Faith in Childbirth
Pregnancy is often a time of joy and anticipation for women and their families. But it can become a time of fear and confusion, fear of the un-known and possible complications. These fears can only be overcome by having faith in your body, your birth team and, for many, having faith in God. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, faith has a place in the birth process. In whom or what do you put your faith is a question that all women have to answer during the time of pregnancy.
“empowered by my faith”
During my first pregnancy, I was full of fear and doubt. I was a faithful person in many ways but didn’t really connect that faith to my pregnancy and birth experience. Just listening to other women’s stories, watching television birth programs and reading pregnancy “how to” books created a profound sense of confusion and fear. Later in life, I was blessed with more children and was empowered by my faith in both God and his design for birth. Surrounding myself with other women and families who shared powerful stories of blessings and peace during birth gave me encouragement.
Waiting for the birth of a child often causes couples to reflect on who they are and who they want to become. They begin to evaluate all areas of their lives including finances, schedules, health habits, priorities and faith.
“make choices in love rather than fear”
Having faith in childbirth does not mean that everything will always go according to plan. Nor does the way you choose to give birth prove your level of faith. Rather, bringing faith to the experience alters your approach to the entire pregnancy and birth. As in all areas of life there are often challenges and unexpected circumstances, focusing on faith allows you to make choices in love rather than fear.
Ways to Bring Faith to Birth
~listen to inspirational songs
~pray for the new child and peace in the birth process
~create artwork that reminds you of your faith
~gain knowledge about the birth process to increase your faith in how you were created
Pregnancy can be a time of great reflection and dynamic change for not only the mother, but also the entire family. Many couples look to the church during this time and often begin spiritual growth like never before. It is also a time for couples to strengthen their relationship through communication and acts of service for one another.
Relying on faith during labor and birth, dispels fear and creates an environment for peace. Removing fear decreases the amount of tension and stress that a woman has during childbirth. This will allow a woman to relax and cope with the challenges that childbirth present. A woman who has educated her self with the birth process and her options will be confident and secure with the decisions she makes.
Creating Peace in Birth
~learn and practice movements and positions that will be helpful during labor
~take time to experiment with methods that will decrease stress and tension: massage, candles, music, water or even silence
~communicate openly and honestly to make sure that any issues or concerns are discussed before labor begins
~use your birthing time to reflect the love and respect you want to teach your child
Throughout history women have been assisting other women during childbirth. Laboring women need nurturing and mothering so they can go deep inside themselves to find their inner strength. While my husband provided physical strength, I, like other women had a need for another woman to offer a gentle touch or a word of encouragement. For this reason it was important for me to hire a birth doula and attend faith based childbirth classes with other families.
“Laboring women need nurturing and mothering…”
After finding very few faith focused childbirth options in this area Heather Vernon and I established Knitted Together Childbirth Services. We will be offering childbirth classes, doula services and community outreach to the South Central Kentucky area. Our mission is to offer a perspective that helps women and families to grow in their faith during pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. We do not pretend to have all of the answers but we will help you focus on the right questions.