Birth Philosophy



What do YOU need to know to give birth?

"You need three kinds of knowing to be empowered and birth from within. The first and most basic is the intuitive knowing in your bones. The second kind of knowing is modern knowing-being savvy about the birth culture and the wide range of birth choices. The third kind of knowing, knowing thyself, is the most important. It should be your first priority, and the priority of your birth guide (Mentor or Doula), during your rite of passage." - Pam England

Our ancient mothers lived moment-to-moment in a primordial knowing. "Lucy" is one of those ancient mothers. She did not know when she conceived. She was not preoccupied with how many centimeters her uterus was, how many grams of protein she ate, or when her due date was. She lived moment-to-moment, unconsciously responding to her gradually changing patterns in sleep, diet, and movement as her belly grew full. The day Lucy went into labor, she didn't know how many centimeters dilated she was, whether she was one day early or two weeks late. There was no one who could communicate what she needed to do. She automatically responded to her body's messages; instinctively she knew when to stop eating, when to rest, how to breathe differently or even screech. As her baby was being born, she spontaneously grunted and pushed.

Living in South Sudan with my family, I (Shalene) had the honor of meeting “Lucy” and attending her birth. She truly embodied this primordial, instinctual, knowing as she gave birth. To read the story of Kulong's birth click HERE.

"While information and “book” knowledge are valuable and important in birth, it is also important to cultivate your heart knowing as you prepare for birth."

Pam England
Author of Birthing From Within

Birthing From Within® Philosophy:

  • Childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth).
  • The essence of childbirth preparation is a journey of discovery, not assimilating obstetric information.
  • The teacher (mentor) is “midwife” to the parents' discovery process, not the expert from whom wisdom flows.
  • Childbirth preparation is a continually evolving process (for parents and teachers), not a static structure of techniques and knowledge.
  • Parents' individual needs and differences determine class content.
  • Active, creative expression is critical to childbirth preparation.
  • The purpose of childbirth preparation is to prepare mothers to give birth-in-awareness, not to achieve a specific birth outcome.
  • Pregnancy and birth outcome are influenced by a variety of factors, but cannot be controlled by planning.
  • In order to help parents mobilize their pain coping resources, it is crucial for you to acknowledge that unexpected events will happen during labor.
  • Parents deserve support for any birth option which might be right for them (whether it be the planned use of interventions, cesarean birth, hospital, birth center or home-birth.)
  • Pain is an inevitable part of childbirth, yet much can be done to ease suffering through learning effective pain-coping skills.
  • Pain-coping practices work best when integrated into daily life, rather than “dusted” off for labor.
  • Fathers and birth companions help best as loving partners, not as coaches; they need support too!
  • For parents, pregnancy, birth and postpartum is a time of continuous learning and adjustment; holistic support and education should be available throughout that period.
  • Childbirth preparation is also parent preparation.

REGISTER for the online childbirth course series to learn how to cultivate this kind of knowing and prepare your heart and mind to give birth!

"The profound mystery and spirituality of birth can never be understood with the mind; they are known through the heart. It is this knowing from the heart which is critical for women in preparing for their rite of passage."

Pam England

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