New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Empowerment-what it means and why it's important

I've been thinking a lot about this topic as I have witnessed several different births. This is usually a term that women in the birthing circle use to describe how they feel after a natural birth, but it goes beyond this. To be empowered involves being able to access information and then make decisions based on that for yourself. But the real clincher to this concept, is that a women comes away from an experience, having confidence in herself, whether or not she chooses to give birth naturally.

Often this is expressed as having confidence in her bodies abilities to birth, but again, I think it goes beyond this. Going through the process of birth is much more than just believing that your body works. It is reaching out, struggling, overcoming, leaning on others, working through something hard, and coming out on the other side a stronger person than you were.

Imagine how important that is for a new mom to work through something like this as she begins her life as a mother. How many times do we as mothers, face seemingly impossible tasks? How many times do we face the pain and struggle of defeat? How many times are our pillows soaked with tears? And yet, we learn something in this birthing process that prepares us for this. We learn to find, explore, and stretch ourselves beyond what we thought possible. And at the end, we learn the sweet joy that a new life can bring. What better way to prepare us for motherhood?

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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.