It is very common for women in labour to find a ritual that helps them to cope during those birthy contractions. These rituals become their “THING” that NEEDS to be there for them every single time!!! And if it’s not there they can be triggered into feeling anxious, abandoned and even pissed off! So look out!
Here are some examples of birthing rituals:
Using SOUND as a Birthing Ritual
During my last 2 labours I NEEDED the sound of the bowl during each contraction. It became my birthing ritual. And if that sound wasn’t there and playing in time with my birthy rhythm I noticed I felt anxious about making sounds with my voice, abandoned by my support crew and slightly pissed off about it!
I didn’t make a big deal about it. I just noticed these feelings arise within me. And I want to let you know about this because for those people supporting a woman during labour it is important to firstly NOTICE the ritual that is arising for that woman and then SUPPORT her to continue having that ritual available to her.
For example, if the ritual is to lean forward onto a birthing ball you make sure that ball is there. Or if counting up to 20 with you becomes her thing then you’d better make sure you are there to count up to 20! Or if she likes to be held and rocked then go hold her and start rocking! Or if she loves vocalizing with the sound of a crystal singing bowl then you had better be there at your bowl creating that sound for her!
A Common Question:
I am often asked by doulas this question:
“So how do I ensure the bowl is played when there are SO many other support tools that I should be doing?”
This is a totally valid and great question! After all, doulas have been trained on how to support birthing women in SO many beautiful ways! It can be a bit overwhelming for them! And now I’m adding ANOTHER tool to their list!
Seriously … how can one person play a bowl AND give massages AND hold their hands AND talk them through a contraction AND heat up heat packs AND use a Robozo ... and the list goes on ... and on ...
My answer to this one is:
Birth situations are SO varied…and mostly always totally not what you expected them to be. So THE MOST IMPORTANT thing is to BE PRESENT and to PAY ATTENTION to what is needed in that moment. If you trust that you can do this then all of your inspired actions will flow from this space.
And follow your impulses!
Back to Birthy Rituals
So what I suggest is this:
1. Introduce your crystal singing bowl and the benefits of having a SoundBirth when you meet your pregnant woman.
2. Introduce the sound of the bowl during a contraction … especially if you feel your woman is holding back her voice, needing to let go, feeling a bit shy, needing to create sacred space and privacy, or if she just want to give it a go!
3. Then notice what happens. Is she letting go more with her voice? Is she asking for the bowl? Does she seem more relaxed? If you feel this has become her ritual then just continue playing the bowl for her during each contraction (or surge…whatever you like to call it). If you notice she is asking for touch or rocking or the ball and not needing the bowl then go with that for a while. You will know if she misses that bowl sound or not soon enough! She will tell you!
Adding SoundBirth to your birthy tool kit doesn’t mean you will use it every time with every woman during the entire labour. It just means you will be able to OFFER it and USE it if your woman is ENJOYING and LOVING the SOUND RITUAL.
I hope this has helped! Please let me know if you have any questions so I can write MORE blog posts about SoundBirth for you.
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!