Our birth doula philosophy:
The birth of a baby is a sacred and miraculous event, filled with mystery, challenges, beauty, power, love, and great joy, affecting women both physically and emotionally. It is a time when a woman must be active, doing the work of bringing down the baby, while simultaneously having a mind that is still, letting go into the process. A laboring woman must journey from control to surrender, from doing to being, embracing a state of non-doing, non-striving, a mindful awareness, going with the natural order, or natural ebb and flow with great ease, in response to whatever may arise.
In Taoist philosophy it is known as Wu-wei, a state of “no mind”, of not over thinking, but rather becoming one with the action. In Ju-jetsu, it is known as the action which does not force but yields. It is an attitude of being soft and pliable, as a willow which bends in a storm, but does not break.
Childbirth is not a time for logical, linear, rational thought and planning. It is not a time to look outside ourselves for strength and wisdom, to give in to doubting our bodies or the feminine well of wisdom we all possess, or to give over our power to anyone outside ourselves who may feel they know better than we, how to listen to our body, or do the women’s soul work needed to birth our baby. It is a deeply spiritual experience, one in which we become sensing, feeling creatures, and awakening in us our natural, wild, primal instincts, calling forth one whom Clarissa Pinkola Estes called, “She Who Runs With The Wolves”.
Childbirth is a beautiful and wondrous process, but we know too that it includes challenging waves of stretching and opening, and can also be fraught with unknowns which can lead to anxiety. Victor Frankl, existential philosopher, psychiatrist, author, and concentration camp survivor said: “We who lived, in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” We believe that we create our own reality, and a woman can choose her attitude, and choose to experience and paint the ocean of her birth in whatever fashion she wishes, for she is the brush, the paint, and too, she is the ocean.
In True Refuge by Tara Brach she tells a story:
“ The Buddha once asked a student, “ If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful?” The student replied, “yes, it is.” The Buddha then asked, “if a person is struck by a second arrow, is it even more painful than the first?” The student replied again, “yes, it is.” The Buddha then explained, “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. With the second arrow comes the possibility of choice.”
During our labor and birth we can think of the first arrow as the stretching and opening of the cervix, and the second arrow as our thoughts about, and reaction to these sensations. The first we have no choice or control over, but the second we do. Making a choice to mindfully and joyfully respond and surrender, rather than fearfully reacting and resisting, can make the difference between a difficult and a blissful birth. Learning and practicing mindfulness meditation for birth then, is an important tool and coping skill which we recommend to all our birth clients.
Birth is not a time to hold back, resist, or fearfully try to control the natural unfolding of our birth experience. It is a time to summon our wild, free spirit, and to open, yield, let go, surrender. To realize the birth of our dreams, our instinctive and spiritual wisdom leads us to welcome every aspect of the birth process with a joyful Yes! To recognize, acknowledge, and embrace every sensation, every thought, every challenge, every unknown, even every fear, with openness, allowing them to be just as they are, without judgment or labeling. It is an important time to remember that the one constant in life is change and impermanence, and these thoughts, sensations, and fears are simply manifestations of our mind, just stories we are telling ourselves which will arise and pass, like leaves floating down stream. Our task is to allow them to drift harmlessly away, without holding on, to be as a still pond that mirrors clouds passing overhead, without clinging or attaching to their image, but letting them pass easily away. We need to enter our birth with wide open arms, ready to receive whatever form it may take. To have a beginner’s mind, free of fixed notions, ideas or rigid plans of how things should manifest, but rather in readiness for the fullness of birth, in all its newness and unpredictability, allow it to take us wherever it may lead. In doing so we create a spaciousness that contains more possibility, more potential, greater access to our inner wisdom, and enhanced growth and joy.
Within this place of mindfully awakened spaciousness, we can remain safely and calmly anchored to present moment awareness, instead of being carried anxiously or apprehensively away by ghosts from our past, or fearful thoughts of a future that may never arrive. Through the lens of mindful vision we can fully embody our feminine wisdom, listen attentively to our subjective intuition, revel in the energy and beauty of our body, and do the deep soulful woman’s work needed to birth our baby in great freedom, joy and ecstacy.
To help you achieve your ideal experience, Kairos doulas believe women benefit greatly during childbirth, from the one-on-one continuous care and support of another woman, a professional labor support doula. We are committed to creating a safe space wherein you feel able to listen to and trust your innate feminine wisdom, summon forth your personal power and strength, and ride the waves of birth in whatever fashion you need to.
In the Native American tradition, one member of the tribe assumes the role of “Faithkeeper”. This person’s role is to remain at peace, centered in spiritual vision, enlightenment, and understanding, no matter what events befall the tribe. Even if everyone else in the tribe slips into pain, fear, or dissention, the Faithkeeper is the one person the tribe can rely on as a lifeline to the Presence. Kairos doulas act as Faithkeepers, holding a space for your vision of the birth of your baby, as well as a vision of our sister in perfection and strength, believing in your ability to achieve your dream birth, and carrying it in our hearts, even when you doubt or forget, reminding you, and allowing you to find your greatest power and potential. As labor support doulas, our job is to be a loving, supportive guide, who sees past doubt and fear, past challenges, to the victory ahead, pointing the way, illuminating the positive, reframing and redirecting, keeping you on paths of potential, success and victory, and the realization of the glorious, triumphant birth you dream of.
As mentors ad supportive guides, Kairos Doulas journey with you on one of life’s most wondrous adventures, and at its conclusion, it is our great joy and honor to cheer, cry happy tears, and celebrate your victory with you, for having climbed your Mt. Everest, and taking your triumphant stand at its peak. Kairos doulas are committed to helping you recognize and use the skills and knowledge you already possess, as well as opening doors which may introduce new avenues of thought, seeing, exploration, creativity, and self expression, to develop new self supportive skills,and coping techniques. Through compassionate, loving, supportive care which empowers the birthing mother, we work as part of the maternity care team, alongside your husband/partner, and your medical caregivers, to help begin the life of your new baby, and your new family, in an atmosphere of joy, love, caring, and respect. Our professional birth doulas are women serving women, through non-judgemental, unconditional nurturing, physical, emotional and education support, and love.