Much of the time, when we begin the work of birth planning, we often do so considering the things that we don’t want to do or don’t want to happen. And while those considerations are important, particularly in birth settings outside the home, what if we began by taking the time to truly discover what we DO want? And what if we did this not just for birth planning, but for all of the big questions in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and even our lives in general?
It’s both tempting and easy to jump right into the planning, list-making, form-filling-outing (wha?) because many of us already have some idea of specific things we want to include. But very possibly, in our deeper subconscious as well as in our baby’s subconscious, there are additional hopes, wishes, fears, and questions. Following these first four steps of the Wise Woman Tradition will help us to access those elements and thus make our birth planning process even richer and more thoughtful.
But what if the question I’m trying to answer is time-sensitive? Something like a recommended cesarean for a “suboptimal” fetal position or a medical induction for dates? There is still time, maybe not a lot, to go through these steps. In fact, it is almost more essential in high-pressure scenarios such as these that we make time to center and connect with ourselves. It is this pause that can help prevent us from making rash or pressured decisions.
The true, simple beauty of the Wise Woman Tradition is that it urges us to look and listen inward first. Its central premise is that the answers we seek are already present within us and our babies. So this deeper work of birth planning really involves finding the silence to hear our intuition and the confidence to follow it where it leads.
For more on the Wise Woman Tradition, consider reading these books by Susun Weed: