by Bonita Katz, BA RN ICCE ICBD IAT CLC
This calling into birth work has resulted in significant growth for me personally. I have given birth (which is its own kind of growth experience), but it is quite different from helping someone else through the process. Childbirth educators and doulas walk alongside other families as they journey into parenthood. As an observer of others throughout the childbearing years, I have learned many lessons that apply to everyday life.
Hard work toward a specific goal is most often well worth it.
I have only known a handful of women for whom labor was easy. Most of us work hard to bring those babies into this world. For some it is a monumental struggle. But those babies! Somehow they grab our hearts and make us glad. So much so that many of us have more than one. Most parents say that the work was worth it.
Helping hands and a kind heart make a world of difference.
Labor is not easy, but having someone help you through it makes the experience much more manageable. Words of encouragement are long remembered. They stay with us and bolster our spirits in other situations when we are tempted to give up. They give us courage to try when things look difficult.
Collaboration accomplishes more than criticism.
There is a time and place for constructive criticism, but most often true change happens and is sustained through collaborative effort. Learning to work with others – really working with them, not just tolerating them in the same room – creates an atmosphere in which everyone can learn and grow.
Rest and be thankful.
There is that part of labor just after full dilation and before pushing starts. It is almost as if nature knows we need a bit of a break – time to take a deep breath and summon our strength for what comes next. Often in life it seems we have worked so long and so hard that these times of rest catch us off guard and we are not sure what to do with ourselves. Sometimes the best thing to do is to rest and be thankful. We need to enjoy those moments of respite.
It is a time of thanksgiving for those of us in the States and I have much to be thankful for. Many of you attended the Annual Member Meeting in September. Your input will help ICEA continue to grow. We listened to your suggestions for topics for the virtual conference – and it shows. The response has been so positive! Please stay in touch by emailing a board member or posting on social media. Your participation will keep ICEA growing for another 60 years.
The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) is a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.