#doulascienceandsoul

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Oh holy holy belly breech birth! This phenomenal birth facilitated & filmed by @fertilugo a OBGYN from Venezuela writes, (translated from Spanish to English), “One of the most common reasons to perform a c-section is the ‘podalica position’ (sitting or breech) which is when the baby is placed with the foot down. It is a position which, no doubt, poses serious problems for vaginal birth, but, however makes it impossible for the baby. We can see in this video a birth, respectful and careful with obstetric maneuvers, and with a vigilance that ensures the safety of the baby and the mother. With patience, listening to the music that the parents choose for this moment, and with the support of the father and their doula, the mother can be held throughout the whole process. After birth the baby can immediately be with his mother. Delayed cord clamping. Early attachment; in union doctor and patient can achieve a birth that is respectful.” #partorespetado #birthrespect #cesarea #cesarean #cesarearespetada #cesareanrespect #respectfulbreechbirth #respect #respectfulcesarean #parto #birth #cesareanbirthismagical #bellybirth #empoweredbirthproject #motherhoodrising #stopcensoringmotherhood #birthofamama #thelanguageofbirth #birthwithoutfear #uniteinmotherhood #repost #doulascienceandsoul @doulascienceandsoul

When faced with making a decision, how do you choose? After all the information has been presented, after all options are known, with no pressure from any one direction, what guides you--towards that place where you feel your resolution? How do you move within that power? How do you just know? How do you just make a choice?
Free will is a really interesting thing. As we deeper explore the field of quantum mechanics, entanglement, and action at a distance, there is the proof that when two particles interact and fly off in opposite directions, even when the particles are so far apart that any classical interaction would be impossible, a measurement of one particle nonetheless determines the corresponding result of a measurement of the other. This, and other recent studies, brings up the sticky information that speaks to our ideas of control, and agency, may all be more of an illusion than we are comfortable with. And perhaps there is something else going on outside of us, that directs the choices we make, from minor decisions to major life directions.
Photograph by Catalina Castano #doulascienceandsoul

Friction! The great terrible friction of existence; the natural expulsion from darkness, again and again #doulascienceandsoul #tribedemama #empoweredbirthproject #birthofamama #sacredart #botanicalbirthart #birthart

I know your anger, confusion and grief. I understand the profound weight of carrying the need, the necessity, the goddess-damn right of having your process honored, your body honored, your truth, intuition and story honored. Having your voice heard. Of needing to show the world what you are fucking made of! ........ And then having to give part of that self to the medical profession, when pregnancy/birth moves into a realm where the mystery becomes big enough that it becomes managed--by technology & tools. By the hands of people who are coming from all the points birth touches, as birth touches it all, depending on how they were interpreting the language of your birth. Needs. Survival. It is so tricky.
The thoughts that we circle in are devastating. Malfunction. Failed at being a woman, a mother. Broken in your biological destiny, your body less than. Broken at being a warrior, someone the community could look up to. Failed at something that is suppose to be so natural, that we are just meant to do. Thoughts that something was taken from us; that we were robbed, cheated. We circle through the necessary & unnecessary and not really get anywhere because such retrospect makes for strange peace-making. For we can't help but think if we had, or someone else had just done 'the thing', things would have been different. Maybe.

And then the most tender private thought of all, do we feel like we are broken because a short century ago our child and/or ourselves would have died in childbirth? Is another woman's homebirth/natural birth victory and "superiority" our sign we should have died off to keep the species fertile with robust women who have bigger hips, better bodies & babies who know the most ideal position to be born in?
To these thoughts that oscillate, what if I actually told you to your face "your body is broken" (because you did not birth "naturally")? What would you say? What would you do? What next? Would you really believe me? Take my words as truth and allow such mantras & 'science' to prevail, to dictate your sacred relationship with your body and your baby? Or would you fight your good fight in the name of your own righteous survival magic and story?

Repost @doulascienceandsoul
I love this photo! Strong mama casually juggling babes and breakfast. We are amazing.
#repost #doulascienceandsoul #motherhood #woman #vintage

