You will always remember your birth
What Penny Simpkin says about birth memories and compassionate care in this youtube clip is so very poignant.
One of the strong messages I receive from birth stories that are sent to me - and other comments I receive from women about their births - is that they remember in great detail every dimension of their birth, down to the minutest detail; years later, decades later...
I vividly remember when I was first contemplating training as a Midwife, and I spoke to many women who re-inforced this: "Women always remember their birth." They remember every smell, every sound, they remember the EXACT words spoken to them...
Speak to women in their 50's, 60's, even 70's, about their births, and they can still tell you exactly what they were doing when they went into labour, what they were wearing, what they had for supper, what was happening in the world at the time…but most of all they will remember the way they were treated by their caregivers; be it positive or negative.
They remember the kind words, the reassuring touch - of a Doula, midwife, doctor, or family member - and they equally remember the unkind words or treatment....
That care means so much to women, and I think it is illustrated so beautifully in this extract from Amanda's birth story here:
"When it felt as though I had been pushing forever, the student midwife was kind and calm, and every time I pushed she would encourage me - I felt like I tried hard for her because of the encouragement. The other midwife was like the Trunchbull in Matilda and kept telling me that I had to push for longer because it wasn’t doing anything – this made me want to give up."
These are the stories that women carry with them forever, they carry them out of the birth room and they penetrate so many aspects of their lives...
They are the stories we tell to our friends. our families, our children and our grandchildren.
They are life long memories, let's make them good ones.
Nurturing positive birth memories; nurturing strong mothers.
Penny Simpkin's clip (below) illustrates beautifully why preparing for a positive birth, and having excellent emotional care during labour and birth is so important to women.
Penny is an American childbirth educator, and was a major proponent, and developer, of the role of the 'Doula' in providing emotional support, and compassionate care for women during pregnancy and birth.
One of the wise women of modern childbirth, Penny has an INCREDIBLE wealth of knowledge around pregnancy and birth, which she has developed through decades of working closely with pregnant women and new mums across the US (it is estimated that she has worked with over 13,000 parents!)
Luckily for us she has now created a wonderful series of short video clips on youtube where we are able to absorb some of this wisdom - sent direct from her living room in Seattle!
These clips are a great resource for parents, childbirth educators, doulas, midwives...and anyone else supporting women holistically during birth.