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The Sacred Drum and Childbirth

This is a call out for expectant mothers wanting to feel the effects of the sacred drum during childbirth.   

I am a sacred drum healing practitioner and doula, I am currently turning my dissertation Sacred Drumming through Pregnancy and Birth into a book. 

I am still researching, and looking for parents to drum with, so if you fancy trying the sacred drum heart beat, for healing or journeying during your pregnancy for birth preparation, or during your birth i would love to hear from you. 

For me pregnancy, birth, and the transition to becoming a parent is a very shamanic experience. 

If, you allow it to open you in such a way. 

Childbirth will help you grow and gain new experiences in shamanic realms that you wouldn’t have touched before, just as climbing a mountain, sitting in a sweat lodge, or running a marathon can do.  Because in natural childbirth you need a level of endurance, stamina, and and inner self discipline that nothing else can compare to. 

Pregnancy and birth are your rite of passage to becoming parents, and your babys rite of passage to their life on this earth, with you as their guides.

I have had four babies of my own, my eldest was born in hospital, and my other three were born at home.  I noticed a marked difference between my home births and the hospital birth in how i felt, and how much more connected to my self i felt.  In all three occasions at home the midwives sat back, and only stepped in when they felt they needed to.  during each of my three home births i also used meditation and positive affirmations to help my stamina and endurance through what i felt as the intensity of childbirth.   During my forth I listened to a pre recording of my friends shamanic drum beat, a simple drum beat recorded in the woods.  I listened to it from late pregnancy, ironing it to journey with my minds eye to meet my baby. I found it helped so much during my birth to ground me, to keep me in my zone and remain in beta subconscious.   

I began to research the use of the drum and its effects during birth after becoming a doula, shortly after my fourth baby.   I found a course to help me delve deeper with teachers who had lived with and trained with Native American teachers.  On this course I made my own drums, one being an Inipi healing drum.  

I have found the deeper I research the more evidence I find of the positive effects of drumming during birth from all over the world in many cultures. 

Sacred simple drumming of a heart beat brings us back to the safety and sound of our own quickening within the womb, it touches that deep subconscious part of our brain.  The part of the brain that within childbirth is the most active.   It slows our brain waves down, which also happens naturally within childbirth to allow the Oxytocin and other hormones to come forth to enable birth to occur.  

The sound of the drum for me is one of those earthly things that resonates really deep and touches my soul, as the smell, sight and sound of an open wood fire does, or the smell of a forest and the earth when it rains, or the memory of the cuddle with my mum and hearing her heartbeat while smelling her white musk perfume from the body shop.

Hearing the drum beat, the simple two heart beats, touches a memory and reminds all of our senses of our time in the womb, when the one safe constant we knew was our mother’s heartbeat.  When a drum beat resonates through us it brings us back to safety and begins to slow our brain waves from beta (our everyday waking brain wave) to theta the brain wave causing us feel in a deep relaxed state.  This brain wave state is the same as that of a mum in established labour, and very often a labouring mum will slow to delta as she reaches full dilation, and will drift in and out of a deep sleep, as her body moves through the transition of the contractions that squeeze the baby down and round, to the contractions that push the baby through the birth canal.

If a mums brain wave during labour changes too much back to beta it can affect labours progress physically and labour can stop, as mum goes into fight or flight mode and her body thinks she has to run from a lion (as believe it or not, our bodies haven’t evolved much in millions of years!).  So Theta is the one we want to reach, it is also the wave we are in during sex and orgasm.

You all hear of oxytocin in labour, the hormone of love, also known as the shy hormone, because it needs a safe space to come forth.   Oxytocin is very much present in birth, it helps birth progress, aids second stage, third stage, and milk production!  This hormone induces these brain waves too.

Slowing it down so our bodies can focus on opening and releasing for our babies to be born.  So you can see it’s a cycle, we need the hormone for labour to progress well, to help a mum reach the natural theta state but in order to do this we need to create the right environment too.

Many women in modern day use hynobirthing techniques and meditation which has been proven to help to have the same effect, and calm women in childbirth.

I am not medically trained so apologies to those who may be reading this who are if I haven’t explained this quite right but it is only from my own experience of birthing my own children, research and through what I now recognise as a doula in mums I support.

If you are still reading perhaps you fancy giving the drum a go? If you do I would love to hear from you! I offer drum journeys specifically and carefully created for pregnancy, drum healing sessions.  I can also record you a drum beat to listen to, or attend your birth in person.   It can accompany Hypnobirthing too. 

If you are a practitioner who has used the drum within childbirth I would love to hear from you, and if you are a parent who has experienced the sacred drum in birth i would love to hear from you. 

Please get in touch to find out more via my website, you will find details at the top and bottom of most pages of my website. 

If you would like to read my dissertation please do get in touch and I will send you a copy.

Aho, blessings,

Eva x

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