It is a human thing, to breastfeed our young. We also attribute this to our gods. Here, the goddess Isis is breastfeeding the young god, Horus. The King, Ptolemy II is bringing Isis a gift or offering (right) as Anouket serves the goddess (left). I think it would be great if all nursing mothers were made to feel like goddesses or queens!
Your birth is a very special occasion. Here are some simple things we have seen women do to make their birth special.
One mom had her doula buy as many tightly closed tea roses as she could get. The mom brought several vases. As her birth progressed, the tight buds slowly opened and scented the room. When she was holding her baby in her arms, the roses had opened and were gorgeous for the pictures, too.
A client mom wanted to make her hospital birthing room more comfortable for her. Water and sailboats relaxed her. She took a magazine photo of a sailboat on blue waters and taped it to her labor room wall. It was a great focal point for her.
One Buddhist mom brought a small alter and gohonzon to her birth room. While she labored, she chanted with her doula. It brought her strength and serenity.
Another mom decided to dance during her active labor. She had traditional Native American ceremonial dance music to play. She and her doula danced around the room and the dancing helped bring her baby gently lower in her pelvis. She danced her baby out!
Think of the things that bring you comfort and support at home. Then incorporate a version of that at your birth.
There are some very beautiful breastfeeding artworks in the Promom Gallery. View them yourself. I like this Japanese one. It is obvious that this child is curious about the world around him. Moms who have nursed will recognize that nipples really do stretch like that for the curious child. Much of the art is in the public domain. It is available for moms to share.
When I was a teenager I thought that these stone mother images were weirdly exaggerated. Now I think OMG that looks like me! It is amazing how becoming a mother can change not only your body but your perspective on beauty and even what’s important. I can see now how she is a goddess. I was recently in a women’s public bathroom in Ithaca New York near Cornell University. Some woman had drawn an outline of a woman that looked like this goddess with large, pendulous breasts and ample everywhere else. The graffiti caption was: “You are beautiful”. It was my favorite public bathroom graffiti ever!
Pregnancy and birth are a normal and beautiful process. Yet, sometimes, mothers suffer miscarriages and loss. Any mother who has previously had one or more miscarriages can use doula support right at the beginning of her pregnancy. As doulas we can advocate for you and support you emotionally at a time when you might not even be telling people you are pregnant. We can advocate for you by helping you get specialized medical and even herbal pregnancy support.
Mothers who have previously had difficult bouts with morning sickness or other problems can also use early doula support. Pregnancy and birth are a journey which does not have to be lonely. Let a doula support you on your journey.