I love being a part of a couples’ pregnancy and birth journey and the big learning curve to parenthood – sharing about the physiology, the psychology and sadly, the politics of birth. Of tapping into their vision and intentions, of meeting their anxieties and fears, of planning for a smooth transition into the fourth trimester. But all of this can become a little heady as they read selected books, watch empowering birth videos and access information online to build on their understanding and confidence.

And then we come back to remembering that birth happens through our bodies, and not through our busy minds! So, the biggest piece is the un-learning that has to happen……to unhook from their neo-cortical dominance and learn to trust the primal intelligence of their bodies. The sheer magnificence of their gestating selves, like the billions of others who have birthed before them. To practice all the ways of surrendering into altered states of consciousness, the trance of labour. To understand how this makes time stand still. How it makes us less pervious to our outer reality. Insulates us from feelings of threat. And softens our perception of pain.

These rites of passage through birth are also perfect opportunities for the couple to begin relating in new ways. Where everything is novel and thrown up in the air to be re-defined as it lands. Identity. Navigating giver-receiver roles. Tolerating discomfort and the unknown. Staying open and going with the flow. Being okay with rawness and vulnerability. Being re-wired to the core. Of keeping the bigger picture alive. And becoming a true team for the benefit of their emerging family.

It is always incredibly humbling to hold space for the enormity of this time in the lives of new parents. 🐣🐣🐣🐣🐣💕

The Birth of Elijah Sky

For years I have had the spirit of Elijah with me...visiting in dreams, meditations and ceremonies. Now he is here with me in physical form and I almost can't believe it. One week ago I gave birth to him.
His birth was amazing... and intense!
It was a truly wild, primal and beautiful birth. I had decided during pregnancy to have a #freebirth which is a birth without the presence of a medically trained professional (midwives included.) I knew I didn't want checks and interruptions of any kind. I knew I needed to birth fully in my sovereign power. It was only 2 hours of active labor. My water broke around 7:15 am and I thought I had tons of time to go. I had been having contractions that would start and stop in the nights for about 5 days and at this point I was so used to it not being real labor that I think I was in denial. I told my daughter to go ahead and go to school and my husband to continue on with his day and we'd see what would happen. He had a work call from 8:30-9:30 and when 9:00 rolled around labor was suddenly there and STRONG. I was making motions to him to wrap up his call quick! I called a friend to pick up my daughter from school even though she had only been there half an hour. My good friend who is also a doula was coming to give me a craniosacral treatment at 10. I called her to say that I was probably in labor so she could go ahead and come as quick as possible. Everyone arrived just in time and my daughter made me snacks and a rehydration drink. My husband lit the special incense and cleared the space. Soon after, labor was ON and there were so few breaks in between the waves. It was just me, my husband, my 10 year old daughter who also acted as the photographer and one of my dear friends who is also a doula and she and I have worked at births together. The thing that stands out the most for me on a personal level is that usually I am a very airy kind of person, hanging out in the spiritual realms, and I expected my birth to be like that. But it was so raw and primal...it felt like a massive activation of my root chakra. There were a couple of moments of orgasmic pleasure and (cont. in comments)

DEAREST MOTHER Dearest mother-in-waiting
Through your long rite of passage
What assurance do you seek
For the babe curled inside you
To be ushered into your world
Calmly, and ecstatically?

The books, the external authorities
They slacken the knowing
Which lies in the exquisiteness
Of your womanly body
Weaving the tapestry
In its full power and glory
With primal thread from ancestors
The ones who birthed before you
And the solid holding of the Earth
Our greatest Mother

Dearest mother-in-waiting
The answers are in the simplicity
Of your birthy movements
Your earthy sounds
Through every breath
In and out
In your deepest trust
Your full surrender
In your non-doing
And your fullest be-ing,
Dearest Mother 🍃🌸(Nisha Gill)

I'm on sabbatical from school until December to have space to transition through this new life and focus on my boys, but can't wait to get back to my studies and clinical. Those of you who have worked with me know I fully believe if we are going to change the world we need to start with how babies are brought into the world. Childbirth doesn't have to be painful and scary. It can be blissful and transformational. •

I'm so grateful to work with some amazing Midwives, students and teachers. Each one has taught me so much. •

The biggest lessons I've learned about childbirth over the last decade as a doula, teacher and student midwife is listen... listen to women... they know, never question or judge them. Sit on your hands when you can... blend into the background and step in only when needed. Use your voice and hold the space. Spend time, lots of time prenatally getting to know clients... to the core. Ask open ended questions and never tell clients what they need to do. Help them connect to their intuition so they know what is right for them. •