REALITY CHECK - as a birth worker I will say, you did not manifest your birth. I went to a talk with Ina May Gaskin back in March and during her Q & A when I broached the topic she agreed. She is actually writing a new chapter to her 'Guide to Childbirth' where this very topic will be covered in some way from my understanding.
Manifestation is an odd thing. Many people have written about the subject. Musing over the nature of spiritual laws & laws of attraction, visualization, magnetic energy, positive thinking, the power of prayer. Creating miracles. All have their own language to describe how manifestation works and how you can make it work best. I am not saying manifestation does not work--it is far too tricky & subjective to describe here. What I am talking about is how this "law" has become so heavily intertwined with the idea around how birth works today. That positive manifestation is a crucial piece towards making natural birth/homebirth/empowered birth happen. That by focusing & clarifying your intention, you have the power of spirit to bring into reality/attract the birth you "feel is best". And as Mothers what we feel is best is what we have been told is best: natural birth. That to focus on the negative; your fears, or little nagging intuitive suspicions means you will result in manifesting said negativity. Not only is this not how birth works, but these ideas are harmful to Mamas on a personal & communal level.
Harmful because the concept of manifestation in birth becomes a subtle & overt method to shame. Kick you in the balls on a soul level shame. Whatever happens becomes the Mother's fault. She is the one caught in the guilt-trip, for creating her reality either "ideally" or "recklessly". That she either knows how to manifest well or does not know at all. Such ideas create conflict, competition, rivalry and pain. Because, depending on what happened, by saying one thing you say another. {continued in comments}

This photo does not do this placenta justice for holy holy was it a technicolored rainbow dream! #doulascienceandsoul #placentamagic #placentaencapsulation #placentamedicine

Part Two // We all went home around 10:30 pm. Mama & Papa's yurt is on 5 acres of land and on this land alongside other unique and special tiny homes there is a main house that has a spare bedroom where I stayed, as my little home is currently being sublet for the season. I snuggled into sleep. And that night the spirits really pulled open the veil. Every 15-minutes something would pull at my consciousness and wake me up--either the dog doing careful laps around the property, or the coyotes calling to one another across the lake, or the mice scurrying in a flurry of rhythmic patterns from underneath the house, or the faeries pulling at my eyelashes and toes alongside the angels who were whispering in my ears. The metaphysical seed had been planted! Mama called me around 1:30 am to say contractions had started just around the time they got home and had been gradually intensifying. At 2:30 things were picking up a little more. At 3:30 we planned to head over to the birth centre--her midwives would be there soon. We arrived at 4:00. We sang soft songs and hummed along with Mama during the rests, carrying the tune for her while she contracted. She liked standing best, sinking into her husband's embrace. Belly-mama belly-mama hey. Labor continued to unfold. And baby was born just before 7 am as I held Mama's head in the crook of my right arm and shared with her the mighty goddess grounding stare. It is the focused stare of being that point she can fall into as she opens opens, being stretched out farther, further, beyond, wide and far and deep and holy fuck forever cosmic. Eyes to eyes, heart to heart. And then a healthy little boy boo with elfin ears and weaving fingers. #doulascienceandsoul #doulalife #birth #courtingtheunknown #openinguptheveil #plantingthemetaphysicalseeds

Part One // Just before their rainbow baby came Earthside, I had one last prenatal visit with the Mama. I asked her what she needed. She confidently informed me after a bulk wholesale order came in that upcoming Tuesday her check-off list would be complete. I nodded and stayed quiet. Such conversations are best filled by the spirits. We were sitting in their Mongolian yurt, the one she owns with her husband, just she and I and the cat, tending to the fire while it softly rained. I sporadically took maternity photos. "There is one more thing" she began, "but I feel like it's on another realm. Like some kind of metaphysical seed that needs to be planted. Some kind of multi-pass--to put me into labor. Does that make sense?" "Totally! What does that look like?" I asked. Mama sighed, "I would really love a song circle!" A song circle, she went onto explain, facilitated by a particular healing song-witch from our community with food and friends and music and all the good stuff. I enthusiastically agreed and Mama said she would be happy to coordinate. Well, after a few days Mama informed me our friend was not going to be in town and a song circle probably was not going to happen. That's when I turned on my doula-mode. I called up our healing song-witch, "It would be really really really great if you could come up!" I exclaimed, "As her doula I must say, Mama needs a song circle--it's the metaphysical seed dude!" Our friend joyfully rearranged her schedule, working with me on the best time. "Friday" I responded. "Something about Friday." And sure enough Friday worked for everyone, and the healing song-witch organized/facilitated one bodacious and beautiful song circle; with all the good stuff. We circled the space with goddess songs, mama songs, working songs and funny songs. Songs of womb, songs of trusting, songs of support and health. Of being alive and being reborn. And Mama & Papa felt so fulfilled and juicy and held and loved. We all did. #followingmamaintuition #songcircle #maternityphotography #thecreature #doulascienceandsoul #bellinghome #communityspirit #communitymagic

