our work, pregnancy, reflections

Mentoring from the Heart

Supriya and I are now three weeks into a year long journey that will lead to us becoming certified childbirth educators with Birthing from Within and although we have already dived in deep, I feel I am still just scratching the surface.

Rather than using the term educator, which could imply an old-school paradigm of teacher and student, we are encouraged to use the word mentor, which describes a person with experience and understanding who guides others to find their own wisdom and direction.

As you may know, if you’ve read some of read my previous posts, such as this one, Pam England’s (founder of BfW) work has been a great source of inspiration for our work with pregnant women and their partners.

What I love about the BfW approach is that it takes a completely different angle than conventional childbirth education, using a variety of creative and experiential tools to enable parents to access their inner knowing as well of making sense of the various information, opinions and decisions they may encounter through the childbearing year.

As someone who holds creativity and spirituality deep in the core of my daily life, I resonate with the use of art, archetype, story and metaphor that makes this practice so unique.

What is more, the course is causing me to explore and question my own stories and assumptions about birth which is a challenging but necessary process.

I look forward to the unfolding of inspiration and insights over the coming months as we add depth and richness to this rewarding work.

Babywearing, motherhood, postpartum, reviews

How and why I wore my babies

Before you read about my experiences of babywearing, take a look at these amazing images depicting Portuguese women in the earlier 20th Century carrying their babies.

portugal-babywearing

I loved using baby carriers to hold my babies close while on the move or at home, when they were little and needed cuddles while enabling me to keep my hands free.

By carrying my children I felt connected to women all over the world, through the ages and in different cultures who have done the same. It seemed the most natural way to move from place to place with a young baby as I was able to smell him, feel his body against mine, listen to his sounds, talk to him. He could see what I could see and be involved in my interactions with the world. I knew straight away when he was hungry and could also feed him while in the carrier if necessary. He didn’t need to cry to get my attention and he could sleep cuddled up against my body, where he felt safe and relaxed, not to mention soothed by my movements and heartbeat, which resembled what he felt in the womb. Continue reading “How and why I wore my babies”

birth, labour, pregnancy, reflections

Why trust in birth?

Diving into Pam England’s latest book, Ancient Map for Modern Birth, I was faced with a section on the notion of trust in the realm of pregnancy, birth and post-partum, which urged me to unpick the phrase ‘I Trust in Birth’ – the name for our doula service.

The words ‘I Trust in Birth’ surfaced, as an affirmation for myself as an embryonic doula, in a session with a pregnant couple preparing for the arrival of their first child. The phrase encapsulated the faith in myself and other women to be able to give birth in their own natural way, given the right preparation and environment. My friend, who was my doula at my first two births, had embodied that unswerving trust in my ability to birth and I found it contagious. In both births, the staunch belief that she held in me helped me navigate some tricky twists and turns in events where I otherwise might have faltered. Continue reading “Why trust in birth?”