Childbirth as sacred celebration.
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CROWTHER, S. 2017. Childbirth as sacred celebration. In Crowther, S. and Hall, J. (eds.) Spirituality and childbirth: meaning and care at the start of life. London: Routledge [online], chapter 2. Available from: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315389639
This chapter explores how childbirth is spiritually experienced and meaningful within society revealing how childbirth has purpose both individually and collectively. The discourse and mood around childbirth internationally is often concerned with risk, morbidity and mortality yet philosophers O'Byrne (2010) and Arendt (1958) infer that childbirth is a celebration of natality and future possibility, not purely avoidance of mortality. This chapter acknowledges birth as both joy and sorrow, birth as the potential for epiphany, peak experience, moments of self-actualisation and a time of remembrance. The notions of Kairos time (sacred felt-time) at birth and meaningful encounters in and around childbirth is introduced with narrative examples. Something lies quiescent in the background of childbirth gesturing to ineffability, the inexplicable, and what is mysterious and awe inspiring.