sibling participation

in my pursuit of doulaship, i’ve watched my fair share of birth footage and i’ve been drawn to the pictures and footage of older siblings present at the birth of their youngers.

this ideal appeals to me and while i don’t know how realistic it will be for our family in the future, it’s an option that i’d like to explore further.

usually in these online examples the elder siblings are only a few years older than the newest member of the family. i think this is great because it provides an example of normal birth for children at a young age.

but i had a chance to witness sibling involvement with a greater age difference. i was honored to share the support space with a teenage girl as she attended her mother’s labor and birthing. i can’t help but think about how wonderfully impactful that experience would be to a young female.

i’ve thought about my own theoretical future births and the idea of having a friend who hasn’t yet experienced birth be a part of my support team – no one specific picked out – so that the female gets to experience what birth can be like as an observer.

i feel like this kind of involvement, such as that of the girl attending her mother, is a step in mending the fabric of community around birth. birth used to be much more communal. women would have helped with or at least witnessed births before coming to their own time. they would have come to their labors with a knowledge base instead of the current status of most first time mothers – having seen one birth video somewhere in school and all other labor and birth input is from melodramatic television programming.

i was so impressed with the maturity and willingness to tend and care from this young woman. it felt very appropriate to have her presence there. i think some of these young women can handle it. i think it’s possible that it might be a necessary missing piece to our birth structure.

it’s something to think about – involving our children and young females in the birth experience. i’m not 100% sure but i’m willing to discuss it.

what do you think?


One thought on “sibling participation

  1. I’d thought I wanted M to come in as I was pushing, but in that moment decided against it. My second labor was fast & furious, more intense than the first maybe. I was grateful she slept through it, and joined us in bed a few hours later. I’ve seen lovely sibling interaction at births though, so it all depends on how things go…have options I say. :)

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