Art and Science

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Birth might just be the greatest example of the combined animal and spiritual characteristics of human beings.  We are placed into a totally unique and unfamiliar situation where pain is the norm (sorry ladies, its true) and tasked with bringing a new person onto the planet. It is an experience that will open your mind to how powerful your body is and open your heart to the miracle of your child.

Science and the gift of evolution

Evolution has granted us the perfect balance between a life with a big brain on two legs and bringing a baby into the world safely. Odds are your hips are perfect, the baby will find its position and daddy will fall in love at first sight. It’s what we were designed to do.

Birth can be scary. Good thing is: you aren’t the first woman to labour, the first hubbie to help and neither of you will be the last. With nearly seven billion people on the planet, humans have quite a bit of experience when it comes to reproduction.

Since birth was taken from the home and into the hospital, we have lost a great deal of our confidence and experience as reproductive creatures. Think. 200 years ago, you would have seen dozens of women breastfeeding, attended the birth of your siblings and your siblings children and watched children grow from infants to adults. Now, sometimes our baby is the first infant we hold, the first we see suckle and the first birth we experience.

Not to say we shouldn’t be thankful of modern medicine, but we give a lot of credit where it may not be due. Check out the Science on Doulas page with the link to Ina May Gaskin’s website. Not only does Ina May have a jaw-droppingly low rate of Ceseareans, but the mother and child mortality rate for her practice is well below the average for the U.S.

Art and the power of your mind

“In nature, when a laboring animal feels threatened or disturbed, the stress hormone catecholamine shuts down labor. Similarly, when a laboring woman does not feel safe or protected or when the progress of her normal labor is altered, catecholamine levels rise and labor slows down or stops.” ~from Judith A. Lothian’s peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Perinatal Education

Much may stand in the way of you and the birth you want. What is your greatest labour fear? Do you have a doctor or midwife who you trust to examine you at your most vulnerable? Are you emotionally ready to be a mother? Heck, have you painted the nursery yet?

Depending on your personality, emotional upheaval or simple logistics could bring added stress to your birth process. The good news: just like painting the nursery, you can get down to it and process whatever emotional barrier needs digesting. Look to my blog entries on “art” for techniques and exercises to relieve your burden.

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