What is Birth Art?
Birth Art in this context, is any art that you create as part of, or a way to, process your pregnancy and/or childbirth experience and feelings. Of course there is Art whose subject is Birth, however here we’re focusing on the type of Birth Art YOU create during your pregnancy or postpartum period!
Art has always been used as a tool for communication- and is now a prominent modality for self-expression, unlocking the psyche, and healing trauma. Creating Art during pregnancy can help us uncover fear, anxiety, worry, and stress - and even further, help us put words to our triggers. Letting our hands create images, choosing different mediums and colors- unlocks subconscious thoughts and feelings that can give us a better foundation for expressing ourselves verbally. People are so often surprised by the thoughts and feelings that are elicited by the art they themselves have created!
One common Birth Art prompt is to draw your “Ideal Birth”. Include details: setting/location, time of day, things you see around you, people who are there, on and on. So often we hear clients begin by expressing that they haven’t yet pictured exactly what it would look like and they feel a bit stumped...a form of writers block....or artists block if you will! However, after being reminded that there is no wrong answer- to draw whatever is in their minds eye- whatever fantasy they have- the pencil starts to move.
It is always incredible to see what comes up. Scenes that they never expected. Feelings they never considered. Creating Birth Art prenatally is also a wonderful visualization tool. Going through the different parts of the scene- imagining exactly what things could look like, is a powerful way to ready yourself for Childbirth! This can be a productive exercise to do with your Doula- and Doulas, this is an excellent practice to bring to your Prenatal appointments with clients!
Imagine this process Postpartum? If you’re looking for a way to process your Childbirth experience, think about drawing a moment in time- maybe a moment when you felt safe, peaceful, powerful- or maybe a moment that has been weighing on you. A moment when you felt scared, worried, exhausted. As you create, remember that there’s no wrong way. Draw whatever comes to mind, whatever your hands want. And when you’re done either study it right away or take some time away from it then come back. If you have a journal you can write down thoughts you had while creating or thoughts you have as you see the whole picture.
You certainly don’t need to be a bonafide artist to create Birth Art! If you’re a stick-figure aficionado just go with it! Play around with mediums- use whatever you have around the house! Pencil and paper are wonderful! Watercolor, acrylic, oil paint even. Collage, markers, colored pencils, crayons. There’s no one way, there’s no wrong way. The goal is to express yourself through creation.
Birth Art is a powerful way to access thoughts and feelings that live in us but have a challenging time being articulated. If you are interested in creating Birth Art and you enjoy the process, perhaps you would be interested in reading Birthing From Within?
Consider this an invitation from us to you, to create some Birth Art! Have more questions or curiosity? Email us to talk more! You can also join us for Collaging Your Birth Plan!
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