The Sacred-Birthing Statement of Values and Ethics
This statement is inspired by, and based on the Value statement of MANA, the Midwives Alliance of North America, as found in Heart and Hands Midwifery, by Elizabeth Davies.
The Power of Woman
We value women as individuals with Unique Value and Worth. We value women’s creative, life-affirming and life giving powers which find expression in a diversity of ways, and we value a woman’s right to make choices regarding all aspects of her life.
Mother and Baby as Whole
We value the oneness of the pregnant mother and her unborn child; an inseparable and independent whole.
We value the birth experience as a rite of passage; the sentient and sensitive nature of the newborn; and the right of each baby to be born in a caring and loving manner, without separation from the mother and family.
We value the integrity of a woman’s body and the right of each woman and baby to be totally supported in their efforts to achieve a natural, spontaneous vaginal birth.
We value the breastfeeding relationship as the ideal way of nourishing and nurturing the newborn.
The Nature of Birth
We value the essential mystery of birth and honour pregnancy and birth as a natural process that technology will never supplant.
We value the integrity of all of life’s experiences, the physical, emotional, mental, psychological and spiritual components of a process are inseparable.
We value pregnancy and birth as personal, intimate, internal, sexual and social events to be shared in the environment and with the attendants a woman chooses.
We value the learning experiences of life and birth, and we value pregnancy and birth as processes which have lifelong impact on a woman’s self esteem, her health, her ablitiy to nurture and her personal growth.
The Art of Midwifery and The Art of the Doula
We value the relationship between Midwives and Doulas, and work to create and maintain mutually respectful relationships which honour our differences as well as our similarities as attendants in the birth space of a woman and her family.
We value the right of women to practice the art of Midwifery and the art of the Doula. We value our work as an ancient vocation of women which has existed as long as humans have lived on earth.
We value expertise which incorporates academic knowledge, clinical skill, intuitive judgement and spiritual awareness.
We value all forms of Midwifery and Doula education and acknowledge the ongoing wisdom of apprenticeship as the original model for training midwives and doulas.
As Doulas, we are not clinically trained as Midwives and we respect and honour the Midwife’s role at a birth. We also recognise that Midwives employed by the state are not always free to step into the role of supporting a woman and her family in the same way as a Doula can.
We value the opportunity to work as a part of a team with Midwives to support women during the Childbearing Year as well as at the birth itself.
We value the art of nurturing the intrinsic normalcy of birth and recognise that each woman and baby have parameters of well-being unique unto themselves.
We value the empowerment of women in all aspects of life and particularly as that strength is realised during pregnancy, birth and thereafter. We value the art of encouraging the open expression of that strength so women can birth unhindered and confident in their abilities and in our support.
We value skills which support a complicated pregnancy or birth to move towards a state of greater well being or to be bought to the most healing conclusion possible.
We value the art of letting go.
(This addresses our desire for an uncomplicated birth wherever possible and recognises that there are times when it is not possible. That is to say that a woman may be least traumatised to have a cesarean and live birth than to attempt to proceed with a vaginal birth when it is not possible. We support the woman in letting go of a desired outcome of vaginal birth to achieve the possibility of a healthy baby.)
We value the acceptance of death as a possible outcome of birth.
We value our focus as supporting rather than avoiding death.
(We support parents in situations when they may choose to allow a very ill, premature or deformed infant to die in their arms rather than being subjected to multiple surgeries, separations and trauma.This too is letting go of the normal for the most healing choice possible within the framework of the parents ethics given the circumstances. What is most healing, will of course, vary from individual to individual. We value supporting the mother whatever is her journey and choices during pregnancy and birth.
We value standing for what we believe in the face of social and political oppression.
Woman as Mother
We value a mothers intuitive knowledge of herself and her baby before, during and after birth
We value a woman’s innate ability to nurture her pregnancy and birth her baby; the power and beauty of her body as she grows, and the awesome strength that is summoned in labour.
We value the mother as the only direct care provider for her unborn child.
We value supporting women in a non-judgemental, compassionate way, whatever their state of physical, emotional, social or spiritual health.
We value the broadening of available resources whenever possible so that the desired goals of health, happiness and personal growth are realised according to the woman’s needs and perceptions.
We value the right of each woman to choose a care giver appropriate to her needs and compatible with her belief systems
We value pregnancy and birth as rites of passage integral to a woman’s evolution into mothering.We value the potential of partners, family and community to support women in all aspects of birth and mothering.
The Nature of Relationship
We value relationship. The quality, integrity, equality and uniqueness of our interactions inform and critique our choices and decisions
We value honesty in relationship
We value caring for women to the best of our ability without prejudice against their age, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, physical abilities, or socioeconomic background.
We value the concept of personal responsibility and the right of individuals to make choices regarding what they deem best for themselves. We value the right to true informed choice, not merely informed consent.
We value our relationship to a process larger than ourselves, recognising that birth is something we can seek to learn from and know, but never control.
We value humility in our work
We value the recognition of our own limits and limitations
We value direct access to information readily understood by all
We value the midwifery and doula community as a support system and essential place of learning and sisterhood.
We value diversity among midwives and doulas; recognising that it broadens our collective resources and challenges us to work for greater understanding of birth and each other.
We value mutual trust and respect, which grows from a realisation of all of the above.