Birth as a Rite of Passage: The Transformation of Pregnancy and Motherhood
The sexual rites of passage in a woman's life have been known to wise women healers as the Blood Mysteries, including menarche, birth, and menopause.
These sexual transformations are known to be sacred portals in which a woman has the potential to access new levels of spiritual awareness and personal growth.
During the childbearing year, women experience the deepest changes on all levels: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Pregnancy and birth are profoundly transformational experiences in which a woman becomes a mother, and her life is never again the same.
Birth has been considered by cultures all over the world to be a sacred rite of passage in which the power of the transformation shapes both the baby, mother, family, and community.
For this reason, people all over the world have created ways of honoring and celebrating pregnancy, birth, and the newborn through physical, social, and spiritual rituals and ceremonies for healing.
Pregnancy and childbirth are times in which dramatic changes occur in a pregnant woman’s body, brain, hormones, and heart.
While the physiology of birth can be seen as typically universal for all humans, each culture on the planet has marked the time of birth with unique and dramatically different rituals, including spiritual, medical, and cultural beliefs and practices.
Now with the spread of Western culture and patriarchal birth practices, honoring the spiritual transformation of a woman to mother has been largely lost.
Birth is a rite of passage and how you choose to treat your pregnancy, birth your baby, and care for your newborn creates the foundation for their initiation into life on Earth.
Today, birth is highly medicalized, rates of intervention are rapidly increasing worldwide, and 70 to 80% of new mothers experience the "baby blues" and are at risk for more severe postpartum depression.
We can change this by holistically supporting women through integrative care, advocacy, and education that honors ALL the changes of pregnancy and birth - from the physical to the spiritual.
Birth is our primal imprint, and our birth experiences impact us for life. Whether or not you are a parent or intend to be, we all started our lives through being born, and birth effects EVERYONE.
It's more imperative than ever before that we support mothers through the sacred journey of pregnancy and birth.
For over 20 years, I have been passionate about empowering women's wellness through all the feminine sexual rites of passage.
I've worked in women's wellness and conscious birthing as a birth and postpartum doula, childbirth educator, pregnancy massage therapist, maternal and infant craniosacral therapist, women's healing arts teacher, doula trainer, birth educator trainer, women's circle leader, workshop facilitator, writer, and speaker.
I've been a featured speaker at birth events from the Midwifery Today conference, Mama and Baby Expos, and the Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health International Congress.
I'm also the mother of three boys, all born at home, the first with midwives and the last two unassisted. My boys are now 18, 7, and going on 2.
With all that I do to support women's health and wellness, it all began with birth.
Supporting women to have empowered gentle births will create the best possible beginning for the life of a new child and the future of humanity.