A new year has begun and for many of us this also brings fresh energy into our thinking and living. I'm not so much talking about the common New Year's resolutions which often seem to be unrealistic and doomed for failure before we have even begun. No, I'm thinking of the simple uplifting feeling of having a fresh start, leaving the 'old' year behind, a clean slate with the opportunity it appears to bring and using this momentum of positive energy in our everyday lives and thinking. For me this has made me dream about my personal wishes for 2018 and of course for women and birthing.
During the last year I was privileged to be a part of many incredibly powerful and beautiful births but also ones that turned out to be a true test of the birthing couple's strength, stamina and hopes. Once babies arrive the learning and growing doesn't really stop and often the challenges seem unexpected or difficult to prepare for. So what am I dreaming of for women hoping to or already growing their family in 2018?
...Women who dream of having a baby to have their wish fulfilled
...Women who are pregnant to embrace their journey with trust and acceptance of what it holds for them
...Women recognising the significance for them as women and magic that is happening within
...Women to feel supported and held by their partners
...Women and their partners to understand that doula support is an essential of positive birth experiences
...Women to recognise that positive birth experiences rarely fall 'into your lap'
...Women to recognise that positive birth experiences are not about how you give birth but how you FEEL
...Women to choose their careprovider carefully and in line with their birthing approach
...Women to understand that they have choices when it comes to giving birth
...Women to educate themselves to the best of their ability on their choices
...Women to realise that only they can make decisions, not their care provider who can only recommend
...Women to feel safe and brave enough to do the necessary emotional work before giving birth
...Women to feel prepared, equipped and encouraged at all times when giving birth
...Women's partners to feel brave enough to address any fears or past birth trauma before supporting birth
...Women's partners to understand their role during birth is not to 'take pain away' but to trust and hold
...Women's partners to feel reassured, safe and guided to be the strongest support they want to be
...Women to feel respected, not bullied or violated in the birthing room
...Women to experience a collaborative approach with their care provider
...Women to feel like an individual with rights and a valid opinion in the birthing room
...Women to have a doula by her side who holds space and reminds her of her strength when she can't
...Women's babies to be born gently, safely and with the utmost of respect
...Women's babies to be held whenever they need to be close
...Women and their partners to feel empowered to keep their baby close
...Women to be nurtured, cared for and supported during the early postpartum
...Women to choose a postpartum doula to care for her like the village would have once done
...Women and their partners to learn to trust their instinct, intuition and baby rather than books
...Women to see, feel and recognise their own true strength after giving birth
...Women to become strong, confident mothers who feel connected with their babies.
It's a bit of a list, hey? But you know what? It's all possible if we as women realise and accept ownership of our pregnancy, birth & postpartum experiences...and stand up for what is important to us. And if there is one thing I have learnt in my humble 5 years of 'doulaing' then that it is more than a healthy baby that matters during this monumental transition in life. You, lady, your emotional and physical experience matters just as much. Because, who will care for your baby?
Wishing you a happy, healthy New Year full of positive birth & newborn experiences!