Doula In Your Pocket

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World Doula Week Distance Healing

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This is the alter I made for the distance healing. I love the quince blossoms!

 

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This is Jessica A.’s alter, I love the egg candles!

World Doula Week Distance Healing:

 

Jessica and I offered our first distance healing together on Friday the 28th of March in honor of World Doula Week. As doulas , we felt that we wanted to be of service and give a gift in joy and love from our hearts. What better way to honor birth workers and birthing mothers alike than to offer a distance healing?

 

We started a facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/710970332258175/

And invited all to join and we both felt deeply all who joined in. So many thanks for sharing the love!

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Here is the vision that came to me as I held space for the healing:

 

We gathered in the ancient cave, called the Hall of Women. We greeted each other with hugs and laughter and touching of hands, eyes and hearts. Some of you brought drums. Some danced circles and spirals, pounding earth with bare feet. Some sang, some prayed. We gathered, in the place of spirit.

 

The air smelled of copal, of Santo Palo, of white sage. Together we raised energy from the deep beating heart of the earth and pulled light down from the bright mystery of heaven. And we breathed into our love and trust, in the place of spirit. We sent this out into the world, a gift. Energy that each birthing mother may call upon and use as she needs. The each birth attendant may tap into its presence and use it freely to be more present in the birthing space.

 

Then we were in the great river together. Floating freely through earth and sky. I saw hummingbird swaying above our heads and leopard watching silently from the trees.

 

I asked Hummingbird what message she had and for the birthing mothers and their babies she brought a message of tasting the sweet joy in life. Being light and hopefully and free.

 

I asked leopard what her message was and for the birth workers her message is to have trust in the process, be watchful and a guardian of the magic journey and the space.

 

 

Reflecting on this journey these words came to me:

 

The pain, the tears, the transformation,

Standing at the shadow gate and reaching through to pull new life

Breathing, sighing, crying

Into this body, into this time.

Bless you, bless you birthing mothers.

 

Birth attendants:

Witnesses of the journey

In the most ancient sense,

Guardians of the space,

Knowledgeable guides,

Tenders of the path

Please, touch with care, with thought and with love.

Be the ferry on the river, the bridge as needed.

Find your strength, courage, clarity, compassion and love as your greatest tools.

Listen well and do only as needed and asked.

 

Jessica pointed out that the mother is very much the bridge for the baby and holds the space of birther and birth attendant for the baby—and that felt so right to me.

 

Many blessings to you all from both of us.

 

 

We are so inspired by the depth of the healing that we will be offering it on the last Friday of every month. If you would like to join us please feel welcome here: https://www.facebook.com/MamaBabyWise

 

 

The healings are offered freely but we are honored to take donations to support our work.

You can make donations via our website here: http://www.mamababywise.co.uk

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3 Comments

What is a Doula?

Belly In Sun

What is a doula?  Boy do I get this one a lot—especially out in the wilds of Wales. Originally coming from a Greek word meaning servant, a doula is a person who supports a woman & her family through pregnancy.  There’s been lots of studies showing that a doula decreases labour time & rates of intervention[1]. But we do so much more than that. Our support includes the antenatal period, the birth and postnatally. The nature of the support is both practical—teaching antenatal classes for example, making food, signposting information and emotional—listening to the fears, expectations and feelings of the mother, father or partner and other family members. It may even be spiritual—providing a space where the birthing mother may be truly seen and heard and be her complete whole self. 

In times past women, mothers, sister, aunts, and friends in the community filled this role. But times have changed and we often live far from our support networks. A doula is a person who holds that place of community for the birthing family.  My dream is to live in a world where birth is a normal, positive experience. A world where women have confidence in their ability to birth and a place where our lifestyles are so healthy we can’t help but grow healthy babies. I would love to live in a world where, when thing do go wrong, care is a priority. Families bodies & needs are respected and reflected in the care received. I dream of a world where women can choose as many or as few people to attend her birth without any questions asked. I would love to see a time where all births are treated with respect and dignity, no matter the location. That each one is honoured as the truly special time it is—the first time that baby human physically joins their family

.Rebozo

The reality is, well honestly– I know we have some work to do to get there yet. But here are a few things I’ve learned over the years doulaing. The first thing is surround yourself with positive images and stories of birth. This means turn off OBEM  (one born every minute) and most mainstream TV shows about birth.  This isn’t about raising expectations but about honestly opening to the knowledge that this is normal, our bodies are amazing and birth is sacred.  

