Fortitude of Spirit

What does this mean to you? Fortitude means ” courage in pain or adversity.” Synonyms are courage, bravery, endurance and resilience. So in order to have fortitude of spirit it means you do not lose hope in the midst of the pain or struggle.


For me as a doula one of my jobs is to help women find their fortitude. It does not mean she is unable to make decisions that are right for her- although perhaps not what she planned or desired, but to persevere regardless. It means facing her fears before labor ever begins. It means listening to her intuitive spirit early on in her life but especially in the pregnancy.

For me personally it means moving forward with strength that I am unsure where the origin of that strength can be found at the time. I can affirm that my God is with me giving me strength and that encourages me. I can remind myself of those things I have come through in my life- death of mom, dad and sister, cancer surgery with complications, etc… but it means having to put myself back out there again and again, trusting.

And that is the key to me…trust. I trust birth. That is why I believe a woman can birth without a lot of interventions and pain medications. I also trust that medications usually are safe if they are needed. You do need to note I said usually. I do think more women could birth normally and naturally if they had been raised with the idea of birth being normal and natural and to trust their bodies. I am deeply sadden that we propagate more fear in women when they are pregnant than any other time.

I trust I do not stand alone. I have a force within me that is stronger than the forces outside of me. I also have some wonderful support from those around me who love me and trust me. I do think more women would birth normally and naturally if they had proper support. When their family and friends scoff at the idea of natural birth, it is hard to move forward with that trust. That is why women benefit from having a doula along side of them.

I do believe we need to encourage women daily from the time they are little girls to have fortitude of spirit. It is something we  encourage in boys but not in girls. We need to teach women to not be afraid of birth from a very young age. It will change birth for them. And birth can change a woman forever.

What are you doing to instill courage and fortitude in yourself and others?