Our baby shower: today we have baby showers, but I would love to see something more than just the passing out of gifts and little games played. This should be a time to honor and help lift up the mom to be, and I think it should be done with each child. Women invited would share positive birth stores. Stories from the new mothers ancestry could also be told. These stories should include stories of strength and courage, not just in birth, but throughout life. Friends and family could then also share examples of how the new mother herself has shown courage and strength. A quilt could be tied that has scrap pieces of cloth that each woman present brings. This quilt can then be brought with the new mom to the hospital (or where ever she is giving birth) and used as a reminder that, while not everyone is there, there are many women who love and support her.
At the beginning of labor, or when ever those darn braxtin hicks contractions start coming, a new mom will pull out a piece of paper and write a note to her unborn child about her love and joy she has for this child. This can be a continued project until labor gets so intense that she can no longer concentrate, or (if she has an epidural) she is ten centimeters dilated and is ready to push.
The father can help the new mom prepare by learning how to focus on her needs without her having to tell him. This may get a chuckle:), but that is exactly what they are going to need to do during labor. Both can use the few months before labor to spend extra time with each other and focusing on the fact that, together, they are going to bring a child into this world. Go on extra dates. Talk about future plans, expectations, desires for this child.
After birth, I really feel that the new mother should have at least a few days completely alone with her new baby once she is at home.
I need to come up with some ways that hospital staff can help support and strengthen tradition in birth. Maybe I'll post on that later. But for now, I think it would be neat if we could find some way to bring back birthing traditions...not just because it's neat, but as a way to strengthen and encourage the new mom in the great work that she is about to do as a mother. I would love to hear anyone else's ideas on this if you would care to post:)