How do we normalize birth? How do we overpower all of the negative birth stories being told, and replace them with the good ones? 

Birth can and should be an experience we embrace. Look forward too. Not fear. It is sacred. Life changing. 

I believe one way is to start with our children.

Isn’t that where it started for us? I was terrified growing up because all I saw on movies were women screaming out in pain, yelling profanities. All laying back flat on a hospital bed. I had absolutely no idea, there was any other way. I was never taught differently. 

Some actions we can take as parents:

  1. Educate ourselves in a manner that we can then successfully educate our children. 
  2. Start with basic anatomy. 
  3. Explain the blood, vernix, umbilical cord, placenta. 
  4. Find books that are geared toward their age on labor and birth. 
  5. Find videos that are similar to how you plan on welcoming your new baby into the world. 
  6. Practice the different sounds you may make with them. My daughter and I would do different animal sounds. This was a great tip that my doula gave me and one of the most beautiful things I remember was my 3 year old saying, “You sounded like a mama bear growling out the baby”. Hence the mama bear tattoo on my arm.
  7. Have them help in anyway they can with supplies, room decorations, etc. My daughters helped with my birth affirmation banner. They each colored a few flags on my banner that hung alongside my birth tub. 
  8. Have a care provider readily available to assist with your children if needed. Birth can be unpredictable and you want to be prepared and not worried about who’s taking care of your child while you are in labor. 

When my husband and I decided on having a homebirth for our third child, and now our fourth, the first thing I thought was how beautiful it is knowing that my daughters and son will acknowledge birth as a normal event. Something so normal that can be done at home. They will witness their father supporting their mother. The calm and nurturing environment of everyone in the room. All the months preparing for their siblings arrival and to know they were invited to this miraculous event. Not taken out of the house, to come back to an unfamiliar baby. 

I can tell you from experience having my 3 year old and 12 year old daughter in the room while their brother was born was life changing for all of us. I can still feel my daughters little hand rubbing my shoulder, looking upon me with so much love and support and ensuring me, “push out baby Maximus, you can do it mommy”. Now at 5 years old, she can’t stop asking me how much longer until the new baby is going to be born so she can be there again. And my 14 year old asking if I would come get her from school if I went into labor during those hours. 

There’s also never been jealousy between my two youngest. Currently ages 5 and 2. I thought Malayla, my 5 year old was simply a unicorn child because every parent I know told me nothing but horrid jealousy stories between their children after new babies were born. However, when I started to piece together the logic of her helping to prepare for the birth and actually be a part of it, what did she have to be jealous of? She was with me from the beginning creating the most special bond while he was still inside of me. 

Birth is not scary. 

Birth is powerful. 

Birth is transformative. 

Women are strong. 

Let’s spread the good word. 

Let’s normalize birth.