celebrating 16 years online 1998-2014
Quotations about Pregnancy & Birth
I think that carrying a baby inside you is like running as fast as you can. It feels like finally letting go and filling yourself up to the wildest limits. ~Author unknown, quoted in Ourselves and Our Children: A Book by and for Parents by Boston Women's Health Book Collective, 1978
Birth matters. It brings us into being, on many levels. ~Ananda Lowe
Birth takes a woman's deepest fears about herself and show her that she is stronger than them. ~Author Unknown
In the moments of labor and birth, all the forces of the universe are flowing through a woman's body. ~Sandra K. MorningStar
Birth is as safe as life gets. ~Harriette Hartigan
The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is you. ~Author Unknown
You are pregnant and you are powerful. You are bold and you are beautiful. Go forward in your boldness, in your beauty and in your connectedness. Trust your body to birth and know that the collective power of women worldwide will be with you. ~Author Unknown
Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body. ~Ina May Gaskin
Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear. ~Jane Weideman
In achieving the depersonalization of childbirth and at the same time solving the problem of pain, our society may have lost more than it has gained. We are left with the physical husk; the transcending significance has been drained away. In doing so, we have reached the goal which perhaps is implicit in all highly developed technological cultures, mechanized control of the human body and the complete obliteration of all disturbing sensation. ~Sheila Kitzinger, Women as Mothers
Childbirth provided the drama I craved, the thrill of peeking over the primal edge of creation, the rush of the unexpected. ~Peggy Vincent
Giving birth is not a matter of pushing, expelling the baby, but of yielding, surrendering to birth energy. ~Marie Reid
Natural childbirth has evolved to suit the species, and if mankind chooses to ignore her advice and interfere with her workings we must not complain about the consequences. We have only ourselves to blame. ~Margaret Jowitt
Many Western doctors hold the belief that we can improve everything, even natural childbirth in a healthy woman. This philosophy is the philosophy of people who think it deplorable that they were not consulted at the creation of Eve, because they would have done a better job. ~Gerrit-Jan Kloosterman
Midwives see birth as a miracle and only mess with it if there's a problem; doctors see birth as a problem and if they don't mess with it, it's a miracle! ~Barbara Harper
If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing. ~Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg
Labor is the closest a woman may ever be to the threshold between life and death while she is still very much alive. ~Anne Frye
The instant of birth is exquisite.
Pain and joy are one at this moment.
Ever after, the dim recollection is
so sweet that we speak to our children
with a gratitude they never understand.
We speak to our parents with a sorrow
unfamiliar until the day they are dying.
~Madeline Tiger, Birds of Sorrow and Joy
A strong intention, a relaxed body and an open mind are the main ingredients for an active birth. ~Janet Balaskas
Women's bodies have near-perfect knowledge of childbirth; it's when their brains get involved that things can go wrong. ~Peggy Vincent
Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers... strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength. ~Barbara Katz Rothman
The experience of birth is vast. It is a diverse tapestry woven by cultural customs, shaped in personal choices, affected by biological factors, marked by political circumstances. Yet the nature of birth itself prevails in elegant design of simple complexity. ~Harriette Hartigan
Pregnancy and birth knit womankind together. Help weave a gorgeous thread to add to the fabric. Be supportive. Be kind. Be wise. Be open. ~Desirre Andrews
Childbirth is an experience in a woman's life that holds the power to transform her forever. Passing through these powerful gates - in her own way - remembering all the generations of women who walk with her.... She is never alone. ~Suzanne Arms
We need nothing less than a revolution in our attitudes towards conception, pregnancy, birth and parenting. ~Sophie Style
For far too many, pregnancy and birth is still something that happens to them rather than something they set out consciously and joyfully to do themselves. ~Sheila Kitzinger, The Experience of Childbirth
The effort to separate the physical experience of childbirth from the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of this event has served to disempower and violate women. ~Mary Rucklos Hampton
We must understand that childbirth is fundamentally a spiritual, as well as a physical, achievement. The birth of a child is the ultimate perfection of human love. ~Grantly Dick-Read
Birth goes best if it is not intruded upon by strange people and strange events. It goes best when a woman feels safe enough and free enough to abandon herself to the process. ~Penny Armstrong and Sheryl Feldman, A Midwife's Story
VITA MUTARI - the literal translation from Latin to English is "Life Transformation." That is the closest thing I could think of the feeling of labor/birth... what you are feeling isn't pain, it's life transformation. Is it dramatic? You bet! I think it should be! ~Stephanie Soderblom
Birth is the epicenter of women's power. ~Ani DiFranco
Giving birth is a transformation and it doesn't matter whether you've had eight babies before. It's still a transformation the next time you have another baby, because you are no longer the same woman you were before you had that baby. ~Penny Handford, quoted in Mothering the New Mother by Sally Placksin
Birth is a mystery. Words are not enough. ~Marie O'Connor
[My mother's] feeling is, we were made to do this work, and it's not easy, and it's inherently painful.... Pain and pleasure are a continuum, and without the pain, there would not be the pleasure. We wouldn't have a place to slide around, and that this is just an intense experience of pain. It's also an intense experience of pleasure, and joy and hope.... I would say that the pain is part of the glory, or the tremendous mystery of life. And that if anything, it's kind of a privilege to stand so close to an incredible miracle. And that there's pain involved because it's such a tremendous event... it's like living in a different dimension briefly. And that it's a painful process, because it's like two worlds colliding. ~Simone Taylor, on childbirth, quoted in Blessed Events: Religion and Home Birth in America by Pamela E. Klassen, 2001
