On the ICEA Facebook page today, the question was posed, “why did you become a childbirth educator?” I responded with the following: because I care deeply about women’s issues, social justice and social change and I feel like women’s choices in childbirth are intimately entwined with this. Because I believe peace on earth begins with birth. Because the births of my own sons were the most powerful and transformative events of my life. And, because I believe every woman should have the opportunity to feel and know her own power and to blossom into motherhood with strength, confidence, and joy. ♥
Some time ago, I wrote a short essay on why I became a childbirth educator that was one of the winners in a contest held by Passion for Birth. I realized as I was thinking about the ICEA question that I’ve never shared that post on this blog! (where it quite naturally belongs!) Here it is:
On a discussion board once, someone asked the question “what’s at the root of your love of birth?” I was still for a moment and let my intuitive, heart-felt, gut level response come to me and it was this:
Women’s health, women’s issues, women’s empowerment, women’s rights.
And, that feeling. The “birth power” feeling–-that laughing/crying, euphoric, climbed-the-mountain, glowing, rapture…feeling. The transformative, empowering, triumphant, powerful, I DID IT, feeling.
I want each woman to have the chance to experience that transforming power, that sense of personal accomplishment, the increased self-esteem, and the euphoria of knowing “I did it!” I climbed my mountain, I ran my marathon…I gave birth to MY BABY! I want all women to have the chance to experience that and this is why I became a childbirth educator.
I have a long time interest in women’s health and women’s issues. In 2001, two years before the birth of my first baby, I started reading avidly about pregnancy and birth and became instantly captivated by natural childbirth as powerful experience for women and also fascinated by the erosion of women’s rights in the birthplace. I first sent for information
about becoming a childbirth educator that year, but decided that I should wait to become one until I had a baby of my own (seemed like the most important first “credential” to me). My son’s birth is 2003 was a triumphant and empowering experience for me and lit my fire to become certified—I wanted to share the transformative potential of birth with other women. I became provisionally certified in 2005 and fully certified in 2006. The birth of my second son at home in 2006 further solidified my commitment to healthy birth education. I continue to teach because of the root reasons cited above as well as for the tremendous satisfaction I feel when a mother tells me that her confidence in giving birth has dramatically improved and that “I’m actually looking forward to it now—like an adventure!” I believe that a confident, normal birth sets the stage for confident, empowered parenting. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction women experience in birth starts them out on the “right foot” on the lifelong journey of motherhood.
I view my birthwork almost like a tree, with women as the roots, pregnancy as the trunk, (the journey) and then blossoming beautifully in that birth-power feeling.