‘If, for Childbirth’ – a poem by Nadia Raafat

I am ever so pleased to be able to share this poem, written by Nadia Raafat (one of the contributors to Musings on Mothering), on this blog. Thank you again Nadia for giving me permission to publish your thought-provoking poem here.

If, for Childbirth

If you can keep your faith when all about you
Are losing theirs – instilling fear in you
If you can trust your body’s path to birth when loved ones doubt you
And know that this is what your body’s meant to do.

If you can plan a due month not a due date
Remembering babies come at their soul-appointed time
So that at your 41 week appointment
You do not feel ‘overdue’, or ‘past your prime’.

If you can wait and not grow tired of waiting
For a posterior cervix reluctant to dilate
And despite two sleepless nights of cramps, frustrating,
Ignore a negative or fearful mental state.

And if you finally transfer in, and are inspected
And find you still have many hours left to go
Can you find the trust and strength to still be patient
And to epidurals and syntocinon, still say ‘no’.

If you can close your eyes and turning inward,
Surrender to that mighty force inside
As it throws you to the edge of your existence
And let perception, bone and sinew open wide.

If you can follow your instinct into positions
Which enable good descent and pelvic space
You’ll have no need for ventouse or obstetricians
To mar the crowning of your baby’s head and face.

If you then fill the birthing room with grace and presence
As your newborn crosses worlds with searching gaze
And with warm and tender whisper guide her gently
To your naked warm embrace, your heart ablaze.

And if, from here, you fill each post-natal minute
With sixty seconds worth of loving run.
Then you have honoured Birth and the Spirit in it.
And your journey as a mother has begun.


Nadia wrote this poem when she was pregnant with her third child – who is now three and a half years old.

Nadia is a Mother, Yoga Teacher, Birth Educator, Doula