Friday, December 17, 2010

Penny Simkin's interview with Mother's Advocate blog

I love reading her words! A few of her responses were especially interesting to me.

She was asked how labor support effects birth outcomes. "When she feels well supported, valued, respected, cared for, nurtured, guided — she feels empowered. And after a birth like that, she’ll say, “I did it.” She knows that she has that strength. I would hope for every woman, however she chooses to give birth, that she comes out of it feeling the sense of power, capability — accomplishment."

I know my husband was fantastic support. He was there for me the entire time, and he somehow knew exactly what I needed whether he realized it or not. He gave me strength and confidence by just vocalizing with me during my contractions. What a fantastic idea! I know I would not have this amazing feeling after my birth had my sweet husband not been the best labor companion I could have. I would have liked to have a doula there too, but we could not afford one. I did not know about finding a doula at the time! I think we managed very well without one, but it was CRUCIAL for me to have a labor support person there.

Her parting question was, "Any words of wisdom for the expectant mother?" She replied, "The birth of a baby is a lot more than the birth of a baby. It’s the birth of a mother, father, grandparents, siblings, etc. When a woman approaches birth, I think she probably has very little idea of how important that’s going to be to her, in her development as a human being. But the birth experience brings the woman to some of the deepest, most profound physical sensations and emotions that she’ll ever have. It’s a mix of joy, anticipation, excitement, pain, exposure, vulnerability. And, I think in going through that rite of passage and coming out on the other side, a woman is transformed. She’ll never be the same. And of course, we’re all hoping for every woman that she will have a satisfying, fulfilling birth experience that she can look back on with great joy, but also one that will give her a sense that — well, some women have said, “I can do anything after having a baby.” So that’s what I hope that we can look forward to for many women, and that’s what I see as part of my role is — to be a part in preparing her for that."

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