Blog

groups, our work, pregnancy

Pregnancy Circle

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We have been blessed with the opportunity to work with a circle of beautiful pregnant mamas right in the heart of our rural community.

You know what it’s like when you set an intention for a new project and then the universe seems to send opportunities flowing in the direction you want to go? Well it has felt a bit like that for me and Supriya.

Having been dreaming and scheming about coming together to work with birth and pregnancy in central Portugal, a few months ago, we committed to this exciting collaborative process.

No sooner had we sealed this agreement, doors started opening to allow us to engage with this rewarding work.

The fortnightly pregnancy circle is one of those doors.

The meetings are held in a cozy home setting and include some or all of the following elements:

~ Sharing circle – checking in, how we are feeling and what is happening in our lives

~ Yoga / Movement, led by Supriya, who trained with Birthlight

~ Birth Stories – a chance to share and process previous birth experiences in a supportive environment

~ Creative exercises – we use simple art and writing exercises, inspired by Birthing from Within, to access unconscious beliefs and fears around pregnancy, birth and parenthood

~ Deep relaxation – each session ends with a guided relaxation to allow for integration and rest

Currently, we are running this group in the Coja area of Arganil. If you’d like to know more about what we offer, you can read about our birth doula service or our birth preparation courses. Or if you are interested in joining the pregnancy circle or setting up a similar group in your area, get in touch.

events

First Home Birth Meetup

Join me and Supriya at Uma Mãe Nasceu‘s first home birth meetup next month in Coimbra.

Home birth is not acknowledged much in mainstream Portuguese culture since old traditions have been lost and replaced with a glorification of the medical industry.

So, it’s about time we start talking about it, raising awareness and bringing together all those curious or passionate about the subject.

Join the event on Facebook and spread the word. X

Coimbra Home birth event Flyer FINAL-page-001

motherhood, reflections

Arising through motherhood: Rebirthing myself

Time and time again, I’ve found myself lost in the depths of intense mothering of young children that has swallowed me whole – to the extent that I no longer know who I am or what I want.
At those moments, my spirit calls up from the well, gasping for air.
Continue reading “Arising through motherhood: Rebirthing myself”

our work

A new chapter of collaboration

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(Versão portuguesa em baixo)

You may notice that there have been a few changes made to this site recently. This is to reflect a new chapter of collaboration that I, Roshnii, am embarking on with an old friend, soul sister and co-doula, Supriya.

Supriya and I met on a meditation retreat in the Swiss Alps in 2004. Over the years, we became closer and closer, particularly as our journeys into motherhood unfolded. In 2013, we both decided to move to Portugal. My family and I made the move quite swiftly. For Supriya and her tribe, it was a slower transition.

For some years, we have dreamed about and discussed the idea of working together and now we are embarking on that adventure.
Continue reading “A new chapter of collaboration”

birth, literature

Immaculate Deception

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I have just finished reading a book called ‘Immaculate Deception – A new look at birth for American Women’ by Suzanne Arms. The book was published in 1975, so it’s far from new now but is nonetheless a thought-provoking assessment of technology-led obstetrics versus person-centred midwifery care and, despite its age, has many insights that are relevant to Portugal in 2018.

The idea that has really stuck in my mind is this one:
“According to most studies, 70% of all birthing women in America, if given adequate prenatal care, could deliver their babies normally and without need of medical intervention at all. Another 20% may have complications that require extra prenatal care and some special attention, but these mothers, too, could give birth normally, again, without need for medical interference. This means that at least 90% of all birthing mothers can have normal, spontaneous births and have healthy babies. Many doctors, among them the noted author and natural childbirth advocate Dr. Robert Bradley, believe that 90% is far too conservative an estimate for normal births, and that 93-96% is a much more realistic figure.” (p.48)

Continue reading “Immaculate Deception”

birth, labour

Toques: Ferramenta útil ou intervenção desnecessaria? / Vaginal exams: Useful tool or unnecessary intervention?

Inserir os dedos na vagina de uma mulher deve ser uma das formas mais íntimas ou invasivas de tocar o corpo de uma mulher. Ainda assim, este continua a ser o método mais utilizado para determinar a progressão do trabalho de parto.

