After working in the hospital as a labor and delivery nurse for many years,
I began assisting at homebirths. My experience with homebirth enabled me to see the intuitive wisdom of a woman in labor. I learned to shift from the attitude of managing labor to one of supporting labor.
The difference came in observing carefully (without intervening), listening and offering encouragement. Sometimes I made suggestions, offered massage, or nourishment. I learned that many women had an inner sense of what they needed to do.
I learned to read signals given by contraction patterns and pain. A midwife, a nurse or a doula can enhance a woman’s ability to work with her labor. Then the work of labor takes on an intense but amazing rhythm. I tried to capture this in my poem, Morning Light.