That seven letter word, EMPATHY, has been ringing in my mind lately. I am being challenged with how to use it in my personal life, and have reflected on how it can be used when it comes to birth. The word “empathy” means to think about something from someone else’s perspective. Daniel Tiger says it best when he explains that empathy is when we, “think a-bout how someone else is feel-ing” (excuse me for pulling this chant from my mommy brain). Empathy is not to be confused with “sympathy,” which means to feel sorry for someone. People do not want others to feel sorry for them, and we certainly do not appreciate it when others make judgments about what THEY think we should do. We all want to be listened to, validated for our feelings and concerns, and have others understand why we make the choices we do, even if there are other options or opinions available.
Often times in life we may hear various birth stories and may be tempted to judge their experience from OUR lens, rather than THEIRS.
What areas of birth are YOU deciding on right now? Are YOU receiving empathetic responses from your family, friends, doula, or care provider about your birth plans or your birth experience? What areas of YOUR life do you wish to receive more empathy on from others?
A Moment in Time Doula Services, LLC