Birthing from Within—What Does this Mean?
A helpful introduction to the concept of birthing from within
Birthing from within is a holistic way to approach the joys of childbirth and handle childbirth without fear. This method sees birth as a rite of passage instead of a medical event that requires medical intervention. Women practice different methods of ‘birthing from within’ across cultures around the globe using available birthing support systems, such as doulas or midwives. Some of the methods used to explore birth as a process and act of self discovery include art and drawing, meditation, journaling, and natural birth.
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We’ll take a look at some of the common methods of birthing from within that women and their supportive communities have developed over time. These techniques work together as a methodology or a mindset that collectively function to help women handle the pain of natural childbirth. The core belief is to find purpose and meaning in the natural process of childbirth and to focus on that, on the learning experience of it all, rather than the pain.
Birthing from Within as a Methodology and Practice
To begin, birthing from within encourages women to explore their feelings around childbirth via channeling them into art, painting, drawing and other forms of creative expression. Creative exploration of internal emotions can help women to channel those emotions into a more meaningful birthing experience. Yes, it all seems very new-agey and spiritual, but many women across the world have used variations of these methods in their own cultural birthing experiences. For example, the Alaska Native Birthworkers Community works to help women find their native roots through childbirth experiences, helping to keep their culture alive through the generations.
“…to reclaim as well as create new ceremony and heal our ancestors and future generations who may have been harmed through the colonization of our bodies, healthcare, and birthing practices…”–Alaska Native Birthworkers Community
Birthing from Within—through Art
Women can explore the fears they may have about the pain of childbirth, the worries they might have over the health and wellbeing of their baby, and the anxiety they might have over what to do after the baby is born. This can be helpful for a new mother or for someone who has had children before and felt their birthing experience wasn’t the emotional and spiritual experience they were expecting.
Art is a powerful tool for healing, self expression, and personal growth. During the labor process, women can use artistic expression to focus on the experiences of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. This helps women get in touch with their feelings, their bodies, and transition into their new realities as mothers.
Birthing from Within—through Meditation Practices
Meditation is a devoted practice of focusing on your breath and calming your mind. It is recommended for so many things in life from stress and anxiety, to coping with grief and loss, to preparing for major life transitions like birth and parenthood. Women can meditate to guided meditations that focus on pregnancy and birth. Birthing from within involves a mindfulness to the process of meaningful birthing that can be enhanced by the practice of meditation and deep, guided breathing.
Birthing mothers can meditate to music, or silence, in ways that involve sitting or walking. The key is to find a practice of meditation that works best for you and that helps you to calm your thoughts and tamper your anxieties around birth. Meditation can be done at any time of day but many choose to do it for ten or so minutes every morning, and perhaps ten or so minutes before bed. Using meditation during the laboring process can help women to remain calm and focused while approaching birth without fear.
Birthing from Within—through Written Word
Journaling is a special practice that involves writing to both address internal feelings and self-talk and also to chronicle the natural birth experience. Get those feelings out! Women can use journaling as much as they wish to. They can write in guided journal books or in a special birthing journal to save for to one day give to their child.
Journaling will allow the expectant mother to explore her inner feelings, to navigate all of her emotions, and to focus on things that make her feel happy, grateful, scared, excited, or even sad about the possibilities of her experience and about her current moments as a pregnant woman. It is always nice to get a new journal devoted to the experiences of birthing from within and to maybe even get a special pen that will add an element of self care and pampering to the process.
Embracing the Core Message of Birthing from Within
Part of the birthing from within experience is embracing a natural birth. Women can do this in many ways. There are so many options and ways to have a natural birth. Many natural births happen at home. Women can use a midwife or a doula, or both. Some natural births happen at birthing centers, or even hospitals because hospitals have started to embrace aspects of birthing from within. Women can give birth in birthing tubs or pools, or they can give birth in a bed or any other way that might feel safe and comfortable to them.
Part of natural birth involves the creation of a birthing plan. And another part of natural birth involves taking no medications that would speed up or reduce the pain of labor.
Hire a Birthing from Within Coach
Many doula and midwifery services offer classes or coaching support to help mothers learn more about birthing from within.
These services can help women to:
- Manage the pain of natural childbirth
- Approach childbirth without fear
- Release attachment to outcomes
- Tap into internal skills, instinct, and spirit while birthing
- Prepare for natural childbirth
- Learn how to birth from within and decide ways that are most connective for you and your own natural birthing experience
If you want to take a more spiritual approach to your childbirth, contact a few local midwife services and ask if they have these special services in your area.
Birthing from within is an educational and emotional process where women can take control over their own experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. Women can learn to be less afraid by using self expression in art, painting, journaling, and meditation, and they can plan birthing plans that embrace natural childbirth methods.
Birthing from within treats women’s bodies and the experiences of pregnancy and childbirth as natural rites of passage that can illuminate a process of self discovery and personal growth. To learn more about birthing from within, you can visit some of these websites and articles on the topic:
This article is brought to you by our contributing writers and parents here at the Babienet Parenting Community, where we value the stories of parents just like you! We welcome you to share your journey with us.
Christina M Ward is a mom, grandmother, and writer of lots and lots of words. When she’s not busy obsessing over writing poetry and well-living articles, she is out in nature exploring or doing needlepoint crafts in front of Netflix. She loves books and reading, learning geeky things about nature, and helping other people live their best life.
A helpful introduction to the concept of “birthing from within,” what it means and some helpful tips for natural laboring for birth.