Welcome to Birthyourway's Blog. This space is intended to serve as an interactive site for Doula related stuff based in Ottawa and around the globe. The archive links on the right hand margin will help you identify topics of interest to you. Your pictures of real pregnant bodies- stretch marks and all- would be most appreciated as contributions. Share your birth stories, concerns and comments by submitting to

Monday, March 13, 2006

Birth rituals

During birth, a woman naturally interacts with the environment in a rhythmic way. Partly, this is because of the pattern of contractions. They come and go. Between contractions, a woman can come back to what is happening in the room, talk, drink, walk. During contractions she focuses on her breath, she repeats low guttural sounds, she leans into someone. The pattern of her ritual emerges in her birth. The environment she is in shapes her rituals. Many of these factors are subconscious though it is possible to prepare a positive environment to enhance the birth rituals that emerge.
How do you see your birth unfolding? Think of the rituals you can predict. What activities will take place? What will make it happen that way? How does it make you feel?

Consider what our culture and what your subculture has determined birth culture is. What rituals are prevalent in our culture? How will this support your emotional being and your self-esteem? How will you prepare for a positive birth experience?

So I ask you some difficult questions. But I think it is worth it to evaluate how your personal platform intersects with what is expected of birthing women. How will this affect you on a psychological, emotional, spiritual level? How does western birth-culture and its rituals reinforce what women are considered to be in our society?

Visit this link for an evaluation of birth rituals in western culture.


  • At 9:06 p.m., Blogger Katherine said…

    Hi Anne,

    This is an excellent thing you are doing! Congratulations on preparing such professional material in an accessible format.

    Good job!


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