New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Sunday, March 9, 2008


When I have told people that I give birth without an epidural, I often hear the comment ,"Wow, you must be strong", or "oh, I'm not that strong", and this has lead me to contemplate what strength really is. When I think of strong people, I think of people who have had to make difficult decisions. People who choose to go a certain direction, or act a certain way in the face of great hardships to achieve a greater outcome.

In truth, I don't feel like I am much stronger than any other women giving birth. Pregnancy, giving birth, and motherhood all are difficult decisions that require great physical and mental sacrifice. Yet I think most mothers would agree, that these sacrifices are worth it. The decision to become a mother, requires great strength. For me experiencing labor has sent me on a journey of self discovery and truth that I have come to value. So much so that, yes, I choose to experience that pain. But through that pain I have gained understanding. So my strength does not necessarily come from being able to withstand pain, but valuing the experience and understanding what I gain from that. Our strength as mothers could be the same.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.