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Catch a glimpse of the silver lining in this dark cloud

mother and sleeping baby

19 March 2020

A small but vibrant cascade of blogs by people who notice the positive sides of the pandemic on air and water quality, prompts me to write something different from the official anxiety provoking cautions. Yes, we do need these cautions. But let’s pause for a moment and catch a glimpse of the silver lining in this dark cloud. Time to connect, re-think and quietly gather the threads of what we know could be, can be. Starting with maternity. Midwife Kemi Johnson (Home Birth Support Group UK) gets the message across in her post of 18 March:

Over the coming weeks you will see something manifest that most never thought possible - an exponential growth in straightforward undisturbed birth! I will write and vlog more about it over the next few days. It’s happened before in isolated localities - now it’ll be planet wide and will ram home the message that some of us have preached ad nauseam - that childbirth is a natural event that OCCASIONALLY needs medical help, not the other way round as most people have been coerced into believing. Now the world will be in awe as this becomes true for a large percentage of parents, leaving the medical help for those that actually need it…. Both parents and those attending them at birth, will now need to lean into quiet trust of themselves, each other and the process and watch the magic unfold…

In the last few days, adjustments required by cancelling birthlight courses abroad, overcoming the sadness of causing disappointment and losses to many friends and colleagues took priority. In our three-generation household, with a new baby due mid-May (planned home birth) at the estimated peak of the pandemic, it’s time to be creative day by day. From close family to the network of families touched by birthlight in some way over time, remembering the call for mutual commitment to ‘nurture’ at the heart of community continues to be a priority. The forms it takes may be as different as we all are, online by default but anchored in the wonder of life experienced and embodied.

Françoise Freedman