Part Three of Three // So, what birth club do you 'belong'
to? Where do you draw your power? Do you feel you are able to claim the club you are a part of? Do you feel adequate/worthwhile in that club? Do you hate or love the club you are in/have to be in? Do you wish you were in another club? Are you trying to be included in the other club? Why? How does that all feel? And, if you are part of multiple clubs, does one feel more "right" than the other? Why? In wrapping up this third post, I have a handful of topics I will seed from this series including identity loss, the darker sides to othering and how to raise consciousness about othering behavior--at another time. It's funny. In the end, regarding the clubs, I don't have some grand ultimate elegant conclusion to it all. In the end, the clubs will always exist. There will always be groups of women whom have birthed at home & whom have birthed at hospital. The climate around which one is more popular & socially special moves within it's own pattern & pendulum. There will still be people who judge hospital birth & homebirth unnecessarily. I can sit here writing this post & spew the all holy "we just need to support each other!" and "just don't judge!" or "this isn't a competition!" or "we just need to be inclusive of all births", but they are unfortunately empty words because the clubs will still exist. We desire to belong. We will claim allegiance to what fits our values and supports our identity, preserving ourselves and our beliefs, even if it means unintentionally hurting others or ourselves. We can try not to care, give the almighty fuck that, I'm stronger! But we will care. We do care. It's in our nature. Yet if these group dynamics remain unaddressed, we cannot see what's going on. Therefore, if we build our understanding of the framework of what this all is, together--the nature of our diverse birth clubs, group dynamics, identity and othering--we will be able to see the various constraints to this framework, but we will also have some good ground to stand on. We can then ask good questions and begin to learn to interact and transform these patterns. So, What Birth Club Do You 'Belong' To?

Part Two of Three // As social animals we are evolutionarily driven to belong. Our very survival depends on being accepted & included in the group, and our identity is our ticket to inclusion. To increase our self image, our identity, we naturally want to enhance the status of the group we belong to. When we birth, and our identity is woven within home/drug-free birth and we are successful, we are able to claim the rewards, power & unique social benefits exclusive to that group. Our identity is (more or less) in tact. If we had a positive experience we feel encouraged to continue to enhance the status of the group. This is not without good intentions--one of our main motivations is to have all women feel that high. To experience the delicious intimacy, strength & thrill. To have Mothers move into parenting with confidence & trust. But if we end up at hospital and/or with drugs, we become the outcasts, no longer worthy of the club, no longer a part of the community. We, and our children, are not being able to claim the same power & special strength. Our identity is lost, and this loss is death in itself. So, what club do we then belong to? Where do we draw our power? Essentially we become part of that club, the hospital club, epidural club, c-section club; clubs that are now considered less than. Less important, less feminine. Less. A club we originally had kinda not really wanted to be part of in the first place. Because another method we use to increase our identity & the status of the group we belong to is to discriminate & judge those not in the club--a process called othering, the classic us' and 'them'. It is honest to admit, we have all other'ed hospital birth/c-section Moms at some point, even if we ourselves experienced a hospital birth and/or c-section. We have other'ed them because they obviously did something wrong along the way. We scoff, "I'm not going to be like her". For to admit to ourselves that a successful homebirth is largely about luck, would mess with the idea there must be some cosmic manifestation check-off list we can follow to guarantee the process & outcome we believe in. {continued}

Part One of Three // What Birth Club Do You Belong To? // Once upon a time ago, birth happened at home. Then, via a conglomeration of various events at the turn of the 19th century, birth started happening at hospital. An exclusive club formed--those who were wealthy, educated and 'civilized' had the privilege to birth in clean facilities with state-of-art technology & medical care. Soon, the majority of women wanted to be part of that club. Birthing in hospital defined your social status as not only a smart & sophisticated modern woman, but a caring mother. Home birth was shamed as a symbol of naivety and neglect. Outside of male influence, it was easy and effective for women to belittle and judge one another, and the modern science at the time only perpetuated the shame. Fast forward to now, since the renaissance and swing back to homebirth/'natural' birth/drug-free birth, an exclusive club has formed again. Those educated, healthy, in-tuned with their wild nature, and blessed with just that right mix of luck have the privilege to birth at home or drug-free. Now, more and more women want to be part of that club. Birthing at home/drug-free now defines social status, as not only accomplished & wise women, but as strong & caring mamas. Hospital birth/births with the use of medical tools (i.e. interventions) are now shamed as a symbol of powerlessness & failure. It is easy for women, even subtly, to judge & belittle one another, especially based on modern science. How very curious our ebbs with history. How curious the same social tactics used to get women into hospital are the same tactics to encourage women to get out of hospital. And how curious no matter how we birth, we judge and shame each other. Either secretly or subtly or overtly, we feel it--where we stand in the birthing hierarchy. {Righteous & legendary piece by Judy Chicago titled 'Birth Tear'} #birthpolitics #birthsocialscience #birthhistory #birthherstory #socialheirarchy #motherhoodrising #tribedemama #empoweredbirthproject #doulascienceandsoul #birthofamama #hospitalbirth #homebirth #judychicago

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