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The Birth Journey

By Pathways Magazine

Moms, dads, and birth professionals often talk about natural and medical birth "outcomes." The truth is, prior to any outcome, every birth is an activity that families can engage in and navigate as active participants. We can focus on this activity to great benefit for ourselves. Our sense of coherence during the activity of birth can be as important for our well-being as the circumstantial birth outcomes.

Imagine this: A new pregnant mother and her partner desire a vaginal birth without interventions. During pregnancy they take a birth class, create a birth plan, and make informed choices, but are unaware that there are any skills they can learn for the activity of giving birth. The birth journey begins and gets to be far more challenging than they expected. The journey finally comes to an end, resulting in their “desired outcome,” but they are left emotionally scarred by the experience.

Now imagine this same birth, but the family learns birthing skills—breathing techniques, coping methods, communication, tissue preparation and softening, meditation, and body-skills such as pelvic mapping, positioning, and hip and sacral maneuvers to offer more space at birth. The birth may still be hard, but the journey is safeguarded from trauma due to their sense of engagement with “what they can do for themselves.”

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