What does the mama gate mean anyway?
It is an idea that perceives mothers as the passageway to their baby’s journey from heaven to earth.
Babies come to us through their mother’s bellies and without willing mamas there is no life. Birth is the start of a baby’s earth-bound journey and mothers are the gateway into that new life. If willing, their bodies become vessels of transition from life in utero to life on earth. Yes, birth is part of a woman’s journey too, but her journey started when she was born, and the birth of a child is just a part of her journey.
Prenatal care is about helping mama focus on her baby and preparing her to be that gateway. We do our best to help mother prepare for birth with classes and books on how to have the best birth ever. But really what the conversations should be focused on is how well both mother and baby are growing and handling pregnancy. What her and her baby might need during this time. Helping her focus on feelings of peace, contentment, love and how one might make things easier for baby once the sweet child is in one’s arms.
From what we know from awesome doctors and teachers like David Chamberlin, Michael Odent, and Sarah Buckley our babies learn to relate to the world through the emotions and activities of the pregnant mothers. This vital time of our baby’s life journey sets the stage for how they live in the world. When women understand this, they become purpose driven and committed to keeping themselves nourish, mobile and educated knowing that their job is to be healthy and open at the time of birth so baby can do its work.
We use many tools to help moms nourish placentas and align baby in pelvis to avoid malpresentations etc. Midwives do what we can to make it easier for baby to descend and make its way through the gateway of mother’s bones and in turn helps mother too. Mothers are the author of healthy pregnancy and birth and it’s up to them to do what is needed to maintain good health during this time. Helping babies to position themselves and teaching how to maintain healthy habits, helps mothers to become more focused on their job as their baby’s gateway.
Birth is the art and act of love that opens the mama gate making space for baby to come through.
So much of our time is spent on preparing mothers for birth because it is so intense for us. But it is in birth that we must give way to the baby and allow our bodies to do the work we are made to do. If we teach women what is happening during labor and birth and what these little lambs are going through too, the focus comes off mothers and on to the real guest of honor the babies.
We can obviously see what is going on with mama’s during labor, women work hard to bring forth a child. we are faced with summiting to the sensations of our bones and ligaments spreading our bodies. But baby is still a bit of a mystery for the most part for most women. When the mothers realize who’s journey birth really is, giving life takes on a totally different vibe and these mamas become powerfully open and present to their baby’s experience. This beautiful dance between laboring mothers and their babies empowers women to give their bodies and children all the time they need to birth without compromise. They become patient and do not fight the powerful sensations within them. They embrace the challenges with a focused attention on how best to posture one’s self to help baby out regardless of how painful or difficult the moment may be. I tell them their job is to allow their body to dilate and stay open so that baby can rotate and figure their way through the bones or what I call the mama gate.
VBAC mothers drink this concept up and are awesome birthers especially if they were told they could not deliver a baby on their own the first time. Word of advice: Look out these women will be very powerful in birth.
Mother’s postpartum care of her newborn is also a type of gateway. How? By taking her child to her breast and nurturing the baby who has just entered life’s journey. Remember pregnancy is not only 9 months it is 18 months. 9month in the womb and 9months between mother’s breasts. Our babies rely on our willingness to wear them, nourish them and nurture them. Mothers and babies are still very much pregnant. Breastfeeding is critical for both mothers and babies especially during the first 9months of life. Mothers understanding this concept usually adopt the baby wearing and natural parenting philosophy and continue supporting their baby’s natural journey. Again, through breastfeeding their little ones, mothers become the gateways to their baby’s world and family around them.
I truly believe that when women take the focus of birth off themselves and their experience and on to the baby’s journey they truly come into a place of peace and empowerment that allows them to be free to be part of the birth process without resisting or getting in the way of what the baby is trying to do.