A Gentle Transition from Womb to World

February 25, 2007 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment

When Bhavani opened her eyes for the very first time, the entire family was there with her, cradled in warm water, making the transition from womb to water to world breathtakingly gentle. To prepare for Bhavani’s home water birth, Joanne and Wayne O’Donovon had spent every week of the pregnancy attending unique baby swim program for “pregnant parents” in Hawthorn, Victoria. Bhavani’s birth is now the subject of a documentary Wayne and Jo are producing to inspire other parents about the benefits and joys of the baby swim pre-natal program and water birthing. Joanne explains.

“The inspiration to create the documentary was born out of our desire to share the wonder and empowerment we achieved during the birth of our second child. For us, taking the birth of our children into our own hands and making all the necessary decisions ourselves was enormously rewarding.

As a birthing mother my environment was safe, comfortable and nurturing. The atmosphere was one of support, not interference. There was no pressure to birth in a certain way or at a certain speed, but rather the birth moved at my pace, a pace which I directed and was dictated to me by my body and my baby.

My 2 year old son, Kiahma, was allowed to be present at the birth, but more than that he was allowed to be included in the process and also allowed to go through his own experience, feeling safe in his own home, he moved around freely including himself when he felt like it. For example, rubbing my back, giving me ice, hugs and kisses and filling the birth pool. When the intensity of the birth process upset Kiahma, he was brought even closer to the process. The safety of the environment and the reassurance of Dad, myself, and the birth attendant reinforced the normality of the situation.

Seeing the birth of his sister allowed Kiahma to make the transition from only child to big brother instantly and of his own accord. He and hs sister are closely bonded and experience a relationship void of competition.

My husband Wayne also had a profoundly empowering experience. Most men feel a certain level of separation from the pregnancy, the birth process, and from the closeness experienced by mother and baby soon after birth. Traditionally pregnancy, birth and early child rearing have all been considered women’s business. It is important to consider that society was once much more communally based, with large extended families and plenty of grandmothers, aunties, mothers and sisters involved in the birthing process. As we enter the new millenium, our society is now based almost entirely on the nuclear family. Because of this it is vital that dad’s are embraced into what was once women’s business and encouraged to take their rightful place.

My experience of having Wayne as my most important support person was that because he knows me better than anyone else, he knew what I wanted and needed to do when I didi not. During transition and the second stage Wayne was essential, I do not know how I could have continued without him.

Wayne was not merely an accessory to the process, he was an integral part of it’s success. He was not told what to do by anyone, but was able to use his knowledge and intuition to do what was best for me and our baby. He has continued to be part of all processes after birth, experiencing a unique bond with his daughter and a strong belief in his own abilities as a participating father.

Finally Bhavani, our baby was born into this loving and gentle environment. It was familiar to her just as it was familiar to the rest of the family. This undoubtedly encouraged a very gentle transition from womb to world.

For me, the inspiration for the documentary was not so much about homebirth, underwater birth or lotus birth. The inspiration I hope the film will communicate is that of choice, power and freedom.”

Reproduced with Permission of and Copyrighted by North Coast Child Magazine. February 2000.


Entry filed under: Birth.

The Birth of India by Sharon Brown Is it a Cheetah? by Stephanie S. Tolan

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

%d bloggers like this: