Recently, I attended my first birth in the capacity of Professional Labour Support aka Naturopathic Doula. It was certainly one of the most beautiful and profound experiences of my life and is very difficult to put into words. I thought perhaps sharing what I learned from it would be most helpful and insightful:
What I learned from attending my first birth:
- Being calm while supporting a labouring woman takes a lot of inner strength. It will trigger your own fears and insecurities and calls on all your resources to be there for her.
- Being present at the moment new life is entering our world is remarkable and surreal. I wish everyone could experience it at least once.
- Bearing witness to and helping during birthing a great honour and privilege that I’m so grateful to have had.
- The human body is incredible. Despite all the textbook, classroom and clinical learning, seeing the extraordinary transformation that occurs in the bodies of Mom and baby is awe-inspiring. It makes me see anatomy and physiology in a whole new light.
- Birthing is a timeless experience. Women for thousands of years have laboured and birthed babies. It connects us through the ages to our ancestors and bonds us together in our collective femininity.
- During the intense moments of birthing, surrender is essential. Surrender to uncertainty, the process and the circumstances allows nature to take its course.
- Being present is doing something. Action is not always required, but presence and empathy are. Holding this therapeutic space in a labour setting is positively impactful for the labouring woman.
- Midwives are truly amazing. I thought they were super awesome before, but now, they are off the charts for me. I couldn’t do their job and I highly respect them for the work they do.
- Attending a birth is life-altering. It changes your perspective about yourself, the world and makes you question what’s important in life.
- A woman giving birth, no matter her choices and no matter what course the birth takes, is a hero of the highest distinction.
- Having support and advocacy during possibly the most vulnerable moments in your life can be the difference between a positive and a negative birth experience.
- I would like to do this again. Despite all the energy, emotion, lost sleep, and intensity, this is something I can see myself doing for a long time.