Denise Bolds, MSW CD(DONA) July 29, 2016
On June 3, 2016 the world lost the most prominent athlete in history. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr, evolves changing his name, his beliefs and his life as well as the lives of many others around the world; Muhammad Ali did this by speaking his success into existence before it occurred. His actions were the butt and fodder of many jokes and criticisms; and it worked!
There’s power in words we give the energy of our breath to. Being a black woman in America, I know just how powerful certain words are. Ali faced the largest amount of oppression during a time in American history where blacks were regarded as invisible and devalued. His work as an activist is legendary. His words he spoke we’re just as powerful as the punches he threw in the ring.
Speaking into existence, manifestation is just as powerful in birth as it is in athleticism and activism. Imagine the pregnant woman who speaks positively of her pregnancy, her provider as well as her community all speaking positively of her birth. What kind of birth outcome do you think she will have in comparison to the woman who speaks negatively about her provider and about her lack of support in her community. It is vital for expecting women, their partners, and their families to speak in a positive communication of the new life that is about to come; to be hopeful. Encouragement and empowerment promote a healthy baby and a positive birth with labor that is not seen as a punishment but as empowering.
For the Doula of color it is so important to manifest your worth and your skill set. Positive regard begins with the self; when you speak positively about yourself, your skills, your passion in supporting birth empowers. The power of your words is energy, both positive and uplifting. When you speak in a positive regard your role as a Doula, your behavior will follow what your words convey.
There may be times when you are working with a difficult client or a racist birth worker; when you affirm and pray before interacting with these scenarios, you possess power and authority to change the outcome from being oppressive, negative and maligned to an outcome that is empowering, professional and benevolent.
Helping the pregnant woman, supporting her in her pregnancy and birth is just not about action; it’s about what is said and how it is being said. If she’s struggling, facing challenges with her provider, her community or her family, empower her with positive affirmations, hope, courage and maintain solution focused.
Having a birth preference is also a form of manifesting a positive birth. It is my firm belief when positive words are spoken about a person place or thing, the world follows this trail of positive energy; attracting prosperity, positiveness, progression and more.
Ali, he said he didn’t like to work out; he knew he had to do it in order to succeed. He spoke of his swiftness, his courage, and his athleticism. He elevated his skills as a professional boxer over and over again; never doubting, never devaluing and never settling for a lower standard.
Mohammad Ali is a wonderful example of how words can empower; extending to pregnancy, a birth and the presence of a doula. Have your pregnant client and her family speak positively to/of the future mother and her unborn child. Participate in community coalitions, and activities where you promote the function and roll of doulas. These actions result manifestation of a healthy pregnancy, and empowering birth with a healthy baby and a community that has a positive regard for doulas.
We have the potential to become what we speak; Mohammad Ali is a prime example of what ‘The Greatest’ truly is. Remember, what is not being said is just as powerful as what is being said.