Birth can heal lineages. Generations of patterns, wounds, and trauma. Birth can heal future generations of those same patterns, wounds, and trauma. Pregnancy and birth reorganize the cellular make-up in the body. Carrying and birthing life is revolutionary and ancient. It is ordinary and extraordinary. Miraculous and mundane. Birth is everything. Without birth, without women and birthing people – none of us would be here.
How women and birthing people show up in this extraordinary event with so much strength and vulnerability is truly humbling. I find myself weeping tears of grief with them. Laughing hysterically at the absurdity of it all. Feeling my heart being opened by the magnitude of what it means to open our bodies and our lives to these little humans that want to come through. It is so primal. So political. So painful. So ecstatic. So complex that it sometimes takes telling the birth story a million times over before one can really glimpse into the truth of what actually happened. Or what is there to be learned. Or let go of.
I have always been in awe of women and birthing people… To truly witness them opens something deeper inside of me, inside of everyone. It opens the place where I am thrilled and terrified to be human, to be alive, to give birth. The place that longs so deeply to feel a body moving through mine so they can exist on this earth; to bring life forth. The place that has never done it. The place that has done it a million times before. That knows nothing else. The primordial blueprint that each of us has within us of how to be born and how to birth.
From this place of witnessing and holding the magnitude of it all, I see clearly that birth is a sacred Rite of Passage. And unfortunately, in our modern-day society, so much of our connection with ceremony and Rites of Passage have been lost. “Rites of Passage are an important part of human development. They mark key times of transition in an individual’s life… When these times of transition are marked, ritualized, witnessed, and supported, it creates a kind of experiential map of self-development. Without proper rites of passage, people can become disoriented and lose their way in life’s journey.” (David Adam Lertzman, Rediscovering Rites of Passage .)
It is deep within my bones that I am called to hold ceremony and ritual for not just my birthing clients, but for all humans that are hungry for this kind of initiation and recognition that is severely lacking in the world they see around them. Imagine if every significant thresh-hold life offered us was held in safety and ritual surrounded by the people we love, rather than alone and shrouded in fear, shame, and confusion – like too many of us have experienced in our lives. What a different world this would be. It is my purpose in this life to contribute to a new (yet so ancient) way of being. To bring consciousness and love to these sacred times of life that deserve attention and acknowledgement. To birth a new paradigm. And we do not have to do it alone.
Here are some examples of ceremonies for the childbearing continuum that I have found to be impactful and important for clients moving through different gates of initiation:
Menarche Blessing – honors a young girl’s Rite of Passage into menstruation.
Sacred Wom(b)an Blessing – celebrates the power of the womb through ritual and a yoni (vagina) steam.
Bridal Blessing – honors the bride (or both partners) prior to the marriage date (a sacred spin on a bridal shower).
Pregnancy Blessing – honors the Rite of Passage of pregnancy and birth with community.
Postpartum Sealing Ceremony – closes the birthing portal (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) with traditional cloth binding.
Sacred Baby Blessing – honors and welcomes baby’s arrival (body and soul).
Sacred Passing of Pregnancy – honors and holds space for a grieving family after experiencing a miscarriage, still-birth, fetal demise, or termination of pregnancy.
It is an honor to co-create these rituals. Something that brings me so much joy and yet, brings me to my knees in awe and reverence for the vulnerability and resiliency of the human spirit. Everyone deserves to be seen, loved, and heard. If there is a stirring in your soul, please listen to it. I would love to hear from you.
In deep gratitude and humility,
Dakota Hindman, CD
Owner, Certified Doula and Ceremonialist
Matrescence Doula Services