I know this struggle firsthand—although I’m a writer and doula, I felt totally stuck on how to start writing my own birth story after having my son in 2018. I’m not really a perfectionist, but I wanted to get it right and produce something that felt authentic, true, and special, something both myself and my family could treasure well into the future. No pressure, right? :)
But seriously—there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know how to write your birth story! Birth matters, and so do our birth stories.
Here’s the process I followed, and my general advice to you on how to write your birth story.
1. Give Yourself Time
Although much of the advice here on the internet will tell you to write down your birth story ASAP after birth, I don’t necessarily agree. While that’s not bad advice, I don’t think it works for everyone. You’re exhausted, adjusting, recovering. Being reflective probably isn’t the first thing on your mind (or to do list!)
While it’s great to do the birth story soon after birth (or least make some notes), I’m here to tell you that it’s fine to take time, if you feel like you need time. It won’t lessen the quality of your story when you do write it.
2. Ground Yourself
Writing about such an important and life-changing event (no matter what happened during your birth) can be intense! For that reason, I recommend you ground yourself in some way before you write. Take some deep breaths, meditate a bit, listen to some favorite calming music, light a candle, do some stretches….be intentional in your setting of the space to remember and write.
3. Situate Your Birth Story In Time (And In Your Life)
4. Ask Others For Help
5. Decide Your Format
6. Focus on Details
The Writing Your Birth Story Online Course (just $39!)
If you need a little help, I’ve created Writing Your Birth Story, an online course that (you guessed it!) helps parents write their birth stories. Writing Your Birth Story is for parents who want to have a memorable story for themselves or for a family keepsake, but who are feeling stuck, strapped for time, or just plain overwhelmed at the thought of sitting down to write such an important life event.
You don’t have to be a “good writer” to write a good birth story. The course will show you easy ways to tap into your own experience to produce a compelling, memorable story. You don’t have to have had a “good birth” to use this course, either. I’ve taken special care to include information on birth trauma and to make the overall course trauma-aware, keeping in mind that giving birth is not a positive experience for many people.
Writing Your Birth Story is inclusive of all birthing people, scenarios, situations, and choices, although it is geared towards people who had live births. My experience and perspective as a writer and doula informed every aspect of the course—it honors the beautiful multiplicity of birth itself while guiding students through their individual writing processes.
It’s $39. 15% of profits go to a BIPOC-led and centered person, group or organization.
However you approach your story, I have full confidence you’ll write a birth story that feels truthful and meaningful to you. Happy writing!