Posts Tagged ‘power’

Was I taught somewhere along the way that it is a weakness to need help from others? I don’t think anyone ever said so out loud, but it’s what I thought was true for a long time. But it isn’t true.

In fact, asking for help- and being willing to receive help- is one of the most powerful things I can do. I am strong enough to receive.

Women, especially when birthing, understand and know that although all the power that is ever needed is inside us, support from the outside helps us connect to the truth and power inside. We sometimes need to be reminded of our strength. We sometimes need to be surrounded by people who believe in us.

This week I asked for help from my friends- doulas, midwives, birth activists and moms. And I was awed and honored by their response. As I flexed my asking and receiving muscles, I could tell it had been too long since I really stretched them.

So I’m going to ask for your help too.

Next Monday at 1pm ET, I’m trying something new with my radio show, A Labor of Love. I usually connect with topics I feel are important to moms and moms-to-be by talking with guest experts. And although I enjoy the show, I trust that it is time to birth something new: I really want to connect directly with other moms and moms-to-be who are listening. I want to connect with you.

This is how you can help: Don’t just listen to the show- CALL ME! Let me know what you’re thinking. Share your experience- what worked and what didn’t.

The topic for Monday’s show is Taking Responsibility for Pregnancy and Birth. Read the full description HERE.

To connect to the live show, click this link: A Labor of Love at 1pm ET. Then call in during the show at 866-472-5972.

If you can’t make it to the live show, but have some thoughts you’d like to add to the conversation, send me an email. Include your comments, your first name and where you live, and I’ll share your ideas during the show. Email IntentionalBirth (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thanks for connecting with me and for reminding me that I’m strong enough to ask. Will you help?


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Within the culture of labor and childbirth is a choice of language. It used to be that women birthed their babies. Then medicalization of pregnancy and labor began and women were delivered of their babies. While it may have been the case when women were coerced into unconsciousness during labor, that someone else assisted the delivery of their babies, it is no longer true and the terminology does not serve women.

Birth is an action word. Anyone who has given birth to a baby, knows the work involved in labor is her own.

No one delivers a woman of her baby. (In my opinion, this terminology doesn’t support women who must birth surgically either, although I respectfully leave it to those wise women to define their own experience.)

Babies are not delivered to a mother like pizza. There is sweat and blood and tears involved- for these the term “delivery” makes no mention.

This language reveals an attitude of disrespect for a woman’s active role in bringing her baby into the world.

An important step for women who desire to empower themselves and advocate for themselves is to own the word birth and select care providers who reveal a comparable attitude with their language.

ALL women are powerful. Women who BIRTH learn their power firsthand. This is the nature of birth.

Own your power. Own your BIRTH.

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It’s not surprising that so many women spend a large amount of time reading books on pregnancy and labor and childbirth to educate themselves and to gain more knowledge about the physical experience. That, in itself, demonstrates that most women are not really interested in the idea of turning over full responsibility to their care provider. Because, if that were the case, you could just say, “Ok, I’m pregnant. Now you take care of it. Tell me what to do. Tell me I’m ok. I’ll just hang here, while you do the ‘important’ stuff.”

Instead women are reading, talking, learning, taking childbirth education classes, trying to become more informed about all aspects of their experience.

Short of going to medical school, women won’t know the kinds of information a doctor will know (like how to perform surgery), but the difference in medical education is not a valid reason to relinquish responsibility for decision making to anyone else- even to a doctor or midwife who wants that responsibility. You have information that is otherwise unavailable to your provider. You are the expert on your body. You know how it feels from the inside out. You’ve been present to your fertility cycle your whole adult life- maybe you have even been charting (a la Taking Charge of Your Fertility).

When you say to someone, “Do what you think is best” while ignoring anything you know about your body, ignoring your intuition, ignoring the fact that you are ultimately responsible (even when you choose to relinquish control), you cheat yourself of the opportunity to participate in this aspect of your life.

When you choose to be a partner in your health care, make choices that fit with your values, and own your body, you can step into motherhood with more confidence. You may not be a doctor or midwife. But you are a powerful woman, making decisions for your care- and for your baby’s care.

Now it’s your turn on the soapbox. Tell me what you have to say about preparing for birth.

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