To all the Midwives and students out there... thank you. Thank you for sacrificing sleep, your adrenal glands, yourself and everything else that comes with this passion. •

To all the partners of Midwives, thank you for supporting our Midwives so they can receive new life safely and make a small change in this world one baby at a time. •

Happy Midwifery Week. Support Midwives by making ❤️

b i r t h • m a n t r a s 🙌🏻 One thing I found really helped me with my natural birth last time was having a whole lot of positive “birth mantras” I would repeat to myself throughout the labor. It really helped give me a sense of control and relaxed my mind so my body could do its thing. This time my husband was my rock and kept reassuring me I was doing amazing which really got me through. The power of the mind and the human boy is truly incredible. .
#birthmantra #positivebirth #hypnobirthing #motherhoodalive #naturalbirth #waterbirth #bepositive #mindfulness #primalbirth #nature #pregnancyquotes #pregnant #expecting #birth #pregnancy #motherhoodquotes #mamatobe #mamahood #motherhood

I saw this image earlier and it instantly took me back to some of the reasons why I chose water birth with all 5 of my children. Before I was pregnant, I was reading different “metaphysical” books and I came across a part of the book of women birthing with dolphins. At first I thought it was slightly bizarre but I started doing a bit of research came across some readings about ancient women all over the world that had birth in oceans and rivers. I then wondered if my ancestors from my lineage had done this. Being that I’m from the Philippines, I felt like there was a possibility. I was really fascinated with this idea but didn’t think about it too much until I found out I was pregnant with my first. During my pregnancy, I continued my research on the benefits of water birth as I already made s decision to have a homebirth with a midwife. I was still fascinated with the idea of birthing in the ocean with dolphins and everything, that Ty and I actually went to the big Island of Hawaii to scope out the possibilities. We met with someone and also met midwives there too. But with the ocean temperature, the environment , and the people we met with, it just didn’t feel right. I was also aware that our modern Ocean is not the same as that of our ancestors (as far as pollution and more). While in the big Island, we did swim with wild dolphins. And it’s important for me to state this, that we didn’t swim after them. A pod actually swam to us, swam around us and blew bubbles and did a dance around us with their baby (yes, the truth). Such a magical moment. We gave them space and did not touch them at all.
We returned home and decided to have the baby in LB. Lol. Although , I had a second thought of traveling to the Philippines and finding a cleaner calm ocean there since the temperature is more ideal for water birth. Lol. Yes, I know I sound crazy, but that type of birth felt innate and primal to me.
At the end of the trimester , we eventually had a fast easy blissful orgasmic primal water birth in the tub of our home in Long Beach with our midwife. And I was happy & super grateful for that experience. Photo: free birth mama @ijeomasady By @natalielennard

Local Midwives ~ caffeine pit stop 🌸

As I was saying....#thelovedrug❤️ My fave topic to get lost with 🌀 #oxytocin #thehormoneoflove #physiologicalbirth #primalbirth #thismidwifelife 💜

When 3 become 1 💛
Repost @lovelylunabirth ・・・
🚫🏨Birth is not an emergency🏨🚫
🏡Its an emergence, see? 🏡 .
.please tag the photographer if you know!
#birthbelongsathome #homebirthdoula #waterbirth #birthisnotanemergency #primalbirth #birthbelongstowomen #istandwiththewomennotthesystem #catchyourownbaby #gentlebirth #birthwithoutfear

Birth is bloody and raw. Primal. Instinctive. A show of incredible love and strength. Limitless ability. It’s hard. And gritty. Sometimes we are afraid to see the realness of birth and what it offers. Why do we shy away from it? And hide it like we are ashamed? Be proud mama, you did it ❤️ Phenomenal photo by one of my favorites, @elliana_allon #earthside #earthsideperth #instinctivebirth

🚫🏨Birth is not an emergency🏨🚫
🏡Its an emergence, see? 🏡 .
.please tag the photographer if you know!
#birthbelongsathome #homebirthdoula #waterbirth #birthisnotanemergency #primalbirth #birthbelongstowomen #istandwiththewomennotthesystem #catchyourownbaby #gentlebirth #birthwithoutfear

Birth can be an enjoyable, orgasmic experience✨
At least once throughout labor I’ll step outside of the room to allow couples a sacred time of intimacy. Time alone to kiss and arouse her body. There’s nothing like natural oxytocin flowing through the body and encouraging labor to progress. Surrender to yourself and you may begin to think about how good and primal the contractions feel!

