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Commentary—Birth and Death: Opportunities for Self-Transcendence

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One thing that is often absent in childbirth education classes is a discussion of the spiritual aspect of giving birth. Birth offers women a wonderful opportunity to awaken their spirituality. Natural childbirth, in particular, has the potential for self-transcendence, offering an even greater appreciation for the miracle of life. The normal, natural pain in labor can challenge the core of one's being=mit is a healthy sensation that provides direction for women moving through the maze of labor. The challenge of giving birth today is to develop confidence and trust in one's inner wisdom and allow nature to do its thing. When this is accomplished, a woman's body is often permeated and nourished by spiritual energy and guidance. She emerges from her labor bed with a renewed sense of her body's strength and power and with an enhanced spirituality.
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Keywords: natural childbirth; self-transcendence; spirituality

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: WENDY BUDIN is Associate Professor of Nursing and Program Director of the Lamaze International Childbirth Educator Program at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. She is a Fellow in the American College of Childbirth Educators and a member of the Lamaze International Certification Council and Faculty Assembly.

Publication date: April 1, 2001

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