Throughout her-story there were rituals to prepare people for the rite of passage of birth and parenthood. These were often ceremonies that built self esteem, connection to family and community, healed and cleared obstacles in our relationship with parents, our own birth, babyhood/childhood, as well as in clearing any sexual abuse trauma too. I have always loved the book, Welcoming Spirit Home by Sobonfu Some as she offers examples of ceremonies and rituals from her Dagara tribe in Burkina Faso, Africa.
Today we are often devoid of these rituals.
The baby shower has become about material gifts, not the ceremony, connection and preparation to feel safe and supported on the sacred, intimate and sexual experience of childbirth.
People are not sharing all the ways to make birth easier, they often fill pregnant people with all the horror stories of difficult births, tales of technology and pain while not seeing that is is this over reliance on technology, being put down in bed with monitors and artificial hormones, that are actual what is making labor harder and more painful. As Robbie Davis-Floyd says in the Documentary “Orgasmic Birth: The Best -Kept Secret” when talking about positive, pleasurable orgasmic birth stories – these stories have been silenced as not to make anyone feel bad or less than if their birth was challenging – but as she says “it time we start telling our stories”.
People are beginning to return to ceremonies, creating a version of a “Blessing Way” which was a traditional Navajo Blessings to prepare for birth and included honoring foot bathes, hair braiding, writing and speaking blessings to honor the expectant parent(s). The gifts given and received are gifts that are from the heart, not from the store, (although those can be given too), but the real value is in having your community and friends honor your journey to parenthood and offer their wisdom and love to help you to discover and trust your own power and ability to give birth and become a parent.
Pregnancy is a time the body expands and nature provides us with the opportunity to expand our minds too – to trust our intuition, to find movements, sounds and sensuality that provides comfort and pleasure. It’s your choice – you can’t have sex or give birth while “in your head” – your thinking brain. Instead for both birth and sex to happen, we must go to our primitive brains. I ask, how do you want to give birth? Would you prefer to give birth with intimacy, pleasure and connection of body, mind, spirit and sexuality or instead in your head, controlling and monitoring all that is happening? I truly am grateful for the technology, drugs and surgery available to us in childbirth as it can be lifesaving – but only when needed. Instead of only when necessary, these interventions are greatly overused in the Western world as the Lancet Series calls “too much too soon”.
I believe honoring birth as a rite of passage that is whole: body, mind, spirit and sexuality would allow our hormones to flow naturally and would greatly reduce the need for many birth interventions and create more gentle loving pleasurable and yes, Orgasmic Births!