I have facilitated a number of free information sessions lately for those interested in learning more about SoundBirth. What I have noticed is that almost EVERY time there is at least one person who asks about what the obstetricians think about bringing a bowl into the hospital room. Or about what the midwives say. Or about how the woman next door responds to the sound of the bowl.
This is what I have to say about these common concerns.
1. This is YOUR birth (well...your baby's actually). NOT your obstetricians. Or your midwife's. And has nothing to do with the woman next door to you ... So do what you want!
2. Legally you can bring anything you like into your birth space. So even if your obstetrician scrunches up his nose or rolls his eyes or shares maybe a not-so-positive opinion with you about bringing a crystal singing bowl into your birth space, then you still can! (as far as I know...)
3. Now is not the best time to be all people pleasy, co-deppy! Quit worrying about what others think and do what you KNOW in your heart is the best thing for you, your partner and your baby! Everyone else will need to deal with their own issues around what you are doing. So, if your obstetrician rolls his eyes when he sees and hears the bowl that may be because SoundBirth was left out of his training and he doesn't understand it ... yet. Or maybe he just had something stuck in his eye and actually loves the idea! Maybe your midwife thinks you're making too much noise ... or maybe she feels uncomfortable in the presence of a powerful woman or maybe she can really see how the bowl is really helping you to relax. Either way it's just her experience and opinion and has nothing to do with you. And when it comes to the woman birthing next door to you, you have NO idea what she is thinking about or experiencing! She may be enjoying the bowl sound and the sounds you are making with it. Maybe it is giving her permission to also use her voice!?! And you're giving her a FREE SoundBirth!! Cool!
4. Compare the beautiful resonant pure sound of the bowl to the random noises that occur in a hospital room ... the doors opening and closing, the chit chat from staff, the beeping of instruments ... the screaming from the woman next door (because she hasn't learnt how to use her voice in a conscious way) ... and the baby crying from the other birthing suite! All of these sounds aren't banned from the hospital! And they are the sounds that kick in the adrenaline, kick out the oxytocin and bring women out of their beautiful calm "birthing zone"! Not keep them in it like the bowl does!
5. So far, most of the feed back from birth pros have been very positive! Midwives noticing that a woman's blood pressure decreases when toning with the bowl. They also feel more energised during and after their shift. They tip toe around as the bowl creates sacred space in any room. They are super curious and want to show all of their co-workers. They can see that it encourages the women to make more low, long mooing sounds rather than those high-pitched screaming sounds. So it is unlikely that you'll have a negative response anyway.
So, MY opinion is that if you are choosing to birth in a hospital setting (most SoundBirth's HAVE been in a hospital setting by the way...) or if you are transferred from a home birth to hospital be aware that bringing a bowl is a relatively new idea and that you may get some stares and questions ... BUT remember that this is YOUR birth, YOUR baby and you are co-creating an experience that you will never forget! So, make your SOUND environment important enough to not let other people's opinions concern you on your special day. You have every right to bring a bowl to your birth. Just remember that you are a SoundBirth pioneer and that one day bowls at birth will be as normal as the use of showers and birth pools and essential oils and placenta encapsulation and background birth music now are!
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!