As explained in earlier posts, images of animal births can be very empowering to the pregnant woman as she approaches the day of her labor. During her labor, the woman’s recollection and visualization of these images can then help her to tap into the nature she shares with other living beings on earth, which in turn enables her to birth her baby more effectively and without fear. In her Guide to Childbirth, Ina May Gaskin encourages pregnant and birthing women to envision themselves as large mammals who are in the process of giving birth. In shedding her more cognitive side during birth, the laboring woman’s mind quiets, allowing her body to move more freely and naturally as she births her child.
It is my belief that images of water mammals giving birth is especially helpful for several reasons. Animals like dolphins and whales move smoothly and rhythmically through the water while in labor. These rhythmic movements remind the laboring woman that she too can utilize rhythm of breath and body during her own birthing process. The color of the blue and green waters typical of these underwater mammal births is also calming to look at. The soft underwater sounds are peaceful to listen to. Finally, the newborn mammal’s immediate connection to its mother is a joy to watch, reminding the pregnant woman that she too will soon be connected from the outside with the child she has been carrying inside for so many months.