Birthing with Children in a Calmbirth Environment
Creating that Safe Space
Upon arrival at the home of my clients, I was nervous, yet excited at meeting the family. My role was as a Doula to assist in the care of two children attending the birth of their sibling. Both mum and dad had attended Calmbirth, and decided to have their two children present at the birth of their third child. Jack a warm and loving six-year-old boy, and Katie a vibrant and independent five year old girl, were the children I was to guide through the birth of their new sibling.
I had spoken with my client on the phone selecting a day for us all to gather and chat about our role within the birth of their new baby. The children and I decorated a small box on my first visit, a gift to the baby, and talked about what was going to happen and what we would do, how we felt about the up and coming birth. For Jack his job was to catch the baby and he was going to ensure mum was ok, and if she needed help with anything, he was there to assist. Katie was excited about the baby being born at home in the birth pool, and was eager to draw pictures of her family and the new baby.
My second visit with the children we created “Welcome Baby” posters to display on the wall of the birthing room. We viewed a birth where children were present, and talked about what the children did within the film and how they felt, comparing that with the feelings of both Jack and Katie. We had fun on each visit, awaiting the birth of their new sibling.
Mum and dad had thought through how they wanted their experience as a family to be, their journey along with their baby’s journey. Trusting in each other, their children and their carers along with their instincts was important, and putting into place what they had learnt in the Calmbirth classes.
Jack on Saturday, to say that the baby was probably going to come today. I spoke with mum, who was having contractions and she said to be on standby. Later that evening mum phoned to say could I make my way over, as the surges had picked up. Giving both the mum and dad time to relax and prepare, the children and I played games and chatted about the events of the day. We decided to make a chocolate cake to celebrate the baby’s arrival and “birth” day. We practiced the Calmbirth breathing before bed, all prepared to help mum out if needed.
With everyone settled into bed, the midwives arrived, mum had settled herself in the newly filled birth pool. The journey had begun, leading deep into the night. Dad by mum’s side comforting and enabling her to naturally let go, allowing baby to move down with each surge, deeper, with peace and tranquility. Dad was there to encourage, mum was trusting in her body, and the midwives sat allowing nature to take its course.
Early in the morning, Jack cradled on his dad’s lap on the couch, mum was resting between surges within the warmth of the birth pool. Gentle music wafted through the background with candles flickering, giving just enough light. As the midwife sat on the opposite couch watching and listening to mum, monitoring the baby’s heart beat with the doppler and counting contractions, all was as it should be. Katie slept awaiting the arrival of her new sibling. With dad by her side, stroking her shoulder, mum would breathe out of each surge, turn, look up at dad and they would share a smile.
As mum began to sing, Katie returned, to see both her mum and dad in each other’s arms as the surges became stronger. Gathering strength with dad’s encouragement mum continued breathing, Jack spotted the baby’s head beneath the water, Katie became excited as she too could see the baby.
The baby’s head appeared deep within the water, with calm, warmth and love surrounding the room, the miracle of new life was ever present. Mum scooped up baby and the tears flowed, we all felt a magical presence, and were enlightened with the power a woman’s body holds. The gift of new life, being brought into the world with love and trust, a wonderful gift, given from the whole family to the beautiful new baby girl. Dad cut the cord, and the children returned upstairs to ice and decorate the cake. The children ate toast and went on with what seemed natural, like everything that had happened in the house that evening. The joy of new life!
Melinda Webb – Is a Dr. Chinese medicine, Pregnancy and Birth Coach, Calmbirth Practitioner and Doula who has been working with women and their partners in the field of Pregnancy and Birth for almost 10 years. Melinda works along side obstetricians, midwives and partners to establish the continuity of care required in today’s birthing environment. With her knowledge gained from Chinese medicine, Melinda uses both acupuncture and acupressure in labour. With the skills gained from Calmbirth, she provides support with breathing, massage and ensures the environment in which her clients birth is safe, calm and surrounded by people who respect the wishes of the birthing parents. As a speaker within the field and writer of blogs Melinda is very passionate about her work within the field of womens health.