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Today’s ‘medicine ways’ of a birth worker

Added 23/06/2014

Today’s ‘medicine ways’ of a birth worker

Let’s start with what are “medicine ways”? Of course I can only offer my own thoughts as to the meaning of such words and that would be” a way of responding to life”. When I say life I am including everything from birth, death and all in between and everything beyond; a response that is all inclusive of everyone, and holds steady to the intention that all loving answers are there in any moment; a response that is offered from a clean slate in every situation rather than one prescription for all.

Birth workers which include antenatal practitioners, doulas, midwives and postpartum practitioners have existed for eons. Maybe in different forms but there have always been those who love to assist mothers and babies. It is no different today, there are many women whose hearts sing with joy and enthusiasm at their role in the community of a birth worker.

As a birth worker who is also a herbal practitioner I have a soft spot for the legacy of midwives of times gone by who used herbs when administering to pregnant and birthing women. Then after the baby’s birth offering herbal teas and herbal baths to nourish, soothe and support both mother and baby. I love to share my enthusiasm for the work of birth workers all around the world and to hopefully inspire other to trust that this is work is needed in all communities.

The decision to have a child whether we are making a conscious choice or whether this appears to us in an unexpected way, offers such an amazing opportunity for all of us. To open a door into discovering the potential of healing that is available within every parent and child relationship is such a blessing. The birth of a baby or we could say even the thought of creating a child offers the opportunity to awaken tenderness and love within ourselves.

I believe those who offer themselves as assistance in this experience have the exact same opportunity. As birth workers in whatever ways we are offering our services the opportunities to open our hearts, to drop our judgments, to support another in their choices, to hold steady to our truth in what sometimes appears to be an extremely intense experience are available in each encounter with our clients. To witness, to listen with ears willing to hear, to support without attachment to our own personal views of how best to do things are all gifts not only to our clients but also to ourselves.

Included in this way of working with others is an opportunity to share our wisdom from a feeling of defenseless understanding and experience. As I said sometimes we make a conscious decision to invite a baby into our life for others the discovery of pregnancy is unexpected. Let’s not make either way right or wrong, it is simply how it arises. So where does parenting begin? Of course the answer is different for all of us. For some it may be at the first scan, for others at the birth, or maybe at the discovery of pregnancy. And for some it begins before conception either as a longing, a thought of creating of wellness in preparation also for some it is part of the process when there is an experience of difficulty in conceiving.

So there are many moments when it could be considered parenting begins each of them an opportunity to be honoured and celebrated or maybe fear and anxiety is the first response. A question I find of such assistance to offer pregnant or would be pregnant parents is “how would you like to be met?” To just take a moment right now and discover within yourself how do you like to be met? To be welcomed by others. No matter if I am asking this question with someone one to one in clinic or in a group, the bottom layer of the answer is always the same for all of us. We want to know we are loved, loveable and capable of loving others.

Can we offer what we yearn for ourselves to our child, can we open our hearts and say welcome and knowing this is enough in fact way more than enough, it is everything the child desires. Sometimes the answer may be yes sometimes not. Again this is the opportunity to discover that the so called resistances to love are not concrete barriers simply an invitation to dive ever deeper into love.

So how does the herbal medicine bag assist the workings of a birth worker and the women she is offering her services to? As I said there is a wonderfully long legacy of midwives and lay midwives working with the plants to be drawn upon. For myself I combine this legacy with using the plants as tools that encourage self-kindness and trust of our self. The herbs are also used to support nourishment and nurturing, both for mother and child. Simply the process of stopping for a moment to focus on making a herbal brew and then taking time to sip this cup of herbal nectar can be healing in itself. To offer ourselves the opportunity to stop, rest back and receive in any moment is of course available all the time. Yet most of us while we are discovering this, need a tool of focus to encourage and support such a discovery.

The herbal teas and baths can be such a practical and nurturing way to maintain wellbeing and nourishment during pregnancy and post-partum. Once herbs are introduced during pregnancy women often enjoy an affinity with them that continues throughout the raising of their children. This offers a self-reliance of health and wellbeing within the family which is both nurturing and empowering.

I hope this blog post has offered a small window into the workings of a herbalist who loves to work within the arena of the parent and child relationship whether we are called birth workers, antenatal teachers or simply practitioners. If you have an interest or already work in this arena why not check out Antenatal Wisdom a fantastic online course: see link below.

Lots of love Amanda x

For information about professional antenatal training Antenatal Wisdom, please follow this link: http://welcomeworldcafe.com/professional-antenatal-training.php

For interesting blogs from my Antenatal Wisdom partners, Relaxed Birth and Parenting, please visit: http://www.relaxedbirthandparenting.com/blog/articles.html  

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