiate and maintain labour. Nicknamed the ‘shy’ hormone, it requires a dark, quiet, familiar and non-threatening environment in order to flow (the antithesis of noisy, brightly lit maternity wards with unknown faces coming and going). Its enemy is adrenalin – ‘fear, fight and flight.’ (meditation is a great tool to learn to bridge you to that ‘quiet and intuitive’ space – what i call the womb moon lodge 🙂 ).
Michael Odent is a French obstetrician and childbirth specialist who’s research reveals that our health is to a great extent shaped during the primal period.
We have now compiled hundreds of studies detecting correlations between states of health in adulthood, adolescence or childhood and situations when the mother was pregnant. There is also an accumulation of data suggesting that the way we are born has long-term consequences, particularly in the fields of sociability, aggressiveness, or, otherwise speaking, capacity to love. His work extensively researches prenatal stress, physiological birth, and how our modern birth practices of inducing labor, meddling with labor, and controlling labor are causing more harm than good and spiking surgical birth! An article I read recently stated that “women are loosing the capacity to give birth”…that is alarming and can take only 3 generations of meddling in birth to become encoded within our DNA. That is scary! please, check out his work. There are not many doctors I admire, but he is one of them as well as the next doctor I admire for her work.
Sarah Buckley states:
However, our women’s bodies have their own wisdom, and our innate system of birth, refined over one hundred thousand generations, is not so easily overpowered. This system, which I am calling undisturbed birth1, has the evolutionary stamp of approval not only because it is safe and efficient for the vast majority of mothers and babies, but also because it incorporates our hormonal blueprint for ecstasy in birth. When birth is undisturbed, our birthing hormones can take us into ecstasy – outside (ec) our usual state (stasis) – so that we enter motherhood awakened and transformed. This is not just a good feeling; the post-birth hormones that suffuse the brains of a new mother and her baby also catalyse profound neurological changes. These changes give the new mother personal empowerment, physical strength, and an intuitive sense of her baby’s needs, and they prepare both partners for the pleasurable mutual dependency that will ensure a mother’s care and protection and her baby’s survival.
Undisturbed birth represents the smoothest hormonal orchestration of the birth process, and therefore the easiest transition possible; physiologically, hormonally, psychologically, and emotionally, from pregnancy and birth to new motherhood and lactation, for each woman. When a mother’s hormonal orchestration is undisturbed, her baby’s safety is also enhanced, not only during labour and birth, but also in the critical postnatal transition from womb to world. Furthermore, the optimal expression of a woman’s motherhood hormones, including the fierce protectiveness of her young, will ensure that her growing child is protected and well nurtured, adding another layer of evolutionary fitness to the process of undisturbed birth.
The hormones of birth
There are many hormones involved in mammalian birth, and our understanding of their complex orchestration is limited. This article focuses on the hormones oxytocin; beta-endorphin; the catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenaline); and prolactin. As the hormones of love, pleasure and transcendence, excitement, and tender mothering, respectively, these form the major components of an ecstatic cocktail of hormones that nature prescribes to aid birthing mothers of all mammalian species. An optimal hormonal orchestration provides ease, pleasure, and safety during this time for mother and baby. Conversely, interference with this process will disrupt this delicate hormonal orchestration, making birth more difficult and painful, and potentially less safe. All of these hormones are produced primarily in the middle or mammalian brain, also called the limbic system or emotional brain. For birth to proceed optimally, this more primitive part of the brain needs to take precedence over our neocortex – our ‘new’ or higher brain – which is the seat of our rational mind. This shift in consciousness, which some have called ‘going to another planet’, is aided by (and also aids) the release of birthing hormones such as beta-endorphin, and is inhibited by circumstances that increase alertness, such as bright lighting, conversation, and expectations of rationality.
Mother Nature’s pragmatic and efficient principles dictate that these hormones should also help the baby at birth, and this is being increasingly confirmed by scientific research. This hormonal interdependence contradicts the common medical response to natural birth as the mother’s prizing of her own experience over her baby’s safety, and underlines the mutual dependency of mother and baby, even as they begin their physical separation.
Oxytocin has been called the hormone of love because of its connection with sexual activity, orgasm, birth, and breastfeeding. In addition, oxytocin is produced in social situations such as sharing a meal, making it a hormone of altruism or, as Michel Odent regularly suggests, of ‘forgetting oneself ‘.
