The power of speaking up in labour and birth

Did you use your voice in labour? Have you ever thought about the connection between the throat and the cervix? Some musings….

Physiological labour and birth is designed for women to experience a hormonal cocktail that enables the veils to thin, waters to break and internal doors within the body to open so we can channel new life into the world. Women will often innately sing “the birth song” in labour, which is simply a unique and authentic expression of grunts, moans, oooh’s & ahhh’s, deep primal and instinctual sounds. The vocal toning coaches and coaxes the cervix to open. As above so below. 

The physical markers are quite obvious when a labouring women has gotten off track. The shoulders sit closer to the ears, tensed up. The jaw is clenched, the sounds are high pitched, the eyes squeezed shut – and usually if the jaw is clenched so is the root. Long and slow deep breaths, intimacy, and an environment of safety will unwind all of the above more often than not.

And then so often after the baby is born the vocal ranges of mother changes to a softer and higher pitched coo. The days and weeks that follow birth, mother sings and hums from a different range, and I wonder if in doing so she is also toning her cervix and “knitting up” and sealing the doorways (pineal gland, vocal chords, cervix) with a vibrational thread, in the same way the lower tones expressed in birth opened those portals. 

Another interesting point is that the lower tones expressed in labour would be when the woman is in theta and delta brain waves … low and slow – the realms of the unconscious. I have made eye contact with women who are approaching or are at full effacement and dilation, and seen pupils the size of saucers, and although they are physically in the room, they are far far away traversing deep realms of the mind and spirit. Could the singing and humming that mothers instinctively do after birth and well into the postpartum be not only to serve as the child’s emotional pacifier, but also as a way to bring mothers back into themselves and ground in after such an expansive experience? A song and vibration to close the chakra. Is this part of the download we receive in physiological birth? It has been my experience in working with postpartum women, that many of those who live with depression don’t have a song to sing, so to speak. In listening to the stories of new mothers, there is often some disruption in the labour process that “steals” their voice. To sing is to create, and creativity is an antidote to depression. 

This also makes me wonder if the invasive practice of cervical examinations during labour is comparable with having a stranger come into your space and stick a gloved hand down your throat multiple times. “ We just need to see how you’re progressing…” These routine practices not only bring women back into alpha and beta brainwaves (not the place they need to be in their brain to bring a baby down), therefore disrupting the natural “unseen” progression happening within, but also imprint their energy on the holy channel that is mother; treading in realms and body spaces that need not be tread on.

The thyroid is also very susceptible to going off balance especially in the postpartum. It is key in the control of our moods, cognitive function, metabolism, weight and hormones. The thyroid is said to correlate to one’s will. Can you speak up for yourself and hold an opposing view? Can you use your voice to create a boundary and to say “no?” 

Part of “doing the work” in pregnancy is to say the things that need to be said – whether to our partners, our family or our caregivers. To energetically release and let go of everything that arises and surfaces during pregnancy is big work. Yes, we pass on physical traits to our children, but what about the emotional and spiritual residue and programs that children potentially inherit? What can you speak to and release? How can you set boundaries using you voice? Can you ask for help? How can you be more clear in your communication? What mantras can you employ to empower yourself? How can you authentically express yourself? It is through the bridge of the throat we speak into existence our hearts and minds. 

When emotions arise one can experience a “lump in the throat.” You know how good it feels to release that either through tears or voice? These lumps that are avoided and repressed become the hurdles we face in the marathon of labour. So get in touch with yourself and practice using your voice. A healthy throat centre requires expression, creation, communication and vibration. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. 

When was the last time you didn’t get a say in things? Whether that be in your home, work or public life? How did it make you feel? 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our voice, censorship, the masking and muzzling of labouring women, and the control of communication and how that corresponds to the birth realm. What is your experience using your voice?

“Sound…. Rhythm….Vibration….Words. Powerful rulers of our lives, we take these things for granted. Using them, responding to them, creating them anew each day, we are the subjects of rhythm upon rhythm, endlessly interweaving the fabric of experience. From the first cries of a newborn child to the harmonies of a symphony, we are immersed in an infinite web of communication.”  – Anodea Judith, PhD


Black & White photo – Elliana Allon

Metaphysical painting – Alex Grey

Other images by google