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Stages of Labor Mirror Pregnancy and Motherhood

Verena Schmid, an Italian Midwife,  believes that pregnancy patterns have the same rhythm as stages of labor. That doesn’t mean if a mother’s first trimester was difficult, then the first stage of labor will be the same way. Instead, Verena speaks about the instinctual rhythms of women, pregnancy and birth.

A woman’s first trimester and first stage of labor are very similar because at both times mom is learning to create inner space for her baby. Second trimester and second stage are both about learning to open up; opening in pregnancy as the baby is growing inside or opening during birth as baby moves to open the cervix. The third trimester and third stage of labor are about learning to let baby go and let her be born. 

Verena continues with this theory, stating that once a baby is born the stages begin again. The baby adapts to mom and to life outside the womb, while mom adapts to baby and motherhood.  Months 3 - 6 are often a time for mom and baby to live peacefully together with very little stresses. Finally, 6 - 9 months after baby is born, she starts to be more explorative and mom learns to let go.

I never looked at birth from this perspective and find it quite fascinating. Reading this short interview has definitely changed the way I look at birth and mothering.

The actual interview that Midwifery Today publisded in 2002 with forward-thinking Verena Schmid can be found here if you are interested in reading more than the summary above:

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