One of the biggest reasons I became a doula was because of my passion for women. Or better yet, womanhood. I was 24 years old when I was first thinking of starting a family but realized my full understanding of conception, pregnancy and birth were very lacking. Sure, I took sex ed in school and biology and understood that guy parts were different than women parts. But how did it all REALLY work? Long before my discovery of ̈the birth world ̈, my thoughts were like most people. You have sex, get pregnant, go to the hospital and have a baby. Sounds simple right? OOOOOh soooo wrong! Once I started asking women in my local birth community questions about doulas and midwifery I found myself in a rabbit hole of information.
The biggest lie I feel so many of us women are told, is that it takes one time of unprotected sex to get pregnant. Sure, it does but only to a point. All of the stars must align. Did you know that women are only fertile for about 24 hours out of every month? Many women from even a young age have no idea how their menstrual cycle really works. They generally only understand that if they bleed every month that their uterus is shedding it ligning and they are not pregnant. However, there are fine details every woman should know each day of the month.
Every woman is different. The medical ̈standard ̈ cycle is about 28 days long, with the estimated ovulation on day 14. HOWEVER, this is not true for everyone. Some women have a cycle that is 32 days long and ovulation on day 18. There are many physical and hormonal variations on this. In addition, any consideration of medical issues that may present an irregular period.
Anyways, before we dive too far into this information – why am I sharing? Well, I feel that modern society and culture has made our womanhood extremely taboo. When I dove into this information I became passionate about reclaiming my female body, my ability to bear children and wanted to support others in their right to reclaim it. I feel that every woman should be celebrated for her part in life giving, just as much as a man.
Bringing life into this world, not only manifests another being but it changes yourself.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
Quick side note: Yes, I do understand infertility is a thing. It does NOT make that individual any less of a man or woman. More on infertility some other time.
So how do we, as women, reclaime this? Is it purely through giving birth? No, it is much deeper. Much more personalized. No two journeys alike.
Bonding & Empowerment. This is how we reclaim our female identity.
We no longer need to hide our biological makeup. We no longer need to feel ashamed or inferior about our bodies and the amazing things it can do.
I encourage women to talk to each other; ask questions around conception, pregnancy, birth, (breast)feeding, and motherhood in general. We have so much more confidence and power within ourselves if we truly understand ourselves physically. In addition, I encourage women to dig deep into their spirituality or faith. Look deep within their religion or culture as to how women are celebrated. Embrace it. Magnify it. Celebrate it.