Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scripture Cards for Labor and Birth {with free printables!}




One of my absolute favorite things to do as a doula is to help a couple bring their faith into the experience of birth.  I think it's a mistake to separate our spirituality from our fertility and its fulfillment in birth is a part of that.  As integrated people, our spirituality informs everything we do and especially in one of the most fantastic, deep, and powerful moments of our lives, our faith informs and transforms that experience.  There is no natural act on earth that screams the Paschal Mystery to me as much as birthing a child, in whatever way it is done.  

So how can a woman integrate her faith into her birth experience?  There are countless ways, for sure, but one way that is extremely powerful is using Scripture in the labor room.  Bringing the Word of God and the power it contains can add so much meaning and power and peace to the birth and give the mother the extra grace she needs to keep going.  It changes the tone of the labor room to one that is holy, sanctifying it, and drenching it with grace.

Some couples I've worked with have chosen their own verses that they bring in, ones that are special to them.  Sometimes they'd like me to simply read them during contractions, especially at the end to give mom something to focus upon.  Other times, we read them in between and talk about them and how she is living that reality, that Word, in the very moment.  Sometimes they are played through music and sometimes it ends up that only one verse is used over and over.  Sometimes they're just held by mom as a tangible reminder of God's Presence in the room.  I've noticed, interestingly, that often the nurses and doctor or midwives become more respectful when the Scriptures are used.  I think it can remind them, too, that this is a profound and powerful moment for this family, one that is deeper than the day to day demands of their job might tempt them to believe.  

I've compiled a list below as well as provided a link at the bottom of this post where the list and corresponding Scripture cards can be downloaded and printed out for your own use.  If a client has indicated that they would like to use Scriptures during their birth but would like help in choosing, I provide them the list and they can go through it, choosing any verses that speak to them personally.  I then bring those specific verses into the labor room.  The Scripture cards correlate with the list and are simple sheets that I've printed on card stock, cut, laminated, and keep in my doula bag to bring with me to a birth, choosing and using ones that are appropriate for the moment.

The list and cards are free to use but if you share online, I would ask that you please provide a link back to this original page.  I'd love to hear if you do end up using these or if there are any other verses that you use or that blessed you during a birth.

*As a Catholic I included some beautiful passages from the Apocrypha. For a detailed explanation of why we include these seven books in our understanding of the Word of God, please click here.  Also, I generally use the RSV translation.*

::General Use::

"Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

"'Shall I bring to birth and not cause to bring forth?' says the LORD."
Isaiah 66:9

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:28

"They shall not labor in vain,
or bear children for calamity;
for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the LORD,
and their children with them."
Isaiah 65:23

"Yet thou art He who took me from the womb;
Thou didst keep me safe upon my mother's breasts."
Psalm 22:9

"We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
remembering before our God and Father your work of faith 
and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brethren beloved by God, that He has chosen you."
1 Thessalonians 1:2-4

"For Thou didst form my inward parts,
Thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb."
Psalm 139:13

"And He took a child, and put him in the midst of them; 
and taking him in His arms, He said to them, 
'Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me
and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.'"
Mark 9:36-37


::For Endurance::

"When a woman is in travail she has sorrow, because her hour has come;
but when she is delivered of the child, she no longer remembers the anguish,
for joy that a child is born into the world."
John 16:21

"A patient man will endure until the right moment,
and then joy will burst forth for him."
  Sirach 1:23

"Love bears all things, believes all things, 
hopes all things, endures all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7

"Blessed is the man who endures trial, 
for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life 
which God has promised to those who love Him."
James 1:12

"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, establish, and strengthen you."
1 Peter 5:10


::Moments of Pain or Suffering::

"Be brave, my child; 
the Lord of heaven and earth grant you joy in place of this sorrow of yours. 
Be brave, my daughter."
Tobit 7:18

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing 
with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Romans 8:18

