What if someone could give you a map…an emotional guide…to birth?  What if someone could normalize feeling scared, elated, so bleeping over it, plugged in with their partner, overwhelmed, and strong BEFORE the birth so that parents knew they were on the right track when they passed through these gates during birth?  What if parents could even, for a few moments, go into the slower brain waves and altered state that will be waiting for them at the threshold of active labor?

The labyrinth is a tool we use in class to give a more realistic map of the labor process than perfectly round cervical diagrams increasing from 1-10 centimeters or a graph of how quickly labor should progress.  No one gives a damn about a graph in the middle of labor.  What they do care about is that they feel scared right now, and not sure that they can take this much longer.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find out ahead of time that those feelings were a sign of progress instead of a sign that you’re not handling labor well?  How freeing would it be to have permission to feel the way you need to feel, and to move, grunt, throw up, cry, dance, moan, tense up, let go, and do whatever it takes to get your baby out?

Nikki Shaheed CD(DONA)                                                                                                                                                      Certified Birthing from Within Mentor