Existem de facto muitas maneiras para uma parteira avaliar o quanto o trabalho de parto de uma mulher já progrediu, tais como:

  • escutar os sons que ela faz;
  • sentir o odor presente na divisão;
  • verificar a linha púrpura que pode surgir na pele entre as nádegas;
  • notar como a mulher está a interagir com os que a rodeiam.

Continuar a ler este artigo na Vida Ativa.

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Inserting one’s fingers into a woman’s vagina must be one of the most intimate or invasive ways to touch a woman’s body. And yet, this continues to be the most commonly used method of assessing a woman’s progress in labour.

There are in fact many ways that a midwife can assess how far a woman’s labour has progressed, such as: listening to the sounds she makes; observing the smell in the room; checking for the purple line that may rise on the skin between the buttocks or simply noticing how the woman is interacting with those around her.
As well as being an invasive and sometimes painful procedure that may make a labouring woman feel uncomfortable or tense at a time when she needs to feel relaxed and at ease, vaginal exams (VEs) can be problematic for a number of reasons.

Continue reading “Toques: Ferramenta útil ou intervenção desnecessaria? / Vaginal exams: Useful tool or unnecessary intervention?”

birth

Ajudar é não perturbar / To help is to not disturb

Originally published on umamaenasceu.org

English version below

«O parto é um processo fisiológico involuntário; não pode ser ajudado, mas pode ser perturbado.» – Michel Odent (citado de memória do curso Paramana Doula, Janeiro de 2011).

Enquanto que algumas pessoas afirmem que para muitos de nós humanos, o parto pode ser um evento emocional e espiritual, este é incontestavelmente um acto fisiológico.

Muitas vezes falamos de mulheres que são «assistidas» no processo de dar à luz ou mesmo é utilizada a frase «o dr. X fez o parto». Mas como a citação de Michel Odent demonstra, é enganador pensar ou dizer que uma mulher pode ser ajudada a dar à luz. De facto, assumir essa perspectiva pode mesmo causar mais problemas do que trazer resultados positivos.

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Pelo contrário, talvez seja mais seguro afirmar que a melhor forma como podemos apoiar um parto é ajudando a criar as condições nas quais as mudanças fisiológicas necessárias possam acontecer no corpo feminino. Isto significa limitar as perturbações que interferem com estes processos.

De forma a fazer isto, é necessário ter um conhecimento básico da fisiologia do parto.

Continue reading “Ajudar é não perturbar / To help is to not disturb”

breastfeeding

7 steps to successful breastfeeding

As any breastfeeding mother will tell you, breastfeeding is one of the cornerstones of early motherhood. It is not only a way to feed your baby with one of nature’s most nourishing and miraculous foods, it also helps you and your baby to bond physically and emotionally and to continue the symbiotic relationship that began during your pregnancy.

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Although we humans have been breastfeeding our babies since the dawn of humankind, it is a skill that we learn and relearn along with each baby that we give birth to.

Here are some ideas that may help you and your baby get off to a successful start in your breastfeeding relationship:

Read the whole post on umamaenasceu.org

Qualquer mãe a amamentar ir-lhe-á dizer que a amamentação é uma das pedras angulares da recém-maternidade. Não se trata apenas de uma forma de alimentar o seu bebé com um dos alimentos mais nutritivos e milagrosos da natureza, também ajuda a si e ao seu bebé a se unir fisica e emocionalmente e a continuar a relação simbiótica que começou durante a sua gravidez.

Embora nós, seres humanos, amamentemos os nossos bebés desde o início da humanidade, é uma habilidade que aprendemos e reaprendemos com cada bebé a que damos à luz.

Aqui estão algumas ideias que podem auxiliá-la e ao seu bebé a iniciar com sucesso o seu relacionamento de amamentação:

Continua a ler no umamaenasceu.org

Artwork

wild mama

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Wild Pregnant Mama ~ A3 Pastel drawing

Ever since I was carrying my first child, I have enjoyed drawing the form of a pregnant woman’s body. I created this image by drawing simultaneously with my left and right hands. I have been doing quite a bit of drawing and painting with my non-preferred hand lately, as a way of accessing my more instinctual, uninhibited self.