Most of us learn from a book or a birthing class that when giving birth, we must allow the animal side of ourselves to take over. And just like animals do best with a sense of privacy and safety during labor, so do we. Usually, at least.
That was my initial thought when I read about Marni Kotak, an 8 months pregnant, Brooklyn performance artist who plans to give birth in a gallery. In front of a live audience.
“The Birth of Baby X will be her most profound and physically challenging performance,” says the gallery’s web site.
Will she be able to tune out the audience? To pay attention only to herself, her partner, her midwife and her doula? To work with her baby and body?
I am certain that if I was laboring while being stared at by complete strangers, my cervix would stay solid as a granite stone.
In some sense, birthing naturally in front of people could be a beautiful, eye-opening, and educational experience for the “performance art” attendees. Or it could be a train wreck.
Does there need to be privacy in order for birth to feel sacred to a family? Or will it bring together everyone in the room? Will the attendees be coached to BE QUIET? (No whispering about her moaning, please!) How long are they willing to stay and watch? Will people come and go? This could take a while…
What are your thoughts about this upcoming piece of performance art?
And mamas, how did you maintain a sense of privacy during your own labor? If in the hospital, some women use the bathroom as a “cave.” Some women keep their birthing team small and intimate, while others are fine inviting friends and relatives. How about you?
Tips and tricks for moms-to-be are welcome!
Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma