Active and self-determined
Active and self-determined
Giving the gift of life is both a wonderful task and an enormous challenge. We invite you to accept this challenge with confidence and to trust in your body and be aware of its needs.
You take centre stage
“For me, birth is a process, a vital life impulse – the child is starting out on his or her journey in life. Both the mother and the child wrestle life into existence, as it were. You walk and you breathe, and all the while there is this elemental feeling, this power. Everything is completely concentrated on the functioning of the body. This pulsation has a life of its own, you are nothing but body. You can only breathe and try to succeed. It is like a force of nature, as if you were standing in the eye of a tornado. But the tornado is not outside, it is inside you. And I was certain that nothing could happen to me. If I simply went with the flow I would get through. It was such an intense feeling to realise that yes, I can cope, I can do it, I can bear it. After that, there is nothing much that can happen to you.”
Maria Johanna, 44 years old, businesswoman and mother of three children. Quoted from Unten rum. Die Scham ist nicht vorbei by Claudia Haarmann, p. 96, Innenleben edition, 2005.
Active and self-determined means giving birth by your own efforts
Sometimes natural birth can be extremely hard work and sometimes everything is quite easy. Whatever course the birth takes, it is ultimately the mother herself who delivers the child by her own efforts. At the birthing centre, you are actively involved and can take responsibility and give birth to your baby – with support and monitoring from our midwives – independently. We cannot deliver your baby for you, but you can do it yourself!
What is important to you?
Everything that strengthens you as a mother-to-be and boosts your well-being and your trust in your own strength will have a positive effect on the birth. Think beforehand about what is important to you and what would help you. You can also express your wishes freely and openly at any time during the birth:
- Would you like the older siblings or your friends to be present at the birth?
- Do you want to eat something because you suddenly feel hungry?
- Would you like to change position because you are feeling unpleasant pressure in your lower back?
Then go for it! We encourage you to pay attention to your body’s signals and your state of mind and tell us what you need. We are on hand to give advice and assistance, to guide you and to offer you suitable options for whatever situation you find yourself in. Warm compresses, music, dance, foot massages, a certain scent – the birthing centre has all of these and much more.
You take responsibility
To give birth at the birthing centre, you must be willing to play an active role in the birth and take responsibility. A woman who trusts in her ability to give birth takes responsibility. She does so in the knowledge that her body has all the resources required to deliver the baby by its own efforts. In natural birth, the ultimate key is that the woman can surrender herself trustingly to the physical process of childbirth and allow her body to take control.
Many pregnant women have been brought up to believe that childbirth is dangerous and that they therefore have to be ‘protected’ by a higher institution. The idea that they can find safety in their own body is often inconceivable to them and they are no longer aware of the physical resources they can draw on.
Verena Schmid, midwife, lecturer, author and founder/director of Scuola Elementale di Arte Ostetrica
When the time comes, you yourself will have the best sense of what you need. For that reason, the care we provide at the birthing centre is guided by your signals. We remain by your side and monitor you and your baby alertly the whole time to ensure your safety, in the process drawing on the wealth of experience that our team of midwives has built up in more than 400 years of cumulative professional experience.
From woman to mother
The transition from woman to mother leaves a mark on every biography. The birth of a child is a turning point, as motherhood cannot be undone. It changes a woman forever in many different ways – in terms of her approach to life, her values, her decisions and above all her feelings. It is a life-defining experience, especially for first-time mothers:
Not only is the child born by the mother, but the mother is also born by the child.
Gertrud von Le Fort, German author (1876 – 1971)
In addition to positive anticipation of the child, many women have questions and things they are unsure about during pregnancy, and we are very happy to address such matters at the antenatal check-ups:
- Old topics can be brought to the surface, such as family history, suppressed experiences or your relationship with your own mother…
- Your existing life enters a state of flux and you realise that life as you know it is going to change radically…
- New doors open up, many decisions have to be made and you may suddenly find that there are different expectations of yourself and your partner…
Pregnancy can be a time of great closeness and trust, but it can also be very challenging. It is therefore all the more important that you are able to take matters into your own hands, remain in control and grow into your new role with confidence.
At the birthing centre, we respect your personal story and support you in your efforts to find out what feels right for you and your child. If you succeed in approaching the birth and the beginning of motherhood actively and with self-determination, you will have created the ideal conditions for a deep, positive bond and a happy start to family life.
Transition to a new phase of life
In many cultures, pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are linked to rituals that emphasise their considerable spiritual significance as life events. Our way of working follows the same approach, with our postnatal care taking into account not only your physical but also your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
And what about the fathers?
It is great that you are visiting our website and reading up on childbirth and the birthing centre. As a father-to-be, we would expressly like to give you a warm welcome here at Geburtshaus Zürcher Oberland. The transition from life as a couple to life as a family is also a defining experience for men that challenges them in a new and completely different way.
Despite this, many sections of this website mainly address the mother. Why is that the case? Because we would like to emphasise how important it is for the birth that your wife or partner feels safe and well-looked-after. Furthermore, we believe that the information we have put together will be interesting and useful for you, too.
Please be aware that most women take their partner’s needs into consideration when it comes to choosing where to give birth. As a result, the question of whether your child can experience a natural birth or not also depends on you as the father-to-be. For that reason, we encourage you to actively think about and study the topic of safety and voice your needs and any fears you might have.
Only women are right. Childbirth is their secret garden!
It often takes a good deal of courage to trust in your partner’s intuition… You will be able to ask your own questions at any time during your tour of the birthing centre and the antenatal check-ups, and the midwife will also be attentive to you as the father-to-be during the birth. We have put together a list of frequently asked questions for you here.
The presence and loving assistance of the partner during the birth gives most women lots of additional strength and reinforces the bond between the couple. Although it is ultimately the woman who has to give birth by her own efforts, sitting with her in silence, encouragement, recognition of her achievements, understanding, patience, tenderness and mutual wonder greatly enrich the process.
As the father-to-be, it goes without saying that we will involve you in the birth. We will also respect your wishes if you would like to take a step back or temporarily leave the birthing room, however. It is important to us that you are present of your own free will and that you can experience the miracle of childbirth with an open heart.