Did you have an orgasmic birth?

Love caught by photographer @milkandhannah 😍 #birth #labor #orgasmicbirth #oxytocin #primalbirth #waterbirth #homebirth #kissing #madisonddoula

Repost from the wonderful @oh_mwanawanga
‘“Attending births is like growing roses. You have to marvel at the ones that just open up and bloom at the first kiss of the sun but you wouldn’t dream of pulling open the petals of the tightly closed buds and forcing them to blossom to your time line.” -Gloria Lemay 📸: @kristinapodobed
such a beautiful quote and image✨

Birth is possibly the most primal experience of a woman's life. Often, she will seek out a dark, safe, cave-like space to labor in relative security. In our modern world, a bathroom will do just fine.

#primalbirth #birth #homebirth #naturalbirth #stlbirthphotographer #stlphotography #stlmoms #empoweredbirthproject #everybirthisbeautiful #empoweredbirth

‘What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn?⠀

that since day one⠀
she's already had everything she needs within herself⠀
it's the world that convinced her she did not’⠀

Rupi Kaur.⠀


I find this poem so relevant to the birthing world today. Without working in a ‘continuity-of care-model’ within maternity, I find that many women and families present in labour unaware, unprepared and disconnected from the journey they are on. It’s not intentional; families are no longer raised in tribes, women’s communal birthing ceremonies are now rare, and access to a variety in reliability of information on the internet are some of my theories as to why. It’s my job as a midwife and primary carer, to support women in finding safety to make choices to best serve themselves, to find trust to advocate for themselves, during their life-changing experience.⠀

Before meeting with a new experience, how are we to know what we need to know? Antenatal education, labour preparation classes and continuity of care (knowing your primary carer in pregnancy and labour) are all associated with beneficial outcomes for both Mum and Bub. When a mother feels safe, secure, ready; her mind quietens and her primal function grows stronger. I often relate this to a primal animal readying for the winter - once the cave has been secured, food collected and stored, a small fire lit, her family are close by for warmth and protection; the adrenaline lowers, the muscles relax, the circulating endorphins and love hormones grow and consume her body and her baby. The space around and within her is safe and ready - the baby can come 🌓⠀

The body, mind and baby are all in union, all working together, all intrinsically wired with primal instinct and function.⠀

So find a carer that you bond with, do a class, join a community, find positive birth stories alike or relevant to your fears and anxieties, consider how you can create and safe and familiar space to labour in (like the cave), and look at as much raw, eye-opening media as you can. Make the choice to allow yourself the knowledge, awareness, the trust and submission to what will come and what will be. Rupi, your words are perfect ✨

Feel the raw primal power of this photo. An exquisite expression of the rite of passage of birth of @janehardwickecollings
“...me 30 years ago about to meet Ellie and have my first VBAC!)....
Remember, birth is a function of our primitive brain.
It is a primal act of a mammal.
We can’t help the birth process, it actually just works, however we can hinder it,
and that’s what mostly happens.
Labour and birth are not faulty.
Birth works - look at the population on the planet.
The question is - how to support the natural process of labour and birth.
I think the issue is that we have forgotten that we are actually wild creatures of the earth, who have been domesticated.
And most western women are expected to give birth, not in their natural habitat (at home), but in ‘captivity’.
Breeding in captivity is notoriously difficult for wild animals.
Certain conditions need to apply for primal processes to unfold, for the birth hormones and pain relief hormones to be released in the right quantities, hence the basic needs of a woman in labour.
When we understand the basic needs of a woman in labour, basic mammalian needs, and the way the birth hormones help us disengage from our neocortex, or thinking brain, it all gets simple.
The basic needs of a woman in labour are warmth, darkness, quiet, to be undisturbed, to be unobserved, and to feel safe and secure, sort of like a warm dark quiet secluded safe place, like what most mammals seek to give birth.
What a woman needs in labour, and similarly for orgasm, are the conditions that will limit production of adrenaline and keep her neocortex, or thinking brain, quiet and unstimulated”.
#birth #homebirth #normalbirth #pregnancy #basicneedsofawomaninlabour