Oxytocin is also the most powerful uterotonic (contraction-causing) hormone, and its release is associated with the contractions of labour and birth in all mammalian species. Oxytocin is made in the hypothalamus, deep in the middle brain, and is released in pulses from the posterior pituitary into the bloodstream every three to five minutes during early labour, becoming more frequent as labour progresses.
To read more please visit here : she also has a great book “gentle birth gentle mothering” http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol23No4/undisturbedBirth.htm
As far as I have connected the dots, this disturbed model of birth really just perpetuates our deep feeling of disconnection. It creates a loop Joseph Chilton Pearce speaks about that keeps us stuck in ‘reactions’ and limits our growth and intelligence. It creates a vast disconnect from our heart, our true seat of intelligence that sends information to the brain! Through the heart we are tuned into Spirit – the Universe – Creator or God Mind.
“By severing ourselves from our heart intelligence, we are left with our selfish, survival-oriented reptilian brains, which create and reinforce “strange loops” between potential and actual reality, leading to our modern world’s endless cycle of self-inflicted disasters and societal crises. Pearce explains that in order to break these cycles and transcend a life focused solely on surviving the results of our own reactive patterns, we must reconnect with the compassionate intelligence of the heart. “ >>:Joseph Pearce:<<
His quest has taken Joseph into some great work: to understand our ‘amazing capacities and self-inflicted limitations.’ We are the body and more. We are emotions and more. We are mind and more. He is a leading expert in ‘true’ child development, from in-utero to their formative years.
“All learning has an emotional base.” — Plato
It makes sense to me then how our ‘fear of birth’ culture really just perpetuates this cycle of disconnection. If we could understand how our thoughts and emotions affect not only OUR physiology would we clearly SEE and FEEL how they also shape our babies in our wombs, and sometimes how the energy of our babies, shapes us!
It is our emotional intelligence that is being crippled by stress and trauma. Being wired for stress disables us from being able to work through our emotions and use them intelligently. We live in a society of people who don’t know how to deal with their feelings and how they are powerful catalysts. This is what we are working towards by coming back to nurturing our foundation – our gestational time – birth experience – and early childhood. So we don’t have to search through the dark to find the light switch as growing adults! It is only through emotional freedom that we become truly free and in full creative flow. To be fully HUMAN.
We are at the helm of creating powerful birthing experiences, through working through our layers of fear and nurturing the vision we hold of our births. And this will be passed on to our children. It isn’t just cliché that ‘we can heal the Earth one birth at a time’ but has true substance.
A ‘good’ birth isn’t just luck, but that we create that field of birth, energetically, through our intentions and making that a conscious effort. We begin to sense that we are spiritual beings, and that life is part destiny and free will – a co-creative effort that still seeks our participation and that our mindfulness and awareness is the guide on this journey.
The environment our babies our born in, imprint their nervous system, as either stress-full or bliss-full experiences that shape the foundation of perception of how they(we) view our world. Is it a safe place? or not? And yet we wonder why ‘fear’ is so prevalent in our society and culture?
If we come from a sensitive place, we KNOW already, the effects of a highly, stressful environment. You are ripped from you mother, cut, and bundled. It is loud, bright and cold. For a new being, this is an intense experience, now add being taken away from the only person YOU know. You can’t smell her – you can’t feel her. Her safety and protective bubble is what keeps the baby feeling safe! Your senses are screaming for her and you feel lost in a strange world.
What we do to the mother we do to the baby. What we do to the baby has a profound long lasting effect.
I hope we realize these simple things more and more…they really ARE just simple.
Create a nurturing birth space (fit for a cat!) and keep the mother calm and birth happens.
Stop trying to control a natural process – or walk in dangerous terrain.
Allowing the natural cycles to unfold keeps birth safe – when we stop trying to manage 3rd stage of labor and allow the placenta to be born in its own time, we will see less complications! Stop cutting the umbilical cord! At least until the placenta delivers itself and even then, what is the rush?
It is meant that way to keep mum and baby together and resting! While temperature and heart beat’s synrconize and are stable.
Keep the birth space quiet! This is a precious bonding time. You’ll never get back. The birth pause is a biological blueprint of a natural sequence in an undisturbed birth. It is to take a breath and moment for the new mother to regain her center. There is no rushing. A moment between worlds for mother and baby. Karen Strange a midwife describes this sequence as follows:
Connection – mother and baby connected in pregnancy
Rupture – the moment of separation at birth
Rest – the moment of pause when the baby lies before its mother : the mother seeing and touching her baby for the very first time
Repair (or reconnection) – the trip the baby makes to the breast completing the sequence of birth
FULL CIRCLE! Undisturbed birth works.
