Contributed by The Gift of Giving Life
Obviously the mother needs to do her part, but your spiritual preparation matters too. As birth workers we cannot “make” anyone have a spiritual experience; however, we can facilitate it. We are guardians of their birth. This is best achieved through approaching every birth with humility. It is helpful to set time apart each day for spiritual reflection. Whether that is through prayer, meditation and/or study is up to you.
One of the ways I approach my birth clients is to see each mother as my teacher and myself as the student. Every birth is rich with learning experiences if we are open to it. Take time to reflect after each birth to record what you have learned.
It is important to be aware of any needs or preferences a family may have based on culture or religion. We should never assume we know what that means to them even if we know their religion and/or cultural background. Ask your client how you can honor their family traditions, culture and or religion during their experience. Make note of these things and review them before visits and especially before the birth.
I have made a habit of praying before I enter into a visit with a client that I will be blessed with the tongue of angels, meaning that my words can be inspiring and strengthening to the mother and her family. When the mother has trust in her providers, she is freed to experience the spirituality of the childbearing process.
One of my favorite ways to add a spiritual aspect into a birth for me and the client, is to call on angels to attend. If a client is open to the idea, I will talk to them about asking angels to attend their birth. Just sharing the idea of setting that intention has led to special spiritual experiences for my clients. Before I did this, I only had one client ever mention noticing an angel at her birth. After I started to offer that as an option, I had many clients share special experiences they had with birth angels and they all expressed gratitude that I had told them about that option. It was as if they had angelic doulas in attendance and often those angels were beloved ancestors.
I also ask for angels to attend me as I am driving to a birth. That they can lead me to know of what is needed and to help me to stay calm and peaceful. Being open to this angelic dimension of birth I have had great experiences supporting moms in their birthing time. You can read a variety of different angel experiences here.
These tips are not the only ways to engage spiritually in childbirth. Everyone is unique. Hopefully you can be inspired to know what works for you and your clients. To conclude I would like to share what Dr. Grantly Dick-Read wrote about his role as a care provider at birth, “For my own part, I stand in awe and utter humility before a woman with her newborn babe. There is so much to see and learn in her presence, so much that I am unable to understand or explain. . . The drama of physical manifestations has blinded its observers to the truth – the birth of a child is the ultimate phenomenon of a series of spiritual experiences.”
If you or your clients want more information about increasing spirituality in pregnancy and birth, visit our website The Gift of Giving Life for inspirational essays and birth stories or enjoy reading the book.