Friday, March 13, 2009

The Sounds of Birth

The language of birth is universal. This lovely birth video is in French. Sometimes women seem to be so relaxed and peaceful and graceful and quiet as they give birth. My mothers and sisters attending my sons homebirth mentioned that I made it look so easy. It was not easy but it was one of the three most profound events of my life. Yes, I have three children and each of their births taught me much about myself, about women, about the power of our bodies and the universe. I could go on but lets just say I felt loud. I felt power. I felt hard at work consentrating on and focusing on the sensations, the letting go, directing my energy to be inline with what my body knew to do - release my baby. As a doula, I remember. When I am with a woman who is quietly birthing her baby, I remember that the surge of the contraction is not quiet, it is loud, full of energy, leaving no room for her to do anything but 'be still'. Just being still with her is honoring her. Other women, or same woman, other part of labor, will be lead or willing to surrender to the energy of the contraction in a way that it comes out of their throat and mouth. This is known as sounding. I encourage this woman to open her throat and keep the sounds deep. Why? Well think of a low groan and what comes to mind? A low YUMMMY sound like your eating something delicious? A low orgasmic sound? Now think of high pitched loud sounds and what comes to mind? fear? pain? The hardest thing a laboring women can do at this point may be to change the tone of her birth sounds. It is her choice. I would never insist on this. If she chooses to deepen her birth sounds, she may experience a shorter labor and a lot of endorphin rushes and euphoria.

I was with a woman recently who was singing her baby out, sounding or "calling her baby earthside". The hospital doctor who came in to do his obligatory pelvic exam was horrified by this mom's song. Eh, I say to each his own. We don't all like the same genre of music, right? But this doctor actually rolled his eyes at me and said in the 15,000 births he'd attended he'd never heard anything like this before. It never ceases to amaze me that many hospital practitioners have never witnessed 'normal' birth.

MEOOOOW - Notice the cat in this video ( :

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