Here’s a few to get you started:

Birth Without Fear: http://birthwithoutfearblog.com

Homebirthers & Hopefuls: http://homebirthersandhopefuls.com

Birthing From Within: http://www.birthingfromwithin.com

Michel Odent: http://www.wombecology.com

Anything by Ina May Gaskin

The next thing is that birth is physical. It is work baby! So stay active while you are pregnant. I’m not saying go run a marathon or anything (you know—unless you are trained to do that kinda thing), and you should always listen to your body—if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. But for the most part, we gotta keep moving while we are pregnant in order to be in reasonable condition not only to give birth, but to recover after wards.  And if budget is a problem, well, walking is free baby and you have the added benefit of soaking up some Vitamin D.  Here are a few more ideas:

Yoga:

Birth Light: http://www.birthlight.com

Pregnancy Belly Dancing:

http://www.natural-pregnancy-midwife.com/belly-dancing-for-pregnancy.html

Walking:

http://www.fitpregnancy.com/exercise/prenatal-workouts/pregnancy-safe-walking-workout

On that note, diet is important.  There is a lot of variations in recommendations for diet but basically all of them agree that processed food and sugar are simply not good for us. They are also not good for your baby.  And I’m not saying replace sugar with chemical sweeteners either.  Please don’t do that. At the very least this comes down to treating yourself really well and feeding yourself to the highest standard you can. In addition to antenatal classes, why not take a nutrition class too?  If time and money are an issue head over to your local library here are a few good books and health & nutrition while pregnant. They don’t all say the same thing so pick what feelsright for you!

Paul Pitchford: Nutrition: Healing With Whole Foods:

http://healingwithwholefoods.com

Dr. Gowri Motha: The Gentle Birth Method:

http://www.gentlebirthmethod.com

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

http://www.gapsdiet.com/Pregnancy_and_Baby.html

Finally get educated. You are not a doctor but you do have responsibility for your own health. This means you should know your rights as far as birth go. It is not your job to dig up evidence for or against specific procedures, but it is worth it to be informed so you can make the best choices for you and baby. You should request evidence for any procedure your doctor is suggesting. Ask for clear risks and benefits for each possible drug/intervention or policy and know that if you don’t want something—you don’t have to have it! More info at these sites:

AIMS: Alliance for the Improvement of Maternity Services

http://www.aimsusa.org/default.htm

http://www.aimsusa.org/ppbr.htm

AIMS UK: Association for the Improvement of Maternity Services

http://www.aims.org.uk

Birth Rights UK:

http://www.birthrights.org.uk

In addition to being a doula, I am also a shiatsu practitioner, flower essence consultant and Reiki Master. I love working subtly and in tune with a person’s whole being.  Using these modalities has taught me much about how people create their own health. And to deeply respect the space required to do healing work. The birth space is the same. When I walk into a birthing space, I walk in knowing in my bones that birth is powerful, transformative and possible.  At times I may be the only person in the room, who truly believes in the ability of the mother & baby to birth. I feel so honoured that I am invited into this space by families. To see parent’s touching their baby for the first time, the sparkle of the first moment of eye contact—there is nothing like it. And to be a keeper and guardian of that space is such a privilege.

Me & Baby

Jess Booth @pocketdoula

www.mamababywise.co.uk

www.sequoiacollective.com


[1] Hodnett ED. Gates S Hofmeyr GJ. SakalaC. Continuous Support for Women During Childbirth. Cochrane Databaseof Systematic Reviews.(3) CD003766, 2003.

Klaus, M., Kennell, J., Klaus, P. Motheringthe Mother.: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1993.