August 2, 2010

Creating Your Birth Circle.

Select Loving & Trusting Support for Pregnancy & Birth.

A Birth Circle are those people whom you invite to physically be by your side as you birth your baby. Fortunately, in our society today, we can invite as many or as few people as we feel comfortable. Our choice in care providers as well as birth location will have an impact upon how many people we can invite as well as who can or cannot attend.

First and foremost, our birth circle must consist of people whom we love and who love us. A love vibration at birth allows Mama to open her heart, her key point of connection between Divine and Earth. Receiving deep, tender feelings of affection from those around her, Mama can birth her baby in love, the best conditions for a healthy uncomplicated birth. Love allows her body to produce the hormones that bring her divine creation to the earth. The people we choose to assist us in the divine act of birthing must also clearly display absolute trust in the natural birth process and in Mama’s innate ability to birth her baby. During labor and birth, Mama’s senses are keenly attuned to the energy of those around her and she needs to feel complete confidence from her birth circle in order to allow her body to open to birth.

The key players involved are Mama, Partner, Midwife or Doctor, and Birth Doula. This article also addresses the role of family and friends.

Create a Birth Circle based on love and trust beginning with Mama and Partner. How can Mama and Partner invite love and trust into their birth setting? The answer to this varies between couples and is quite personal. It involves taking a close authentic look at yourself as an individual as well as your experience as a couple. Individually, we become aware of our fears and beliefs surrounding birth. We notice our thoughts and reactions to all things birth. As a couple, communication and understanding are key. Once you understand your own fears and beliefs, they can be shared, and together a plan can be made to work through issues that need resolution. Specifically, couples can attend an independent childbirth class to create trust in the natural birth design and grow and learn together as a couple. Look for a class that focuses on understanding the natural birth design and how to work with your body in labor to benefit from the natural changes that occur.

Second, choose a Midwife or a Doctor to join your birth circle. Midwives are medically trained in the natural birth process and generally understand and have seen and trust natural birth. Obstetricians are surgeons ready to utilize tools to intervene in the natural process and manage labor. Ask your potential Doctor or Midwife questions to get a good understanding of their viewpoints. Notice if their responses are based in fear or love. Does the person your are interviewing consistently bring up potential disaster situations or do they seem to trust in the natural process and a woman’s body? Do you feel listened to and respected? Trust the vibe you receive as you meet with this person. When you hear a lovely birth story, ask your friend for the name of the doctor or midwife. Childbirth educators and doulas may also have suggestions. Your choice of primary care providers usually has the greatest impact upon the outcome of the birth. If at any point in pregnancy you feel uncomfortable with this primary care provider, you have the legal right to find another person who better fits your needs.

Next, consider a Professional Birth Doula. A Professional Birth Doula is a person trained to offer emotional and physical support during the labor and birth to the birthing couple. Yes, partners are giving birth too! She is an advocate for Mama and partner and is there to listen to their needs, offer personalized support and encouragement depending upon the needs and desires of Mama and partner. A birth doula does not tend to other clients at the same time and offers continuous support during the entire birth. Research has shown that having a birth doula substantially reduces the risk of unnecessary medical interventions and increases a couple’s satisfaction with their entire birth experience! Meet with several Professional Birth Doulas before deciding which one to hire and as with your Midwife or Doctor, find one who best fits your needs and vision for your birth.

Finally, determine if you would like to invite family and/or friends to witness the birth of your baby. Often times, hospitals limit the number of people into the birthing room. As this varies with every hospital and birth center, determine what the local rules are. In the case of a homebirth, you can determine how many people and whom to invite. Be clear with yourself and your extra support people what their roles are to be. Are you looking for additional emotional support? Would you like this person/people to cook, clean, or take care of other children in your home? Would you like to make this a family event and include other children that you have? There are pros and cons to having extra support people and only you can decide what is right for you. Do what feels right to you but above all, invite only family and friends who have a deep respect for birth and for you, and can offer love to you and trust in the natural birthing process.

On a personal note, I decided to include my almost-two-year-old daughter in our birth circle. Having a homebirth made this easy. Her father and I prepared her and educated her as to what would happen. We set up our birthing pool early so that she could play in it and consequently dialogue about her sisters birth flowed naturally. During the quick labor and birth, she mimicked me in labor and was right there when her sister was received on Earth. I feel so happy that she was able to witness the birth and see how a woman’s body births. My girls have a very close bond and I feel that my daughter’s presence at the birth has helped to create this close and loving bond. But, as always, find what feels right for you and your family.

Creating a birth circle based on love and trust is a process that requires your energy, but is well worth the effort. Enjoy meeting and interviewing birth professionals. Take this opportunity to learn as much as you can from each one that you meet. Ask them questions about birthing, discuss your concerns, and listen to what they say to you. Write down their responses so you can look back at them. Make your decisions based on with whom you have a good connection and mutual respect, and who can offer you love and trust during pregnancy and birthing. Your family deserves it! Make it beautiful.

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