Sunday, May 15, 2011

Preparation for Birth as a Hero's Journey

Hi Birth Peeps,
It's time to continue our journey in Birth as a Hero's Journey. Travel interrupted the painting process, and I had to wait for a new image to come to me. I wanted an image that represented long term, big picture, conscious and unconscious life preparation for the big things we take on in life, or the big things that come our way--which include birth and the transition to parenthood!

In the photo you see the addition of a "row of shoes," from baby booties, children's shoes, soccer shoes and soccer ball, heels ... to hiking boots... Shoes are ambiguous and collective symbols that speak to each of us... walking through our life.

Below the shoes you see a shelf of books, from baby/children's books to text books... We learn from formal schooling, novels, and all sorts of written word.

So what does a woman need to do as part of her conscious preparation before birth and her transition to parenthood?

I like to think of the Preparation phase in terms of specific Tasks--specific to the mother (or the journeyer). There are certain tasks that are shared by many, and there are tasks that are personal. These tasks do not include buying baby things or showing up for prenatal appointments. No, these tasks are of a different nature; these tasks prepare the pregnant woman (and the father/other mother) for her new role as a mother.... Again this is beyond preparation to be a good health or baby product consumer.

I'd like to invite you to think about what the collective Tasks of Preparation might be. These Tasks will prepare the "initiate" by helping HER develop her ego strength, spiritual strength... and other changes that will build her Endurance during the Ordeal--in this case, labor or the hard work of those first months of motherhood.

If we want to begin to "initiate" parents, not just inform them, WE have to begin to see differently, and think differently. Please, feel into this, or reflect on your own experiences (what you did, or wished you had done, to prepare in this soulful way) and jot down your ideas. It seems it is difficult for followers to comment on this blog, but if you can figure out how to do it... please respond to this blog as this is a conversation that will be very juicy.




  1. I wrote a post awhile ago that about becoming a mother. It doesn't talk about how to prepare people for it, but it does talk about the process of "becoming", and how that really is a process.

    As a doula, I think I help woman with that process by allowing them to find confidence in making their own choices in regards to their health and their babies health. It's so easy to try and tell people what you think they should do, but really we should be allowing them to explore that for themselves. This allows them to start to internalized that concept of them as being able to care for their children.

    I think the same thing should be done in the hospital. If a woman is unsure of what to do, allow her to explore what is best for her. Let her tell you what she wants or needs. If she doesn't know how to hold a baby or nurse. Give her the baby and allow her to internalize her role as a mother while giving her information in the process.

    In my opinion, becoming a mother is all about being hands on and exploring:)

  2. One of the tasks that comes to me immediately is the task of gathering together her support group - those who will help her during her ordeal and those who will help show her the way back.