When I became pregnant I knew instantly I wanted to give birth to my baby at home. There was no question. I’ve never been keen on hospitals, or really the Western approach to much of anything for that matter, and I figured I’d be much more comfortable at home than under the glaring fluorescents of an unfamiliar hospital bed. It was probably expected of us to go “al naturale,” being a family of yoga teachers. We tend to use our yoga practice, food, herbs, and oils as our medicine rather than pills on pills on pills.
Everyone told me I was crazy. They looked at me as if I were dying or something. I realized just how skewed our society’s general view of birth had become, and it lit a fire in me to prove these people wrong. I didn’t relate to the fear. It simply didn’t make sense to me that normal birth had to be a terrifyingly painful experience for all women everywhere. That that’s just the way of the world, and if women didn’t want to be tortured for an ungodly amount of time during labor, then the only option was an epidural or an elected c-section.
I called bullshit. Why could every other mammal on the planet give birth unassisted, but humans needed a team of experts to intervene and a slew of numbing mechanisms to get babies out? Women have been told lies about their innate strength for far too long. They’ve forgotten their own wisdom, lost connection and trust with their bodies. Chances are, they’ve heard far more horror stories than beautiful and empowering birth experiences. Suddenly the mind becomes hyperactive and fear begins brewing. But here’s the thing: women were made to birth babies.
Let me repeat that.
Women were literally designed with the ability to grow a baby human and to give birth to said human – naturally.
A woman’s body already knows how to give birth, and babies know how to be born. That wisdom is undoubtedly programmed into us. The same way our body knows how to breathe air, digest food, and pump blood, it knows how to birth babies. The issues arise when a woman tries to give birth, when her mind tries to logically get her baby out. I realize this concept may be confusing to some, understandably so, because generally speaking we were never taught how to live intuitively. Humans have removed themselves from nature so much so that many of us have forgotten that we ourselves are nothing more than just that; an individual collection of earth, wind, fire, water, and ether. We aren’t separate from nature, we are nature.
My point being, if a woman can keep her mind out of it and surrender to the natural wisdom of her body and her baby, she can experience a joyous, smooth, easy, and virtually pain free birth. No epidural necessary. I firmly believe this and have experienced it myself.
Preparing for birth, I indulged in positive, beautiful, and peaceful stories. I filled my mind with empowering birth photos and videos. I talked to my baby in the womb. I ate healthy, whole foods, stayed hydrated, practiced yoga and visualization of my birth. I never went to a traditional birthing class where they teach women how to breathe or whatever because I trusted that when the time came, my body would do what it needed to. And it did. You can read my birth story posted on my site.
Here’s something to consider: fear causes the body to tense up. Tension creates resistance. Resistance to experiences makes them painful. This is true on a mental and physical level. Know this deep down in your bones, and act accordingly. Learn the art of letting go. The wisdom is already there within you, and the most productive thing you can do in labor is surrender to the experience. Not only surrender, but embrace it. Love it wildly and let it take over your entire existence. Because, honestly, the birth of your baby doesn’t really concern you. It’s between your body, your baby, the earth and the cosmos. Witness them all come together in one mind blowing moment. Just witness.