Last Updated on March 12, 2019 by Jenny Pena
No I did not spell that wrong, I know it’s spelled Labyrinth. Only when it comes to birth, it’s referred as Labor-inth!
The labyrinth concept comes from Pam England of Birthing from Within, a childbirth preparation near and dear to my heart.
Here’s a blurb from their site to give you a better idea what this idea entails:
“The labyrinth is an ancient symbol representing our journey through life, ordeals, and transitions. Its single, convoluted pathway begins at the opening, leads directly to the center, and then returns along the same path to the outside again. Walking or finger-tracing a labyrinth invokes a sensation of turning inward, then outward — perhaps reminding us of our first journey from our mother’s body into the world.
One of the oldest universal symbols found the world over, the labyrinth has been discovered on cave walls, on pottery, in weavings, and in centuries-old churches. With renewed interest, you may be able to walk a labyrinth in your community.” —- Birthing From Within
So how does a labyrinth relate to birth?
It’s a journey into the unknown, just like birth. The labyrinth is not like maze, there are not dead ends or wrong turns. A labyrinth has a set path to reach a center and the same path leads you out.
So the the birth journey has a set path, you must travel onward even when it gets hard, take each step with each breath until you get to the center– the birth, your baby. The journey out can also be a journey into motherhood, a rebirth of your own.
Birthing From Within put it this way: “In the Labyrinth of Birth, the journey (with its twists and turns) reflects the emotional, spiritual, and social experience of giving birth. When parents (and birth professionals) focus solely on the medical outcome, a huge piece of this Rite of Passage is overlooked. Often people feel there is something missing, but cannot put their finger on it. The Labyrinth provides this missing piece: the soul of birth…that which goes far beyond intellectual preparation, choices, and “getting it right.” “
We used a variety of arts: watercolors, soft pastels, pencil, and pen. My 2 children and I worked on some of it together…they couldn’t sit and focus as long as I could! We had fun together and I am glad they were a part of the creation. In the birth they were also in and out of the labor with me and very curious.
I followed the steps outlined in Pam England’s book Labyrinth of Birth.
You choose the type of labyrinth you want to make. The draw the footsteps at the entrance. Followed by a Threshold grand entrance. The final steps are to wear in the path with the pastels. I decided to add the bible verse that has been super helpful this pregnancy.
My final laborinth and my daughter Jasmin Flower liked my elephant, she decided to make her own pastel art. Hers is an elephant sibling family: a big sister, brother and baby sister!
Get the book/ attend a class
I highly recommend you get all of Pam England’s books and definitely attend a Birthing From Within childbirth education course.