 "For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ 
we share abundantly in comfort too."
2 Corinthians 1:5

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us."
Romans 5:3-5

"I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share His sufferings, 
becoming like Him in his death"  
Philippians 3:10

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh 
I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions 
for the sake of His body, that is, the church."
Colossians 1:24

"But rejoice in so far as you share Christ's sufferings,
 that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed." 
1 Peter 4:13


::For Moments of Fear or Anxiety::

"I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears."
Psalm 34:4

"Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear or be in dread of them:  for it is the Lord your God who goes with you;
He will not fail you or forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

"Be strong and of good courage, and do it.
Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, is with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you,
until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished."
1 Chronicles 28:20

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in Thee.  In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust without a fear.  What can flesh do to me?"
Psalm 56:3-4

"Fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My victorious hand."
Isaiah 41:10

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
is is I who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'"
Isaiah 41:13

"I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13


::After Baby is Born::

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to Him.
Therefore I have lent Him to the Lord;
as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord."
1 Samuel 1:27-28

"Praise the Lord!
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures for ever!"
Psalm 106:1

"With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise Him in the midst of the throng."
Psalm 109:30

"Lo, sons are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb, a reward."
Psalm 127:3

"Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! 
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have being."
Psalm 146:1-2

"For it is all for your sake,
so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving,
to the glory of God."
2 Corinthians 4:15

"For what thanksgiving can we render to God for you,
for all the joy which we feel for your sake before our God?"
1 Thessalonians 3:9

"Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen."
Revelation 7:12


::For Birth After Infertility::
(used with great care and discernment for obvious reasons)

 "Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord 

from this time forth and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting 

the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations and His glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 

Who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.
He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!"
Psalm 113


Download and print the Scripture Cards HERE!
(To print, scroll over the upper right corner of the document box below and click the "pop-out" button that appears.)



Download and print the basic Scripture List HERE!
(To print, scroll over the upper right corner of the document box below and click the "pop-out" button that appears.)


I hope they bless you! 


11 comments:

  1. Absolutely love this! Wish you were closer and you could be my doula! Although, at this point I don't know if I'll try for a VBAC2 or not. Could definitely use prayers in that department. Regardless, such a beautiful ministry!

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I will definitely pray for you. I really think these could be extremely helpful in a cesarean birth as well. Unfortunately, doulas are almost never allowed in the OR but they really really should be since often those mothers need just as much support.

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  2. These are wonderful. I said a prayer this morning asking for strength to have an unmedicated birth this time around (it'll be #4 and the last three all ended up medicated). I'll be printing these out and giving to my friend who'll be attending with us, hopefully (need to do spend a little more time convincing my hubby).
    Thank you for sharing!
    ~Ruth Anne

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    Replies
    1. I hope they help! I'll pray for you, Ruth Anne. May you have a beautiful birth!!

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  3. Any Chance you have these available somewhere else? I don't mind paying you for them but I don't want to buy a squibd membership.

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    Replies
    1. Is the link not going directly to the free download page? It does when I click on it and I'm not signed in to Scribd or anything. They have a membership thing but that's only for certain content...shouldn't apply to this :(

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    2. When I click on the link it brings me to the download but when I try to download or print it will take you to the subscriber page. I signed up for the free trial so I could get the printables. I know some other bloggers had problems with Scribd, I think Catholic Icing was on of them.

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    3. Okay, I think I got it! I learned how to do it and now have it embedded right here as a Google document so it should be available right here to download from now on. Sorry for the hassle and thank you for letting me know! Hope they help :)

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  4. I am so excited to have stumbled across this blog!! I am a Catholic doula and was going to compile a list of verses on my own for some of my clients, but this is so much easier and probably a more comprehensive job than I would have done! Thank you for all the heart you put into this. I will definitely be using your advice on how to sanctify births - so beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so so happy to hear this, Rebekah! I love hearing about other Catholic doulas! Welcome!

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