Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Childbirth as sacred celebration.

Crowther, Susan


Susan Crowther


Susan Crowther

Jenny Hall


This chapter explores how childbirth is spiritually experienced and meaningful within society revealing how childbirth has purpose both individually and collectively. The discourse and mood around childbirth internationally is often concerned with risk, morbidity and mortality yet philosophers O'Byrne (2010) and Arendt (1958) infer that childbirth is a celebration of natality and future possibility, not purely avoidance of mortality. This chapter acknowledges birth as both joy and sorrow, birth as the potential for epiphany, peak experience, moments of self-actualisation and a time of remembrance. The notions of Kairos time (sacred felt-time) at birth and meaningful encounters in and around childbirth is introduced with narrative examples. Something lies quiescent in the background of childbirth gesturing to ineffability, the inexplicable, and what is mysterious and awe inspiring.


CROWTHER, S. 2017. Childbirth as sacred celebration. In Crowther, S. and Hall, J. (eds.) Spirituality and childbirth: meaning and care at the start of life. Abingdon: Routledge [online], chapter 2, pages 13-29. Available from:

Online Publication Date Sep 13, 2017
Publication Date Sep 13, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2018
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 13-29
Book Title Spirituality and childbirth: meaning and care at the start of life
Chapter Number Chapter 2
ISBN 9781138229419
Keywords Childbirth; Spiritual meaning; Celebration; Embodied experiences; Sacred celebration
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations