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The First Minutes of a Home Birth

(courtesy of a Canadian doula colleague):

A new baby is here, born gloriously at home, on the very ground of his making. He was born to an ecstatic warrior cry and the embrace of eagerly awaiting parent hands, without being pulled out, given time to rest so he could self-attach to his food source non-coercively.

Homebirth often restores and heals the little hard and bitter corners of my doula soul given births I see that are often so unnecessarily NOT like this due to protocols created mostly by people who have never given birth, “for everyone’s own good.” Of course, yes, yes, there are times the interventions are needed quickly and intensely, and yes, we are so grateful.

But just to paint a picture of the vibe…in most hospital births when a baby is born, a crew of people anxiously or methodically swarm and stand over the birthing family, talking, talking, talking. At a homebirth, when the baby arrives, those of us there step back, go silent, and ensure we are sitting at a lower level than the family.

Knowing when to proverbially remove your sandals and kneel when you are on holy ground, allowing the potency-rich still point of newly born life to just BE for a minute (didn’t Virginia Apgar, who the Apgar score is named for, give one minute before scoring a newborn’s wellbeing?), making space for the gentle down-regulation of the family unit’s nervous system, is a wisdom that should always accompany clinical intelligence. If this reverence cannot be shown in action due to a high clinical need,, it is still possible to be carried in one’s heart.


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