sup.port — to bear all or part of the weight of; hold up
As a birth professional, our job is to provide unbiased, non-medical, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual support. It is our duty and responsibility to Educate/Empower, Support, Serve, Advocate and protect your Autonomy (rights over your body).
Sometimes that support looks like holding space (witnessing and validating your emotional state), other times, gentle massage, encouraging words, other times, as the definition states, it means we are bearing the weight of your birth or partum experience, physically (holding you and/or your partner up) and the often unseen, bearing the emotional weight of your birth/post partum.
I have to be honest, over the years, it has become increasingly more difficult to do this work, because many people come to us, hoping to that we will “save” them from catastrophe, hoping that they won’t become another statistic, wanting to be heard. What has gotten lost in this “crusade” to save others, is we (medical and birth professionals alike) have forgotten that the power lies in reminding those who seek us out, that THEY hold the power. Aside from the larger system at play, that controls all of this and sets the tone for what happens to us in hospitals, as consumers, we need to learn to take back our power, to use our collective voices and to speak up when things feel wrong.
No one gets into birth work for the money or the “glamour” of being able to call oneself a “birth worker”. We do it, because we have been in the same spaces as you, have seen and witnessed poor birth outcomes, have seen people lose themselves and relinquish their power, without knowing what they are fully capable of, suffer PTSD, depression, etc.
If your birth/post partum support is not mutually beneficial, is not respectful of your wishes/doesn’t feel “right”, find new support! There are resources available to you and all around you.
This is YOUR birth/post partum, your body, your baby and YOUR experience. Whether it’s the 1st or 3rd time (baby), these moments will shape you and the way you choose to live out the rest of your days.