The spirituality of childbirth

Moloney, Sharon (2006) The spirituality of childbirth. Birth Issues, 15 (2 ). pp. 41-46.

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For many couples the birth of their baby is a deeply spiritual experience. In our industrialised culture however, this sacred moment has generally come to be regarded as a medical event in hospital, drained of its spiritual dimensions. Many midwives and caregivers intuitively know about birth spirituality, but their medicalised training does little to prepare them to engage with it confidently. After considering some descriptions of spirituality and implications for birth practice in this paper, I trace the history of Western notions of spirituality in contrast to other cultural traditions. Three alternative woman-centred models of spirituality are then considered for their relevance to birthing. In articulating the sacredness of birth, I argue for a uniquely female spirituality, which is currently disadvantaged by a male-derived model of obstetrics. Finally, I consider some practical measures to enable caregivers to work with female spirituality for enhanced birth outcomes.

Item ID: 3824
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1038-023X
Keywords: birth; spirituality; female; midwifery
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2009 05:44
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 100%
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