Natural Birth

Natural birth occurs when a woman releases powerful hormones and neurochemicals that enable her body to expand and release her baby from her womb. In its natural form, childbirth is a state of surrender and also a state of ecstasy as the highest peak of love hormones occurs in both the mother’s and the baby’s brain and body, which heightens their ability to adapt and engage in new relationships after the natural birth.

For a mother to give birth naturally, we must not disturb the natural physiological process of labour and birth. Women are designed to give birth and are usually able to do so without intervention. According to global statistics, only 10-15% of women may need some assistance and 85% of women are capable of birthing naturally. Women deserve to be informed about the benefits of natural birth so they can make informed choices about who cares for them, where and how they give birth. Women deserve compassionate and respectful care during labour and childbirth whether this takes place at home or in hospital.

Top 5 Tips for a Spiritual Birth Preparation

There is a story about a pregnant woman who went into labour just as her tribe was packing up their tepees to move to a better grazing camp. She rode on her horse with the group for many miles. At one point in the journey,

North American Indian Woman
the woman got off her horse and gave birth to her baby on the earth next to her horses’ hooves. She bit off the cord, wrapped her baby next to her bosom and leaped back onto her horse to catch up with the rest of her tribe. When she caught up with her family on their horses, they did not even know that she had been missing,

1. Relationship with God
The story is recorded in George Engelman’s account of labour and birth. It is a good example of a woman who is so completely in tune with nature that giving birth is a spiritual devotion aligned with nature and God. This unname woman lived in a community and participated in regular rituals to honour the Divine, or Wakantaka/God. One of the strong emotions felt was gratitude for the resources given by the Great Spirit Who infuses all of life on earth with energy and purpose. Cultivate your relationship with God both before, during and after your pregnancy.

2. Healthy Diet and Exercise
This unnamed woman was extremely fit and healthy. She helped to pack up the camp without complaining – no-one even knew she was in labour. In other words, she was physically fit. Her diet consisted of organic vegetables and fruits with some meat at regular intervals. She slept when the sun went down, awoke with its rising and went about her normal daily tasks during the pregnancy. She was fit as a result of the natural exercise of walking long distances, dancing, riding. The food she ate was unlike the industrially farmed food we consume today. Her baby grew to the appropriate size for her body. The clean air, fresh water and active lifestyle all played a role in her peak state of health. In some communities, loss of mother and or baby during pregnancy or birth was completely unknown. Take care of your health before during and after your pregnancy.

3. Healing Hurt and Trauma
When this unnamed woman was hurt, the wise older women would notice and perhaps remark or gather around and make a time to listen. They would observe her state of disharmony with herself or others. They would hold a space for her to tell her story, to rage, to weep, to be heard and seen. Acceptance and honouring would have been given to soothe the pain endured. Healing would take place over time and at its own pace. Find a person who listens and a place to be healed of your hurts before, during and after pregnancy.

4. Loving Relationship
It is not possible to live in community without loving relationships. This means being honest and real with each other. Speaking our truth and facing the conflict it may create between people. Gradually it is necessary to come into a gentle way of being that confronts and resolves tension without violence and hurt. We are all here on earth with a unique purpose and this must be honoured by each member in a family and or community for the common purpose to be fulfilled. Harmony can be created by paying attention to the disharmony in oneself and embracing the differences between us and the other. The unnamed woman gives birth iut of necessity then rejoined her group and was received with surprise and acclamation at her bravery. Take responsibility for your life and actions so that others can be drawn closer to you in relationship.

5. Attune with Your Unborn Baby
The unnamed woman was in tune with her baby. She knew when to nourish herself so that baby would become active in the womb. She knew when her baby was asleep. She observed baby’s movements and felt how baby would respond to her husband or her mother’s voice from in the womb. She rested when she was tired, ate herbs to heal her ailments. She was so in tune that she responded to her baby’s needs to come forth despite the inconvenient timing! She put her newborn in warm wrappings next to her breast to continue her journey safely. Her baby remained attached to her body and when she reached the tribe ahead, they stopped to gather around and admire her prize and praise her fortitude. When her baby gave her cues that he was hungry, she put her baby onto her breast. When he needed to pee or poo she lifted him over the earth and he evacuated without soiling garments. She gazed into his eyes and told him stories about his birth and how unique and precious he was. He recognized her gaze and soon responded. This is attunement. Learn to recognise your unborn baby’s patterns and movements. These are the ways an unborn baby can communicate with you. Sing, laugh, pray and touch your unborn baby. Dance and walk and swim if you can. You are his interface with the outside world.

You and your baby are infused with God and Life Spirit. Spiritual devotion both to God and your task will strengthen your soul and infuse your birth with good feelings and good memories.

The Flow of Life in Pregnancy and Birth

Everything we see and feel and do is about movement and flow. We watch daily the movement of the sun from one horizon to the opposite horizon, we feel the wind tug at our bodies as we walk outside, see the flight of birds from one point in the blue sky to another. Each night the milky way of stars makes its rotation, or is it ours. Continue reading

What is the Purpose of the Pain?

“There still remains the mysterious exception of birth pain.”

Eugene Marais was an Afrikaans (South African) genius and scientist, lawyer and poet. He spent years in the African wilderness observing termites or white ants, baboons and other animals and made a significant observation about the pain of childbirth. Continue reading

Penelope and Max

What ‘s so great about Waterbirth?

When I arrived at Penelope’s home, I found her in a makeshift plastic bath of warm water that her husband had rigged underneath the shower head in the apartment. She was curled up in a fetal position and there was a stillness about her. I arranged my midwifery bags, laid out a few things quietly and protected her privacy so that gentle silence enfolded us. Penelope turned on the shower Continue reading

Shoulder Dystocia Workshops Cape Town, PMB and Durban 2015

I am holding a series of workshops across South Africa covering all you need to know as a birth professional to effectively manage cases of Shoulder Dystocia, beginning in April 2015.

Shoulder Dystocia describes cases during birth where a baby requires an assisted manoeuvre in order to allow the baby’s shoulders to pass through the birth canal. Understanding the specific causes of Shoulder Dystocia and learning how to assist a baby caught in this predicament can dramatically reduce Continue reading