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When a mother embraces her newborn baby, her third child to her chest with deep loving affection and relief, a few minutes old and you witness THE MOST precious time in a life….and she says “this is the first time I am seeing a newborn”..you wander…. what is so wrong with the system that she did not have this with her first 2 children?
Why is she and many other mothers AND babies being robbed of this important and integral moment.
THIS is why I will keep doing what I do and speaking what I speak…and writing what I write…..
This is the birth right of every mother and baby.
PLEASE DO NOT let anyone take THIS moment away from you without valid medical reason.
This mom got to discover the unknown sex of her baby by her own hands and eyes. The baby was not cleaned, weighed, injected minutes after being born and then adorned in nappy and towel and shown to the mom. She asked “Is it a boy or a girl?” and we helped her have a look herself and she said “it’s a Boy!”
It makes a crucial difference. This beautiful newborn baby lay on his mom’s chest adjusting to the outside world, still hearing the familiar heartbeat and familiar smells. You could see on his face that he was peaceful, nurtured and curious about life in the safety of his mother’s chest and closeness.
Make it known before you give birth this is what you expect.
This moment can never happen again. And it DOES make a difference. That baby’s world perceptions are being formed….what he knows and feels as normal and acceptable. Love, trust, security.
We owe it to ourselves.
Peace on Earth begins with Birth.
Enjoy other posts like this one: https://gaurilowe.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/dignity-is-a-basic-human-right-in-childbirth-too/
As a women’s holistic doctor I firmly believe that if a woman is feeling supported. loved, honoured and nurtured – her physical and emotional health will have a power for remarkable healing and well-being. So I do red tent style women’s gatherings and circles.
Today my husband was graciously playing with my young son and off I went. Backpack on my back with posters, beads, herbal teas, silk cloths, milk sweets, pens, papers and signs!
I cycled down the packed and busy village road in India. I live at a pilgrimage site and being Sunday it was packed! Buses come and drop off people there from near and far villages and towns. I mazed my way through the throngs of small Bengali’s and their bright red and yellow saris. Cycling in public roads in India definitely takes practice- and I am still practicing! I drilled my little bell hoping they would stay to the side as I dodged buses and their loud elaborate song horns, motorbikes whisked past me with their deep incessant and very urgent hooters making them seem far more close and menacing than they really are. Bicycles, rickshaws, people, Indian spitting…smells of fried puris, the odd beedie being smoked, car fumes and incense. Shops playing their Krishna dance videos with children singing Krishna bhajans on the small screens for all the shopping pilgrims.
Then it opened up and their was a relief from the intensity! The shops were left in the distance and the roadside revealed the nature. Cows walked slowly, the air felt fresher, cars and buses became less and I could see the rice paddies on the left, still soaked from when the river Ganges flooded last month. Green, blue..space and beautiful. I appreciated the rhythm of my bicycle peddling round and round. Passing the rickshaw bicycle also cycling round and round with its regular squeak. Squeak. Squeak. Strangely reassuring and lulling.
I started enjoying my ride and appreciating the village atmosphere here. I put up my sign saying “Women’s Gathering Here” at the turnoff from the main road. Directions in India can be very confusing – “Carry on until you see a road on your left…don’t turn there! Turn at the small lane 8 metres after that road!” So I placed some signs so people would know!
And again at the nameless apartment block.
Inside the beautifully decorated Spa – a perfect space to honour and nurture women – I set up a small altar with rich pink silk scarf I had bought in Jaipur. Some beautiful women figures, beads, incense in my lotus incense holder from Bali and my African Sage and Lavender smudgestick from my Chinese doctor friend in Cape Town.
Some soft music, some Rooibos and Mint tea on the boil.
We chatted, we shared, we shed a tear, we laughed, we loved and appreciated and respected and learnt. We discovered this is ImPOrtANt! Every young and old girl and woman should have this opportunity as a human right. It should be part of the community script that every woman has the opportunity to feel part of a caring community of women. Where she can share her fears, doubts and learn from her older mothers, sisters about her body, her fertility, her mooncycle, her sexuality, childmaking, childrearing, pregnancy, birth…. in a circle of non-judgemental, caring and loving others.
