Mutual Support in Childbirth
As soon as I opened my first copy of Spiritual Midwifery, I knew I wanted to be a midwife. This was confirmed when, still in college, I saw my first deliveries, shadowing the physician who had delivered me. My plan was to be a homebirth midwife, but I was inspired by a dynamic OB, and decided to follow in her footsteps. I tried to bring the energy of the home birth into the hospital setting and would often take transfers from home and birth centers. It was a joy to maintain the atmosphere that the family desired for their birth, whether it was a multigenerational party or just nuclear family; whether using medications for pain relief or getting creative with dance, water and songs.
I had always assumed that supporting others meant giving of myself: my compassion, time and skills. I saw, however, that this way of giving sometimes left me with little reserve. I considered the Breema Principle of Mutual Support. If my direction is Mutual Support, then giving could also be receiving.
How can I truly support others?
When I touch, I am communicating to my recipient. If I am I relaxed, and my touch is firm yet gentle, then others feel supported and nurtured by the interaction. When I use the principle of No Force when speaking, communication goes more smoothly. I notice how much energy I waste in force, and how things flow more naturally without it. I begin to see how much I am drained by my habitual, automatic way of thinking, feeling, and interacting with the outside world, and I wish for more opportunities to relate to others in a new way. I can pick any one of Breema’s Nine Principles of Harmony as a guide to participate, fully, in each interaction. I choose whatever is alive for me that day— whether I wish to work with No Hurry/No Pause, No Judgment, Firmness and Gentleness, or another. Each one can help me connect to my body, and in doing so I become more available to support those around me.
Once I started bringing these lessons into my work, I saw a shift in my attitude and energy level. I was less impacted by the rapidly changing emotional states of those around me. When I moved from tension to relaxation, this naturally became the common direction of all those around me— the families and hospital staff included. My work became an expression of my wish to increase harmony in each moment, in whatever conditions life presents.