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Meet a Birth Revolutionary!

15 years ago when I was fiercely preparing for my “reclamation” birth, reading everything I could, practicing, learning…

I came across Laura Shanley and wow was my world turned inside out and upside down.

Laura is one of the leaders in the unassisted childbirth movement.

While, unassisted birth is not something I am particularly drawn to, it struck me then–

How can a woman feel SO confident in her body and her ability to birth…

How is it possible to clear ALL (or enough) of your fears,

…to be able to confidently choose an unassisted birth??

Self-Advocacy in Childbirth

How do you stand for yourself during pregnancy and birth?

How do you navigate a system that may not align with your desires?

How do you engage with your providers and support team to ensure you are seen and honored?

These are BIG questions when you are preparing for birth and absolutely ESSENTIAL if you want an Ecstatic Birth.

In this Conversation to Transform Birth with Women and Newborn Health Specialist, Tamara Hawkins we dive deep into empowerment and self-advocacy in pregnancy and birth.

As Tamara so beautifully articulates, our greatest power does not come from standing strong and fighting for what we want no matter who gets in our way… (though I personally do love that level of ferocity!) but from connecting to the humanity within ourselves and others.

Forging your UNIQUE path

There is no “right” way to birth, only the right way for YOU.

This is a foundational principle of Ecstatic Birth.

So much of our upbringing and internalized “training” is about following a “right” path that actually does not exist.

This pandemic has made abundantly clear that even “the powers that be” have no idea what the “right” course of action is.

This time impels us to strengthen our connection with our own internal wisdom, always asking the question “What feels right to me??”

Childbirth is the only other place I have felt this compulsory press towards body wisdom.

For the LOVE of the BODY!

We are deep in labor now… no one really knows how long it will last, how intense the contractions will really get, and what will be birthed through this all.

So what can we do now?

Option A: Check out.
This may work, but the agitation is still there… underneath the numbness. We may find temporary relief, but then what? From my experience, it will continue to arise with greater and greater volume until it deafens everything else in an effort to be heard… not fun.

Option B: Connect.
In Ecstatic Birth, connection is the heart of everything… preparing, laboring, accessing our deepest most primal feminine wisdom. It is through deep connection and presence that we can access unparalleled levels of Ecstasy even in our most challenging moments. I choose B.

So what does this look like in a pandemic?

“P” is for Pleasure and Power and P**?

This guest blog post is by Jenny Braxton, Mama, birth visionary, educator & community leader and ECSTATIC BIRTH PRACTITIONER!

I entered my feminine form through the pelvic bowl of my mother, journeying from her womb out into the world on the day I was born. It was a long and arduous journey, devoid of pleasure.

{Until she held me in her arms, of course. Then let’s hope there was bliss.}

We all start life in a pelvic bowl, in the wombs of our mothers. From there, we are born into the world.

My entrance into the world was imprinted onto my being at a deep level, in what’s known as the limbic brain, that ancient, reptilian part of myself. My imprint was that becoming a mother is difficult and full of pain.

Jenny Braxton

Rites of Passage

This blog post has been a long time coming. Perhaps when the intensity of a situation is so strong, some time has to pass before you can express your experience clearly in words.

I am a birthkeeper, meaning I hold the sacredness of this rite of passage near and dear to my heart and I do what I can to bring light to the world of childbirth. When the #1 word that comes to mind when women think of birth is “pain,” (way ahead of “baby” btw) there is plenty of light needed.
woman-walking-into-light
The past six months I have spent a lot of time in the presence of the opposite rite of passage, death. The experience of watching a beloved family member get sick, fade and pass before our eyes in a matter of months was heartbreaking on so many levels.

The birthkeeper in me also found it completely fascinating. Why? Because despite the intense sorrow there were many moments that were so profound, so full of love, so real and palpable that the sensation of grief in my body was tinged with something else.

It’s a feeling that I hesitate to call ecstasy because the context is so very different from how I usually talk about ecstasy.

Or is it?

Birth and death are the most pivotal rites of passages that we live as human beings here on this planet, both wrapped in the mysterious essence of our condition. Where do we come from and where do we go?

State of Emergency

I have come to realize that I am a naturalist. I trust deeply in the design of Mother Nature- her beauty, her cleverness, her remarkable often miraculous ways.

But this week, navigating the chaotic supermarkets and gas lines in anticipation of the blizzard here on the east coast, I was reminded of how Mother Nature can also inspire great fear.

It is this fear that has gripped our birthing, both here in the US and worldwide. Fear of the unknowable, the uncontrollable.

Imagine if we lived each day as if we were anticipating a crippling blizzard… imagine how that would feel- the tension, the panic, the stress. Imagine how differently we would operate-

Orgasms and Birth

When thinking about the idea of enjoying childbirth, there is nothing more intriguing… and hexing than the idea of an orgasmic birth. We are the children of Eve, or, at least, we have been brought up on that story. How could childbirth ever be physically pleasurable? Emotionally maybe, spiritually definitely, but physically?

If you take a moment, however, to really think about the body parts involved in birth- well, it isn’t as far of a reach as you might have thought, right?

The idea of orgasms and birth coinciding may take a bit of cultural reconditioning, but on a physical level they are quite complementary. There are two ways to think about it.

Orgasm as a birth tool.
Orgasm as a spontaneous part of the birthing process.

The first is relatively straightforward.
Orgasms can be used to jump start labor. They can be used to move a sluggish labor along. They can also, perhaps most intriguingly, be used to manage labor. How?
Orgasms are a powerful natural pain killer, more powerful than some of the strongest drugs out there. Don’t believe me? Google it. You will be flooded with all the research and stats.

The second- the idea of a spontaneous orgasmic birth is more slippery.

Orgasmic Birth Virtual Conference

orgasmic birthWe just wrapped up the Orgasmic Birth Virtual Conference! Were you able to join us?

My talk was about “Unleashing the Ecstasy in Birth” and I had the pleasure of speaking alongside my heroines, mentors, friends, and colleagues as we discussed transforming pregnancy, birth, and mothering to a positive, empowering, and pleasure-full experience.

It was groundbreaking, revolutionary and put forth a whole new paradigm of welcoming the next generation.

It is not too late. If you weren’t able to catch it live, you can purchase the entire experience here. Or consider doing  a trial membership of En*theos’s learning academy. You will get access to the entire Orgasmic Birth Virtual Conference as well as their entire library of incredible wisdom, including several of my classes, and it only costs $10/month if you decide to stay on past the trial period.

What is so sexy about birth???

Recently, I was telling a friend about Ecstatic birth and I noticed that she had a dubious look on her face.
When I questioned her she asked- “So, you’re trying to teach women that they can ENJOY childbirth?”
Yes. I nodded, smiling. She shook her head condescendingly. “Well, that’s an oxymoron.”

Her reaction is totally understandable, given our cultural messages around birth, the endless TV shows depicting a birthing woman as a shrieking object waiting to be rescued by the doctor or drugs. Given the medicalization of birth, women are more likely to be trading birth war stories, than sharing tales of birth as a pleasurable empowering experience.

I’m totally thrilled to announce that things are changing.