Monday, October 06, 2008

The 7 Secrets of Being a Homebirth Dad

Hurray, I've found another great blog! LOVE IT! Above is the link to a lovely midwife from Australia, her blog, her knowledge, her bravery, her humor. You don't want to scroll past this one! Thanks again to Robin Elise Weiss at Guide to Pregnancy/Birth, who pointed me this way - Wow, I've been reading Robin since 1989! Enjoy. -R

Hmmm on a different note, I sure know a lot of women named Robin. I've had a few doula clients named Robin. One has moved to Australia and now lives in Africa (congratulations on your new baby girl!). Some of the coincidences that happen as a doula are funny. One time I had like three Stephanie's at the same time. Once I had clients that were due close together and lived close together. I had to really think about which house I was driving to! Can you imagine me showing up at the wrong home in the middle of the night (when labor always happens)! My boyfriend calls me his personal Thomas Bros (map) or his GPS (global positioning system) because I know my way around so many neighborhoods in San Diego!

Speaking of far off places, I have a doula friend who moved to Israel. I miss my doula friends who move. Another one is in Northern CA and one is in Arizona. I learned so much from my doula clients who were from Newfoundland, Thanks Kevin! I've learned about different music, religions and cultures in my birth travels. I love to hear about the care that women in other cultures receive. I think that American women should receive longer maternity leave and more prenatal rituals.

Here are some of the things I learned about the rituals of India.
The Indian baby shower is called the “godh bharai” in Hindi (“srimanth” in Gujarat, “dohale jewan” in Maharashtra). It is held in the seventh month of the pregnancy. It consists of a dinner party for all relatives and a ceremonious part which in most cases only women attend. Everyone is dressed up almost as for a wedding.The mother-to-be is given a small red dot on her forehead for good luck. Her mother and mother-in-law fill her lap (hence “godh bharai”: “godh” for her lap and “bharna” “to fill”) with gifts that are considered good omens: jewelry, gifts, and one rupee and a quarter rupee coins. Her sister-in-law ties a yellow thread around her right wrist: this “nada chhadi” will protect her and her child from evil spirits.
One couple told me that the women are covered with sweet fragrant flowers and taken into her mothers home where she is fed special foods and cared for diligently. The women goes back to her husband and her home only after her baby can raise his head! Another couple I met was lucky enough to have both grandmas’ take turns coming from India to San Diego to provide the special foods and care for mom postpartum. No postpartum doula could beat that!

What are your family customs around birth, death, marriage? Any daily customs? Mine is to pray. My grandmothers were praying women. I hope to pass this custom on to my children and grandchildren.

Birth brings the world together on many levels. It helped me during my labors and has helped many laboring women to remember all the women giving birth around the world at that moment and to call on the love and support of her ancestors that have given birth before her. Mothers have a special connection. No matter where in the world I travel I am at home around birth. -Rosie

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