“As a fetus grows in the womb, surrounded by amniotic fluid, it feels liquid warmth, the heartbeat, the inner surf of the mother, and floats in a wonderful hammock that rocks gently as she walks. Birth must be a rude shock after such serenity, and a mother re-creates the womb comfort in various ways (swaddling, cradling, pressing the baby against the left side of her body where her heart is). Right after birth, human (and monkey) mothers hold their babies very close to their bodies. In primitive cultures, a mother keeps her baby close day and night. A baby born to one of the Pygmies of Zaire is in physical contact with someone at least 50 percent of the time, and is constantly being stroked or played with by other members of the tribe. A Kung! mother carries her baby in a curass, a sling that holds it upright at her side so that it can nurse, play with her bead necklaces, or interact with others. Kung! infants are in touch with others about 90 percent of the time, whereas our culture believes in exiling babies to cribs, baby carriages, or travel seats, keeping them at arm’s length and out of the way.”
I can see how many little misteps we take when trying to BE in control. We take the baby and clean it and put a hat on it, instead of allowing this rest and reconnection to take place, which are life saving steps for both of them. The strong sweet smell of amniotic fluid prevents hemorrhage, with its powerful hormonal wild perfume – and so does leaving the placenta alone to do its job of pumping the baby full of blood before its ready to birth. Yet we still have the ritualistic practice of cord cutting before the placenta is born and then are surprised by retained placenta’s or a slow 3rd stage. The placenta is still full of the blood meant to go to the baby!
From an article by Michael Odent:
“Most cultures disturb the first contact between mother and baby during the hour following birth. The most universal and intriguing way is simply to promote a belief, such as the belief that colostrum is tainted or harmful to the baby, even a substance to be expressed and discarded. Such a belief necessitates that, immediately after birth, the baby must not be in her mother’s arms. This implies rituals such as the ritual of cutting the cord immediately. The first contact between mother and baby can be disturbed through many other rituals: bathing, rubbing, tight swaddling, foot binding, “smoking” the baby, piercing the ears of the little girls, opening the doors in cold countries, etc.
It would take volumes to present a comprehensive study of the characteristics of a great number of cultures in relation to how they challenge the maternal protective instinct during the sensitive period following birth. However a simple conclusion can be drawn from a rapid overview of the data we have at our disposal: The greater the social need for aggression and an ability to destroy life, the more intrusive the rituals and beliefs are in the period surrounding birth.
If disturbing the first contact between mother and baby and promulgating such excuses as the belief that colostrum is bad are so universal, it means that these behaviors have carried evolutionary advantages.
After taking into account and combining all the perspectives that indicate the importance of the hour following birth, and after referring to perinatal rituals and beliefs, we are in a position to claim that the cultural milieus are to a great extent shaped during the hour following birth. Now we can consider the hour following birth in the context of our modern societies.
There was a time, not so long ago, when we wouldn’t have considered the first hour following birth as the time when lactation is supposed to start. Imagine a baby born at home a century ago. The cord was cut right away. Then the baby was washed, dressed and shown to the mother before being put in a crib. An anecdote can help us realize how recent this perspective is. In 1977, in Rome, at the Congress of Psychosomatic, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, I presented a paper about the early expression of the rooting reflex. I was simply describing the ideal conditions that allow the baby to find the breast during the first hour following birth. None of the obstetricians and pediatricians present at that session could believe that a human baby would be able to find the breast during the hour following birth.
Today most midwives know that the human baby is naturally programmed to find the breast during the hour following birth. Moreover, one can understand that, in physiological conditions, when the newborn baby is ready to find the breast, the mother is still in a particular hormonal balance. She is still “on another planet.” She is still very instinctive. She knows how to hold her baby. Among humans, breastfeeding is potentially instinctive—during the hour following birth. After that there is room for education, imitation and even technique.“
My last birth really brought me Full circle with everything I had learned through all my other births. It is more than just acknowledging how we are physiologically designed for this but also spiritually. A big step is definatley about connecting to that instinctual self but more so I feel its making that connection to the intuitive self – the psychic self. Sometimes even our instincts can mislead us when they are based on survival and the ‘programmed reactionary self’ takes over. So, its really up to our intuition to guide us.
If we can excersise our intuitive muscles then our birth workers as well ourselves can stop guessing and meddling out of ‘fear’, because we can trust that inner guidance that will let us know how to respond accordingly, even when our fears are shouting at us. Sometimes extra help is needed, but more often than not, it is the interfereance that caused the complication in the first place. We have to KNOW ourselves and our bodies.
