Are you worried about your "dignity" during birth? Don't be!
I recently saw a post from a Birth Doula who had shared comments that were posted on an influencers page, after she proudly shared an image of her in labour (the image showed her powerful body mid-contraction, belly only, nothing else was shown). What was shocking to me was not the nudity but the comments in the post; they either attacked her for sharing a naked image, that it was a publicity stunt to receive more views, others questioned or were confused the role nudity had in birth (because they had only known birthing women to be covered in blue hospital gowns), others cheered her as they saw themselves in that picture and realized they were not alone in birthing naked, and others asked the very honest and naive question “how come some women prefer to deliver their baby completely naked?”.
This later comment highlights how the majority of our society is in the dark about what a natural and “normal” birth looks like....let alone involves. Sharing the image in a public forum was confronting for some, but I would go as far as to say that this is because the messages we have recieved about birth are ones of some of fear, something our bodies are incapable of facilitating (thank god for medical intervention as we would not be able to do it without their help) shame even and something to be hidden, covered up - how can we respect the very act when some many have not been privy to it for so long!! It is a foreign realm for many.
Oh how I wish it would come out of the dark for all. It truly deserves celebrating!!
So why do women bear all to bare down?
For me, I thought that I would be uncomfortable with the notion of undressing. I even went out and got a lovely bra and robe as I thought these would be worn throughout - but on the day my body had other ideas. The night my son was born, those primal urges kicked in & a force so knowing & assured took over - all those prudish concerns about my “bits on the show” went out the window.self - particularly for first time mothers - you may not have birthed before but the blue print to birth were planted in your body the day you were created in your grandmothers ovaries. If you dive deep inside and quiet the noise you can connect with them - they will guide you!
I’m fascinated with birth and love hearing women’s birth stories, particularly as they recount the primal urges that took over their body & instincts as they entered established and active labour. You often hear them describe a flushing, heat & a primal need to take their clothes off.
This certainly happened to me. I used to dance at the famous Lido de Paris where nudity was celebrated. Each night 70 pairs of bare breasts frolicked on stage awash in gems, feathers and barely there decadent costumes. (that's me below)
Thirteen years on I was a little less confident, in no rush to get my clothes off in a room full of strangers - I even went out and got a lovely bra and robe as I thought these would be worn throughout. On the night my son was born, those primal urges kicked in and a force so knowing & assured took over - all those prudish concerns about my “bits on show” went out the window. I didn’t care I was naked. I was so comfortable in my skin, my body...... In fact, I can’t for the life of me remember when or how I took them off, that’s how deep in the zone I was.
This is what those naive and unfair comments misunderstood - a woman cannot control her deep primal instinct once they have appeared. The stripping away, shedding the layers of clothing, the confidence and power that washes over you as you bear down in preparation to birth your baby - it is so instinctual, so automatic. Sure it is also practical - you obviously need to remove your clothing to allow your baby to come earthside, but I see this shedding as symbolic.
I didn’t care I was naked. I was so comfortable in my skin, my body...... In fact, I can’t for the life of me remember when or how I took them off, that’s how deep in the zone I was.
The journey of childbirth is a known rite of passage and deep down our inbuilt programming knows this. So as established labour kicks into gear trust it is signaling your heart and mind, they whisper “it’s time!” Time to shed our layers, our skin and start stripping away our old self in preparation to be born again... as a Mother! Isn’t that beautiful? Child and Mother born together, in the arms of loved ones, skin to skin and ready to start their new lives.
So don’t be worried about nudity during your labour. Your body will guide you. If you feel the urge to undress, then do that! If you feel the need to keep some parts of you covered, do that instead! The chances are you neither care this is happening or notice!