Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Re-framing A Birth

Birth memories can leave us with a smile on our face - or we could be left with a sense of trauma that we don't want to remember.  I began this journey of supporting families through labor to help a family "re-frame" a birth.  Since birth, like life, has ups and downs, how do we re-frame it?

During a labor, there are usually moments of frustration, concern, tears....when a family's memory highlights those moments, it can damage their birth memory.  There are usually also moments of laughter, joy, excitement.  Though these may be momentary (such as between a contraction), what if that is your overall memory of the birth.  This feels valuable to me.  We carry our birth memories the rest of our lives.

So I like to remind families of those light moments - even sharing in them during the birth.  I have found over the years that moms are so powerful when working through labor - and dads are so supportive and concerned.  Why not emphasize these characteristics?  What if a couple who had to make very tough decisions during the birth, still came out of it with a sense that they made good decisions for this particular birth and this particular situation?  Would that not "re-frame" their overall view of the outcome?

Birth memories are important - not as important as your healthy child in your arms - but important still. So if you want help in "re-framing" your birth, I hope you'll consider adding a doula to your birth team.