In my last 2 births I got to experience what is called the ‘birth reflex’ or ‘fetal ejection reflex’ which sounds a bit more…well…harsh. Ha. Although intense to say the least it is a reflex that is initiated by the primal brain and happens most commonly in an undisturbed birth, free of directed pushing or other attempts to ‘hurry’ the birth along. It is instinctual, because it happen without any physical effort. It made me realize that any other ‘pushing’ is really useless, wastes energy and is only something to keep the ego thinking its in control.
“I felt the bear in me.
She was such a powerful force, one I feared but deeply respected.
And here it goes….
The beautiful birthing reflex begins.
The bearing down was steady now. NO breaks.
I had to slow myself if anything.
I felt the ring of fire – it took ALL my attention.
It felt like nothing I had ever felt before. This expansive round ball was moving through. It felt like nothing I felt before…the stretching at first felt like it was lasting a century….
I tried to do nothing. Only to remain suspended in this timeless space.
Stretching – stretching – stretching
A gust of courage stirred up my energies packing the ooommphhfff I needed. (adrenalin hey!)
I became ravenously hungry and ‘demanded’ the granola bars I made, shoved a few bites in my face and swallowed!
Moments after I felt an insatiable urge to push….
But it wasn’t really pushing.
It was a force – as powerful as the movement of the Earth itself, moving through me. PRIMAL.
Down down down…..
It was steady and strong and continual.
I felt myself expanding, ever expanding & surrendered to this force.
The bear in me was bearing down – my animal nature – wild woman took over.
I asked Michael to get behind me.
The ring of fire was longer than I had ever experienced. It lasted centuries. I went to feel it and instead of a head it was the caul… as time stood still and I felt this giant balloon coming through.
As it popped out I felt my baby rotate and as his shoulders began to emerge the sac broke.
Michael said he saw the babies eyes open & that his arms crossed over his chest and with that the rest of him came swooshing out. He received his baby and then gently guided him underneath me.
I waited a moment before I brought my baby up and to my chest. A gentle birth pause.
My baby already pinked up at that point. The colour was great! As I happily called out ‘the baby is here’.
I hadn’t checked at that point to see if this was my girl or not. (nope, was a boy!)
Just taking in this glorious moment. I kissed my baby and exclaimed how happy I was for us to be here together.
((( from Rowan’s birth )))
This has been my experience and this is what I learned. I feel we have a responsibility to give our children the best foundation for them to build on, as possible. Of course, we do the best with what we are given and the tools we have at the time.
Thankfully there are is an ever growing resource of knowledge being built on the internet, through new books, teachers and writings and social media spreading the wisdom of undisturbed birth and instinctual mothering.
We can’t prevent that life throws us challenges, stresses and unforeseen circumstances, but if we have the emotional-intuitive capacity to make it through challenges that is all we need.
May we all collectively reclaim our spiritual natures and birth rites!
Happy First Birthday my beautiful SUN >>:<<
Here are the Top 10 Reasons you want to experience an Undisturbed Birth: )O(
- When birth is undisturbed, you have less chance of experiencing an emergency caesarean section.
- Your baby’s first experience outside the womb will be the loving touch of the mother’s or father’s hands as baby emerges from the birth canal.
- In an undisturbed birth, when the conditions are right and the mother feels completely safe, it is possible to experience Fetal Ejection Reflex. When this occurs the mother’s body purges the baby through the birth canal and the baby is born in a few short contractions. This can eliminate the standard one to two hours of pushing through second stage.
- An undisturbed birth can lead to a shorter labour which benefits both mother and baby.
- During an undisturbed, natural birth, the body will produce the highest possible level of hormones which assist with both pain relief and bonding.
- When all medical intervention is avoided, there is less chance of injury and trauma to both mother and baby.
- There is a higher chance that the mother will be able to tend to 100% of the baby’s needs immediately following an undisturbed birth, which assists with healthy bonding.
- When a baby is born in an undisturbed birth and when baby remains with the mother from the moment of birth, that baby will be able to crawl when he or she is ready (often within the first hour) from the mother’s stomach to the mother’s breast and instinctively self-attach for the first breastfeed. This breast crawl has been linked to higher breastfeeding success.
- When a baby is born in an undisturbed birth, the experience is usually sacred and spiritual, rather than medical and traumatic.
- When a baby is born in such a peaceful, gentle, loving way, the baby has an increased capacity for love and trust.