The Tao of Birthing®

A Holistic Guide Through Preparation & Childbirth


2,500 years ago, in far-off China, in The Chow Dynasty, there was a Sage named Lao Tzu. With prompting from his followers, he penned his philosophy and wisdom onto eighty-one bamboo leaves; notes about living in harmony with all of nature. He named his collective, “The Tao,” which means, The Path or The Way.

Emperors extended the title, and a book was printed, The Tao Te Ching, “The Sacred Book of The Way.” It is the second most translated book in the world, next to The Bible, and can be found in any bookstore or online. The Tao of Birthing® is an adaptation of The Tao Te Ching.

Tao addresses the perfection in the natural order of the universe with contrasts such as dark and light, challenge and ease, ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean, day and night as the moon replaces the sun. Essentially, life is a display of paradoxes that have no deeper meaning unless, and until, we prescribe them. Simply put, things are as they are. This is the design in all of nature. This is the nature of birth. Without intellect or judgment, the laboring body will mirror the ways of the natural world, functioning without thought-forms and opinions, without plan and predictability.

Tao says that struggle comes forth only when we brace against energy, against the flow of nature. Conversely, when we surrender to what ever comes forward, we may find ourselves in the flow, no longer evaluating with our logical minds but moving in a realm of intrinsic action; no longer attempting to control the outcome but rather accepting what has been placed before us. With acceptance comes a vast and limitless space from which we can progress freely, and when in this space, we are simply in “experience.” To be in the flow is a truly expansive adventure. To be in the flow of labor is “The Way” to birth.

The Tao of Birthing® is a Holistic “how to.”  With commitment to preparation, you’ll master how to build your mental and physical stamina, how to respect and accept your baby’s unique process, and how to “go with the flow” of labor. I liken it to a Yoga practice in its discipline and sanctity, or like training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or when preparing to run a marathon. Each example requires that Body, Mind and Spirit function as one source, from step to step, from in-breath to out-breath, from moment to moment.

You may envision your upcoming birth experience as assisted by an epidural, or you may be certain that you’ll labor naturally, perhaps in a tub of water surrounded by your loved-ones. And when what occurs is nothing like what you envisioned, you’ll be walking The Way of Tao. The road is both steep and level, rocky and lush. A storm comes, which might cause you trepidation and fear. Or, a fork in the road might stop you from walking on. Do you go left or right?

Listen, hear, feel the voice within you. It will remind you to surrender to the elements, (“It’s only wind. It’s only rain”). Left or right? It doesn’t matter. Either way is not more or less, but rather a continuation of your journey. Trust that your steps will be informed by each beat of thunder, and know, with all of yourself, that you’re as powerful as the storm.

In the end, you’ll find that The Tao Of Birthing® has has guided you to your destination …to the most profound and wondrous of all human connections …MamaBaby bonding. And from this bond, babies set forth the imprint of a more peaceful world. “Call it forward. Breathe it in. Climb its light. Swallow. Open and say, ‘Yes.’ ”


Caitlin Philips