Monday, February 13, 2012

Pregnancy, Labor and the Lunar Calendar

A few days or weeks ago, I updated my facebook status to say something like, "Doula work definitely comes in waves. I wonder if it has any relation to the lunar calendar."

I didn't expect anyone to comment because I am not one of those cool people who get tons of responses to my simple questions.

I did get a few responses from women who said they truly believed in this, and I also got a response from a nurse who said that she definitely saw a difference during the full moon. Coincidence? Who knows?

Seems like I have read a few articles lately that describe how women's bodies are tied to the lunar calendar. We have a certain cycle that occurs in our bodies that lasts roughly a month. Some people call it the "moon time". I have recently fallen in love with the term "Shark Week." I suppose before there were calendars and clocks and ipads and iphone apps to tell us when our periods would be, women had to look up at the moon and tell when their next period would be. "Wait. I had a period two full moons ago and I haven't had one since. I've been nauseous. Could I be pregnant?" Before there were home pregnancy tests, blood tests and facebook friends telling us to POAS (pee on a stick) there was the moon. Before I could get on Babycenter to enter my last menstrual period and have the website spit back a due date, there was the moon. Ten moons later, a baby would come.

Read two of my favorite articles about the menstrual cycle:

Birth Faith: PMS Tips

Organic Mama Cafe: It's THAT Time of the Month. Oh, Yes. That's exactly What I Mean! 

Is there something about a full moon that makes women want to copulate and therefore ten moons later, give birth? 

One of my friends told me today that this would be interesting research. As I am sure plenty of research has been done on this topic already, I might do a little digging around from time to time to share what I have learned. All I know is that doula work comes in waves. I can have three mamas due within a month of each other, and they all end up giving birth within the same week and a half time frame. And then nothing for another six weeks.

Out of curiosity I looked up what the moon was doing when I went into labor with Lily. I remember the midwife had told me we had been coming into the hospital in pairs all day. I had a fellow laboring mama, and that made me feel less alone. And I think the nurse even mentioned something like, "All over the world, at this very moment, there are about ______ other women in labor with you right now." I don't remember the number, but I thought it was really neat to think that there were other women doing the labor dance with me.

Lily was born June 4, 2010. So according to this Moon Phases Calendar, we were somewhere between a waning gibbous moon and a third quarter moon. The full moon had happened a week prior to Lily being born.

This is the May 2010 Lunar Calendar. It appears that May 27-29 were the full moon. Like the moon, I was feeling very full myself! I was hoping to have a baby by the time my birthday hit on May 31st.

This is the June 2010 Lunar Calendar. As you can see the moon was starting to wane. Gibbous means that the moon is more than half illuminated, or basically, it's smaller than a full moon but bigger than a half moon. It's the in-between moon. (I hereby dub that a Kristi term.) So I was in labor with Lily during an in-between moon.

A better explanation of the lunar cycles than I could ever give.

The days I was in labor and giving birth to Lily. On the 3rd about 3pm, I saw bloody show. By 7pm my water broke. By 9pm we made it to the hospital. (I was still in denial that I was having a baby due to no contractions) By 10pm I was starting to feel my 3-4 minute apart contractions, and by 2:41am on the 4th, I was holding Lily in my arms. 

So it's kind of nice to think about my belly like the moon. A few days prior, my belly was nice and full like the full moon. On June 3rd I started labor, and it's kind of neat to think about Lily descending into this world, and my belly becoming more gibbous. (smaller) And then my belly was like the half moon once she was here to greet this world. So true. Cuz it wasn't a nice quarter moon or crescent or even back to its original shape by any means. Still not. If I consider my original belly to be a new moon, I would say I am somewhere between the waning crescent and the new moon.

The next several weeks are going to be busy for me. I am not sure that any of the mamas I will attend will have their babies on the full moon. We had a full moon last week and the next full moon is supposed to be around March 8th or 9th. I don't think the first time mama that is due at the end of February wants to wait for the next full moon! Of course I won't wish it on her, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I was one of those .... moms giving birth at the same time as my firstborn was also born on June 4. Interestingly, the next two were born in the same moon week, after full moon and before last quarter, waning gibbous or how it is called. Now expecting my fourth one any day and the full moon is tomorrow. I really think it will again start after full moon.