For us to improve and change, for the better, the birth habits and ways of the birthing world generally, as it is currently, we have to change the picture of birth that young girls have in their heads.
If you think of pictures as references for young girls and women and you think of how birth is portrayed in the media – you think screaming, yelling, chaos, woman lying on her back, stirrups, doctors, hospitals, fear, pain, difficulty, pushing, panting, aggression and noise and probably lots more. And you’ve not seen this picture/reference only once! You will have seen this reference to how birth ‘looks’ multiple times in all forms of media from TV ads and series, to movies and reality TV.
Now how many times have you or a girl or young woman seen a birth that is natural? At home? Peace-full? A midwife & doula present? Supporting the mother to birth her baby? Serene? Powerful? Dimly lit? Loving? Welcoming? Utilising water as a form of pain relief? Rarely – if ever, I bet.
The negative portrayal of births in the public sphere creates subconscious levels of fear and powerlessness in the minds of girls and young women who see them. In fact, it just as easily imprints itself on the men of our communities too. Very often these portrayals are done with humour and comedy as the focus, further dulling the potential for the viewers to realise just how ‘wrong’ and unwelcoming for a baby those births actually are.
In addition to the media-styled pictures young women are exposed frequently to before they are faced with birthing their own babies, girls and young women will have been exposed to the ‘pictures’ of birth as described by their mothers, sisters, grandmothers and girlfriends of the world – birth stories that focus on the problems, pain, danger, powerlessness, struggle, separation and trauma that is the Negative Birth Story. This is because these women have had these negative experiences that robbed them of a truly honoured birth experience. They have to process and keep processing their birth stories. But in doing so, they pass on the Negative Birth Story and continue the cycle of poor birthing practices from generation to generation. I do not condone these mothers keeping their hurts and birth stories quiet or hidden. Quite the opposite in fact!!! But mindfulness & healing needs to be applied so as to re-create these negatives into the Positive Birthing Stories for the people who experienced them, AND as a reference for the women who will listen to these stories and be exposed to the Positive Birthing Story as guidelines, for their own bodies, births and birthing abilities in the future.
So if you have daughters, nieces, granddaughters etc, of any age, be mindful of how you share the story of birth with them. Actively seek out positive pictures so as to reinforce the powerful beauty that is the birthing body. Set in place, while the daughters of our world are still young, the valuable references they need for them to overcome the challenges that is the current birthing climate of this world. Below is a kiddies story that is wonderful at showing the natural and welcoming way of receiving babies, whilst also honouring the age old skills of the midwives. The story underlines the magic & power that is the WOMAN.
Another beneficial book, for younger readers – Beautiful Girl presents this simple but important message: that to be born a girl is a very special thing and carries with it magical gifts and powers that must be recognized and nurtured. Through these empowering words and illustrations, little girls will learn how their bodies are perfect just the way they are, the importance of treating themselves with gentle care, and how changes are just a part of growing up. Dr. Christiane Northrup believes that reading and discussing this book with your girls will help them to value the wonder and uniqueness of their bodies and have positive benefits that will last throughout their lives. http:// www.drnorthrup.com
For a more grown-up understanding of the power of imprinting and how it affects mothers and birthing, visit Elena Tonetti’s http://birthintobeing.com/ and read about Limbic Imprinting.
“Peace on Earth begins with Birth” – Elena Tonetti
Filed under: Babies