Birth in our modern culture has many aspects that have made it more and more a medical event. From both the medical and the parental viewpoint, the most important thing is a healthy mother and baby. This truly is the most important thing. In both points of view there is the assumption that we have many tools at our disposal to control birth, and that this in itself will lead to a positive experience.
Yet, birth is more intricate, more mysterious and more unpredictable than we give it credit for. Birth is intense. It is the meeting of many worlds: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual. In many cultures throughout the world there have been ceremonies of rites of passage for young boys. What is common to all these different ceremonies in all the different cultures is that it involves great physical endurance, there is an element of danger, and there is a spiritual aspect to it as well. A symbolic “death’ of sorts as the young men leave behind their boyhood and become men. These ceremonies were for boys. Women gave birth, and birth is a rite of passage in and of itself, which includes all these things.
Birth is so much more than a medical event which should be aimed to be controlled. Birth is a wild card that teaches us because it pushes us out of our comfort zone. It is an opportunity to delve into the mystery, the psyche, the body. When we honor birth in this way, as we do in “Birth as a Journey”, it is much more interesting to seek the tools that will help us cope and get to the other side of this ordeal in the most positive place possible. With a healthy baby and mother, and a positive experience.