No is a complete sentence.
Birth is a process that may test your capacity to assert your needs and to say no. Particularly if you’re birthing in a hospital (or birth centre) where you may be offered things to “help make things more efficient”. For example, if you know you don’t want your membranes ruptured or other interventions to make things quicker examining (before birth) how adept you are at declining suggestions or recommendations is helpful. It’s great to state in your birth plan that you choose to decline these interventions, but they may still be offered to you, and when you’re in the throes of birthing you’re much more vulnerable and potentially more likely to agree to something you wouldn’t otherwise.
Some helpful questions to explore to prepare for birth and being strong and assertive in your choices -
What’s your relationship to authority, in particular, medical professionals? How do you navigate relationships with health professionals in everyday life? How do you feel in your interactions with medical professionals and institutions such as hospitals?
There’s many other questions you may consider, but this is a start to begin to explore, in daily life, HOW you navigate asserting your needs and wishes. This can be a starting point for you to begin to address any areas you perceive as being challenging. For example, if you acknowledge that you do tend to people please, or disregard your needs for others, you may wish to practice being more assertive, and trusting that your decision is validation enough, or confirm you have permission from yourself, rather than seeking it externally. Being comfortable to do or say things that are true to yourself, even if they may not please everyone around you.
Being able to confidently and clearly express your needs, and follow your urges in birth (and life!), without needing validation or permission from anyone is super important.
And simply remembering that No, IS a complete sentence is very helpful.
#birthchoices #birthwithconfidence #birthwithoutfear #empoweredbirth #assertivebirth #primalbirth #doulasupport #birthisafeministissue #informedconsent #informedchoice #noisacompletesentence #speakyourtru

* E L I X I R * C R E A T R E S S *
★ ★ 💎🌈💎🌈💎🌈💎 ★ ★
I am a highly intuitive being. As we all are, when we choose to listen and feel the subtle energetics of spirit.
When I create an elixir, it is more than simply placing stones in water. I have a process. It is an intricate process of integrating inner and outer forces to swim and dance and swirl in harmony. .
As a clear vessel, a channel for the stones medicine, I am emptied to hold space for the orchestrated symphony of the stones vibrational essence to be released and imprinted into the receptive water, crysallizing the medicine codes. .
Integration of depths.
Communing with the elementals and spirit.
Creating the Matrix.
Dive deep with the medicine of the stones with la creatrix elixirs ~ my potent collection of magical stone elixirs for the Woman Creatress // grounding and cosmic and aligned with the Divine feminine rising 🌑
#lacreatrixelixirs #creatrix #creatress #femininerising #divinefemininerising #stoneelixirs #vibrationalmedicine #vibrationalhealing #crystalessence #gemessence #crystalhealing #crystalline #createyourmatrix #motheringthemother #cyclesoffertility #cyclesoftransformation #naturalpregnancy #naturalbirth #primalbirth #postpartumherbs #stonesformothers

There’s nothing quite like this moment! So much joy! ❤️ #Repost @sisterbirth
Ok this is one of my new favorites! The relief and joy on their faces just GETS me. So much feeling in the room at this moment.
#sisterbirth #birthphotographer #birthphotography #grandrapidsbirthphotographer #homebirth #bornathome #birthbecomesher #birthjusthappened #dontforgetdads #birthwithoutfear #primalbirth #brookecollierphotography


We have all heard about believing in ourselves which requires a a mindset about ourselves. How about starting with just believing ourselves?

In birth we can often feel others know better and whilst there is fantastic medical knowledge & expertise around us, we also know & can listen to ourselves. Trusting our own judgement & intuition and feeling that we can express this is so important in feeling empowered through birth.
When we are dealing with clinicians we can sometimes feel they know best but believing our own judgement is incredibly important. We know ourselves and experiences ourselves from the inside so bring great insight to situations where we may need support. There were great posts this week on the @birthbetter Site about the importance of listening to women.
I was reminded of this recently when I had a painful foot, the doctor insisted it was a verruca whilst I had a sense it was a splinter though nothing could be seen. Preserving it transpired it was a splinter and the pain was infection.
I know that’s not giving birth but it highlighted for me the importance of believing my own judgement without discounting advice.
Have you had an experience where you had an intuition about your body?

#listentoyourself #empoweredbirth #positivebirth #trustyourinstincts #primalbirth #womeninbirth #betterbirths #birthbetter #instanatal #hypnobirthing #hypnobirthteacher #hypnobirthinglondon #mindfulbirth #birthwithoutfear #mumtomum #pregnancyblog #tranquilbirth #realbirthproject

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