TRIMESTERS Massage Therapy Education

The Power of Birth

This article originally appeared in Massage Therapy Canada, Summer 2003 issue.

Reproduced with permission.

by Cindy McNeely, M.T., co-founder of Trimesters

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Labour Support Providers (LSP’s) need to be prepared to work in an array of settings – in Canada, hospital or home births are the norm. Sadly to date, birthing centres have not taken hold in this country. LSP’s must be able to work comfortably with Midwives, Obstetricians, Family Physicians, and with Nurses, with Anesthesiologists, with midwifery and resident students in training, with about-to-be fathers, same-sex partners, and the endless possible variations of what constitutes ‘family/friends’ of the birthing family.

What inherent traits are needed to prepare us for this time of magical intensity?

  1. Patience
  2. Faith and belief in the potential, strength, and capability of human beings to give birth naturally and without interference.
  3. Willingness to connect and share the best aspects of ourselves with our clients and other participants in their birth in order to promote the primary goal - a healthy, happy birth outcome.
  4. An endless flexibility to go with the flow, respecting the birth choices of the family, whatever their decisions which will ultimately influence the outcome of their birth.
  5. An indefatigable demeanour even when we are hardly able to disguise our fatigue.
  6. Commitment to our clients in a strong, unwavering way.
  7. Joy – in being able to witness power, great strength, and at times, intense pain.

The photos included in this article are a testament to the magnificent characteristics of the birthing families who have entrusted their stories to be shared with the reader. It is my hope that through text and visuals, the reader will have a clearer sense of both the birthing experience, and the role played by the M.T./LSP. page