The Hidden HERstory of Birth
Since the beginning of time, women have given birth.
We all exist here because of this simple, yet incredibly courageous fact.
As society continues to push Mothers into a highly medicalized system where birth is viewed as an operation, instead of a natural miracle… I feel deeply that something MUST change.
As the world-renowned Dr. Michel Odent said…
“To Change the world, we must first change the way babies are born”
When we educate ourselves on the past, we’re able to move more consciously into the future with informed awareness.
The modern birth world is heavily infused with patriarchal influence. But it wasn’t always this way.
As colonialism swept through the world, many traditions were lost. As women, our stories, ceremonies, practices have always been our most prized possessions.
Experience a culture’s ceremony, and you experience the culture itself.
Women have always known this, which is why we’ve kept the wisdom of our cultures alive through oral transmissions for thousands of years.
Before I go further, I want you to know - hope is not lost.
This is one of the most profound teachings I learned while apprenticing my teacher in the mountains of Mexico.
Indigenous birth + healing practices STILL exist, and they are thriving.
Yet, the threat of the patriarchy is REAL.
As modern colonialism spreads, it continues to reinforce the idea that intervention based medical procedures like the usage of forceps or induced cesarean are the most civilized, ‘safe’, and perhaps ‘high-class’ methods.
Just take Brazil, for example. According to the Washington Post, “Elective Caesarean sections have long been a status symbol among Brazil’s elite, a way for some of the country’s wealthier women to avoid the unpredictability of natural childbirth.”
A recent article in NPR states “Since 1990, C-sections have more than tripled from about 6 percent of all births to 21 percent..” In the same article, NPR goes on to share “For example, in Brazil, 80-90 percent of births in private clinics are now C-sections, compared with about 30-40 percent of births in public hospitals.
It’s not too late to save birth. But it’s going to take all of us, and that means YOU.
To move into the future with greater presence and awareness, we must first look into the past. Understanding where we come from gives us an insight as to how the heck we got here in the first place.
I am WILDLY passionate about sharing the little-known and well-hidden HERstory of birth.
No, not HIStory, as that’s something we’re informed of every single day.
HERstory is comprised of the stories of women - the witches, the midwives, and the herbalists. Although these stories have been hidden, they are never lost.
Today, we’re exploring the HERstory of birth - unearthing the events and ‘achievements’ in HIStory that represent a turning point for the world of birth.
Ancient artifacts depict Mothers giving birth in active positions that encourage squatting and kneeling. In active positions, Mothers have free reign to move their bodies and change positions as they feel is needed for their unique birth.
In certain pictures (like the art of Southern India and Egypt), Mothers are shown as receiving support from birth attendants (what we might now call midwives and/or doulas).
These ancient artifacts depict the sacred struggle and initiation that is birth. I believe that Sufi mystic and brilliant poet Jalal-ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, said it perfectly when he wrote about birth…
“Every midwife knows
That not until a mother’s womb
Softens from the pain of labor
Will a way unfold and the infant
There is a treasure in your heart,
It is heavy with child.
All the awakened ones,
Like trusted midwives are saying
‘Welcome this pain.
It opens the dark passage of Grace.”
Questions for Self Reflection
Have you ever seen a Mother giving birth in a Hollywood movie?
How does that depiction differ from the photos you seen shown above?
The way we share about birth matters.
In our current world, many of us are taught that birth is a painful, traumatic, and even unnecessary process.
One of the ways we can combat this form of patriarchal mis-education is through speaking POSITIVELY and OPENLY about birth. Revolutionary birth work is rooted in radical transparency and honors ALL experiences of birth - from the easiest, sacred, and heavenly experiences to the most traumatic and unpredictable.
To work in the field of birth, you have to learn how to embrace every desire, process, and outcome with love, compassion, and fierce grace.
The truth is, the world needs birth workers that are well educated - not only in the field of medical science, but ALSO in the field of ancient holistic practices + wise woman traditions.
Are you with me sister?
In our 100-Hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, I dive DEEP into the hidden HERstory of birth.
We explore ground breaking and revolutionary topics like….
Why women are recommended to give birth on their backs in the West (the reason is much more ridiculous than you might think)
How systemic racism affects the birthing environment (did you know that according to the New York Times, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women in the US?)
Trauma-sensitive care for conception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum - and beyond.
AND… over 25 different asanas, pranayamas, meditation techniques, and chants.
In this revolutionary and comprehensive training, we learn about the past to equip ourselves with the wisdom needed to CHANGE THE FUTURE.
Does this path call to you?
I invite you to join us for our 100-Hour Akhand Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. I am collaborating with Akhanda Yoga, a holistic, authentic, and transformational style of Yoga created by my teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu, PhD.
For ten days, you’ll be immersed in a practice of ancient, holistics yogic wisdom blended with modern, research-based tools. Learn how to safely and effectively teach Prenatal yoga while being masterfully guided on your own journey of womb healing and awakening.
Gather with us in the Himalayas from October 27th - November 7th.
Only a few spaces remain in this revolutionary training.
For more information click the button below.