Thanks in Birth

I love the Greek language.  It is so expressive and complete. Whereas we might say 'love', the Greeks have different words for different types of love. And whereas we might say 'thanks', the Greeks have different types of thanks.

In my 13+ years of birth work, I can tell you that this one thing can make all the difference in the birthing room - whether you are thankful for the sensations of birth or not. If you're not, you might find yourself using these words:

  • (at the beginning of a contraction) "NO!"
  • (at the beginning of a contraction) "not another one..."
  • (at the end of a contraction) "it's horrible, this is horrible".
  • (between contractions) "I hate this, this is not good."

Think of it this way, if you have been asked to do a task that is very difficult, attitude will make all the difference. You still have to complete the task, but it's up to you if you do it grumbling and complaining or if you do it in thanksgiving and joy. Joy and thanksgiving doesn't mean it's not still going to be work, even hard work - it's just the difference between a dance and a dirge.

Ok - back to the Greek forms of Thanks. There are at least 7 forms that I am aware of. I am going to break down four of them for you here, and how they can apply to birth.
  • YADAH - This form of thanks means to 'throw'. It literally means to thank with total surrender - like a child jumping into the arms of their parents in total surrender and gratitude.
  • TEHILLAH - this form of thanks is audible - to sing or laud verbally. An unrehearsed and spontaneous new song or recitation from the heart. 
  • TOWDAH - is physical thanks, such as extending your hands palm up in gratitude. This is also a form of adoration or agreeing with what has been done or what has been promised. 
  • EUCHARISTIA - feminine form of giving thanks. This form means to actually feel thankful. 
Labor that is thankful is a change of mindset. When the mind changes, the heart follows. Practical ways to practice thankfulness in labor and birth can include: 
  • YADAH - surrendering through your body language, completely letting go.
  • TEHILLAH - using your voice positively and using positive words, such as 'yes', 'I am safe', 'this is good', and 'one step closer'. Nodding your head or rolling it in circles rather than shaking it 'no'. 
  • TOWDAH - practicing deep surrender by releasing tension in your body. Keeping your mind set on the goal of birth - the baby. Being thankful for that baby and the work that comes with getting to baby. This would include keeping your mind set on the fact that labor is bringing you closer to baby. 
  • EUCHARISTIA - if you are practicing the above thankfulness, eucharistia normally and naturally follows. 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

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