We can consciously prepare for labour and childbirth. We can enter the process from a very conscious place, but once labour and childbirth begins, a woman needs to let go, surrender and enter a different sense of time and space and consciousness.
The importance of the environment
A woman’s primitive, primal brain function will take over from the usual dominance of the neocortex, the thinking brain. Her hormones will flow to support the physical changes, contracting and opening the body, causing a movement of the hips to help the baby on its way out of the maternal body and into the world. Breathing naturally becomes heavier, oxygenating the baby. Sounds made by the mother relax and open the jaw and the cervix. All of this is a very primitive and private experience between two people, mother and baby. And what a woman needs to enter this experience is peace, privacy and a sense of safety. With this environment, birth is simple and uncomplicated.
Mantra as a tool
Fear and anxiety are two things that very much disturb childbirth. As a birth doula (partner) I have found that mantra is the best tool to use. I chant mostly internally and occasionally aloud. This really changes the environment, the space, it creates a deeper sense of calm, a sense of connection to what is really happening, a soul coming into the world.
Setting ourselves up to fail
Birth is birth. If we adorn this with a further objective, such as a beautiful, blissful, or orgasmic birth, we are creating an expectation, we are setting ourselves up to fail. Actually childbirth is simply your baby coming out of your body and into the world, an extraordinary process and yet a normal part of life.
When things don’t go to plan
Western medicine, surgical skills and medical knowledge are an incredibly wonderful life saving thing, when used appropriately. However, we live in a time where these things can be overused, for many different reasons. An example of this manifested when one woman I was supporting was told after an ultra sound scan that her baby was very big and the best thing would be to induce labour in order that the baby did not grow any larger. This induction lead to a caesarean and it was the case that the baby was of normal weight for the size of the woman when born. What orthodox medicine can miss is what a woman really needs in labour. This has not been fully appreciated, and there is an endemic lack of trust in a woman’s ability to give birth.
My own personal experience of childbirth and my observations of a woman in labour is that she is fully present in the moment in her body with her breath, just being with what is, the process of childbirth.
Trust in your body
Women, it is our duty to support each other to trust in our body, in our wisdom. Consciousness begins before birth. Empowerment is the outcome of crossing the threshold of this right of passage.
Sarab Jeewan Kaur/Natalie Dorchester has devoted the past decade to supporting over 200 women and couples through childbirth. She is a birth doula trained with Liliana and renowned obstetrician Michel Odent and has had the privilege of working with them since. She is a Level 1certified Kundalini Yoga teacher since 2008 and continues to train in Level 2 with Karam Kriya School.