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Birth Is Sacred

By John Ohm

This issue is our first “birth highlight” edition. It’s a small selection of the many cherished articles we’ve previously printed on the topics of pregnancy and birth. Every winter, Pathways centers its theme on the great expanse of birth and what it means for those blessed to have been involved with its subtlety and power.

At birth, the limits of the self open to allow a greater connection with all that is. We can call this connection our innate intelligence. It guides the birth of the child and the rebirth of the mother. This edition of Pathways helps answer the question of “why birth matters.” Many of our elders, and the authors in this issue, have passed on the essential message about this, saying: Birth is a great power, a great transition, and a serene gift to the new family that will help them grow. Birth is something to be guarded, not only because new life is in our hands, but because a new source of empowerment has arrived as well.

My mother, Dr. Jeanne Ohm, along with many others aligned to her, encouraged future generations to take charge of their births. She described birth as a great power that is given to the family when it is theirs to unfold. She saw chiropractic and midwifery as being two ways to support a woman’s normal physiology and autonomy in the birth process. She knew that by honoring a laboring woman to the fullest, birth can become a great gift of manifest strength for the family, and for all humanity.

Our culture tends to conjure up images of birth that make people feel hectic and helpless, in the same way that television news conjures images of violence and horror. We must reclaim the truth of birth, and highlight the serenity and seamless power it can bestow. When a mother encounters the intelligent processes that make birth possible, she is propelled to reach great spiritual heights. Birth strengthens her physical body to reach the limits of what it knows is possible. What greater preparation could there be for the years to come and for life itself? What greater way to ensure the future and the heritage of our species?

In this way, birth is sacred. It is a place where a deep reservoir of embodied knowledge exists to be known by the mother. Like the children who are born, it is meant to be protected as our species’ greatest hope.

One of the many vital lessons I learned from my mother is what it means to protect what we love. Her presence alone could ward off fear, doubt, and danger itself, simply because of who she was. When she danced, she demonstrated that the best way to protect that which we love is to dance with the spirit that animates it. And what could be more joyous than that?

And so I dedicate this issue to the joy of what we know and love. And I dedicate this issue to the raising of the consciousness, as we offer our greatest love to the strength of the mothers of yesterday and the new mothers of tomorrow.