Ina May Gaskin, the "midwife of modern midwifery" said, "whenever and however you give birth, your experience will impact your emotions, your mind, your body, and your spirit for the rest of your life."
Very true words from a wise lady that knows a lot about women and birth.
Anyone who has been in a group of women when the subject of birth comes up knows that most women are eager to share their birth stories, along with their well-meaning, if often misguided, advice of what you should and should not do during your birthing time.
They may have given birth 6 months ago or 60 years ago, but their birth experience will remain fresh in their minds, part of their life story forever.
Some people don't see the big deal in the experience of birth. Just get the baby here and keep everyone alive is their goal, but I think that's setting the bar rather low for a transformative event in the life of a woman. An event that a woman may only experience once in her lifetime, or at most a few times.
Birth is special. Birth is magical. Birth is life. Women deserve to be revered for the amazing work they are doing with their very own bodies: bringing life into the world.
Because it is such a unique and impactful experience it's unsurprising that there is widely accepted evidence of the link between negatively perceived birth experiences and increased risk of postpartum mood disorders. Birth does matter to women in many ways, even if they may not expect it to.
The experience a woman has while birthing has an impact on who she is as a woman and as a mother. It has an impact on her physical health and mental well-being. Because she matters as a person, her experiences matter as well. Birth is an important event in the life of a woman, and that experience is worthy our concern.
I want you to have your best birth experience possible, feeling honored and cared for while doing this important work of bringing forth life, and having an easier transition into motherhood because of your positive experience.
I want you to be the one telling your story to a group of women, recounting your empowering and satisfying birth experience. I want you to be the one offering encouragement to other women that birth can be amazing rather than something to endure.
You want your birth experience to be a story that you love to share and relive. After all, your birth story is going to be part of you for the rest of your life. Let's write a great one!