Women today not only possess genetic memory of birth from a thousand generations of women, but they are also assailed from every direction by information and misinformation about birth. ~Valerie El Halta
$13 to $20 billion a year could be saved in health care costs by demedicalizing childbirth, developing midwifery, and encouraging breastfeeding. ~Frank A. Oski
The experience profoundly changed my perspective. In the hospital, I hadn't perceived the anxiety and foreboding that permeated birth until I experienced the impact of its absence among the midwives. The peace, wonder, and intimacy were infinitely greater. What a compelling difference! ~Heidi Rinehart
People are giving birth underwater now. They say it's less traumatic for the baby because it's in water. But certainly more traumatic for the other people in the pool. ~Elayne Boosler
Childbirth was probably easier for most women in early cultures, especially in hunter-gatherer societies, where everyone was accustomed to physical labor and supple and fit from daily activity. ~Suzanne Arms
According to our Lamaze instructor that winter, my body was supposed to "self-anesthetize" during labor and delivery, allowing me to remain wholly alert for the miracle of birth. She assured our class of hefty, plural-bodied women that our cervix muscles would become "naturally numb" as they swelled and stretched, and deep breathing would turn the final explosions of pain into "manageable discomfort." This description turned out to be as accurate as, say, a steward advising passengers aboard the Titanic to prepare for a brisk but bracing swim. If my self-anesthesia took at all, it packed the power of two baby aspirin. ~Mary Kay Blakely, American Mom: Motherhood, Politics, and Humble Pie, 1995
Amnesia: The condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have sex again. ~Joyce Armor
If you want to know the feeling, just take your bottom lip and pull it over your head. ~Carol Burnett, about labor pain, quoted in Fatherhood by Bill Cosby
I realize why women die in childbirth - it's preferable. ~Sherry Glaser
The childbirth class neglected to teach you a critical skill. How to swear, breathe and count all at the same time. ~Linda Fiterman, From Colic to College: Chuckling Your Way Through Parenthood
I feel cheated never being able to know what it's like to get pregnant, carry a child and breastfeed. ~Dustin Hoffman
On the one hand, we'll never experience childbirth. On the other hand, we can open all our own jars. ~Bruce Willis
They say men can never experience the pain of childbirth. They can... if you hit them in the goolies with a cricket bat for fourteen hours. ~Jo Brand
I once heard two ladies going on and on about the pains of childbirth and how men don't seem to know what real pain is. I asked if either of them ever got themselves caught in a zipper. ~Emo Philips
A friend asked her doctor if a woman should have children after thirty-five. I said, "Thirty-five children is enough for any woman." ~Gracie Allen
Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Neonatal Death, Pregnancy Loss, Barrenness
Miscarriages are labor, miscarriages are birth. To consider them less dishonors the woman whose womb has held life, however briefly. ~Kathryn Miller Ridiman, Midwifery Today, 1997
Sweet little flower of heavenly birth
You were too fair to bloom on earth.
I fell in love with you when you were forming in my womb.
Now I carry you in my heart instead of my arms.
Blessed sister, beautiful one
with broken wings.
Your journey is a difficult one....
Breathe deeply and know that you are loved.
You are not alone,
though at times, you will feel like a
desolate island of grief....
You will go on...
Your wings will mend...
~Mary Burgess, "Mending Invisible Wings"
An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth,
Then whispered as she closed the book "too beautiful for earth."
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my tears to keep
My baby sleeps in Heaven's arms
Peaceful with angelic charms
Take my tears but grant me a kiss
From the angel baby I so miss.
Those who have lost an infant are never, as it were, without an infant child. Their other children grow into manhood and womanhood, and suffer all the changes of mortality; but this one alone is rendered an immortal child; for death has arrested it with its kindly harshness, and blessed it into an eternal image of youth and innocence. ~Author Unknown
Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me? ~Author Unknown
The stricken mother, sitting by the side of the lifeless form of her first-born, will hear unmoved the words of consolation and the persuasions to resignation which are urged by one who has not suffered, even though he eloquently draw motives from the highest heaven; while the silent pressure of her hand by some humble creature who has hidden her treasure under the daisies, will inspire her with calmness and strength. ~Timothy Titcomb (J.G. Holland), Gold-foil
I lay my tasks down one by one;
I sit in the silence of twilight grace.
Out of the shadows, deep and dun,
Steals, like a star, my Baby's face.
I will take up my work once more,
As if I had never laid it down.
Who will dream that I ever wore,
In triumph, motherhood's sacred crown?
Nevertheless, the way is long,
And tears leap up in the light of the sun.
I'd give my world for a cradle-song,
And a kiss from Baby—only one.
~Mary Clemmer, "The Childless Mother"
I'm hurt, hurt and humiliated beyond endurance, seeing the wheat ripening, the fountains never ceasing to give water, the sheep bearing hundreds of lambs, the she-dogs, until it seems the whole country rises to show me its tender sleeping young while I feel two hammer-blows here instead of the mouth of my child. ~Federico Garcia Lorca, Yerma (barren, childless)
Related Quotations: Babies, Breastfeeding, Mothers, Fathers, Parents, Grandparents, Family, Love, Children, Childhood, Daughters, Sons, Sisters, Brothers, Marriage, Body, Health, Grief, Heartache