We are an international community and we were internationally represented this afternoon.
I left touched, grateful and appreciated!
I want to do more! I want to honour women so much for the role and significance they play in society.
I have so much planned to share and to nurture our Sacred Ladies!
I rode home eager to embrace my sons, listening to their excited time with his dad and the cows; and cycling with friends.
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There is not much more to say about it….read this and reflect. We take our own baggage in all sorts to all of life….especially important life events. We may not even be aware. It is one of the most important aspects I believe need to be addressed in harnessing and spreading a Sacred Model of Birth. The power of transference. It is not volountary.
From the outstanding and revolutionary book “Birth Without Violence” by Frederick Leboyer
“Will the baby breathe?
Everyone is holding their breath. Identifying with the baby unconsciously. We have all returned from our own births – fighting for breath just like this newborn baby; on the verge of suffocation.
We have no umbilicus to supply us with oxygen. So things soon become unbearable, and we must take some action.
The easiest, the most sensible, the most obvious thing for the onlooker to do would simply be to breathe.
Instead of which, he cuts the baby’s cord.
His own emotional involvement has made him quite irrational.
Naturally the baby shrieks.
Everyone present exclaims in relief: Its breathing.
But, in fact, it is just they themselves who have found relief.
What they really should be saying is ‘I am breathing’.
Because the truth is that the baby was in no hurry – its umbilicus gives it plenty of time.
Under the pretext of helping this new foreign being, the obstetrician has considered only himself.
Without knowing it, he has made a transference. He has rid himself of his own anguish by projecting it on to the child.
And so the victim, deprived of its umbilicus, finds himself choking for breath.
So that we can breath freely.
This process of transference will be endlessly repeated. And the sum of these repetitions is what we, in our ignorance, call education.”
Birth without Violence – Frederick Leboyer.
Yesterday I chose some herbs in my cupboard and made some tinctures with them! I really love using plants as medicine so I was very excited to finally make my own tinctures.
You may find it strange or ironic perhaps for a medical doctor to be so excited about making her own herbal medicines! But I started off my medical studies with a deep appreciation and respect for nature’s offerings and my studies only made me more skeptical and avoidant of pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary.
So I now find myself finding far more satisfying experiences in healing using herbs, plants, teas, tinctures, topically or internally and the more I explore the nature and character of the plant, it’s parts, how it grows, its uses, its traditional folklore – the more I find not only a very present satisfying balance in myself but I find so many more nuances and facets of healing holistically. I find one plant can heal so many variances in a person’s health and wellness, touching absolutely physical symptoms to healing emotions, and even energetic blocks.
So I am always very excited for hands on experience and now that I am further on in my formal herbal medicine studies I feel I can start making my own tinctures and other herbal preparations. Working with the plants and turning them into usable preps is so satisfying and incredibly easy!
Tintures are easy to take. They hold a concentrated dose in a few drops so instead of consuming a whole cup of tea for example you can drop a few drops (about 15) in a little bit of water and drink that. This makes it easier to be compliant with a prescribed herb course or to simply take during the day. Using vodka as a solvent helps to extract alcohol AND water soluble extracts from the plant. If the alcohol content is too strong for you or if you are pregnant or for a child you can place in a quarter filled cup of warm water and simply swirl it around before taking it. (If you are pregnant please ensure via healthcare provider of herb safety first).
This and the presence of elderberries in so many flu and cough remedies convinced me this is one worth having on hand for my family. Elderberries are excellent for your immunity, shown in research to prevent and help heal sinusitis, bronchitis and general coughs and flu symptoms. You can take in a variety of forms or even eat the whole berry!
While in South Africa I was shocked at the price of elderberry syrup so before I left I bought some elderberries so I could play around with making my own syrup and tinctures while in India. When the weather turns here, the kids, especially my 2 year old tends to feel it in his chest quite badly. This time his chest healed super quickly – with daily zinc and elderberry syrup and an ayurvedic cough syrup. So first I made elderberry tincture! Super easy. The berries turn the tincture into a rich purple colour.
Then I started looking around for what else I could make into a tincture!
I have some CHAMOMILE FLOWERS left over from my Lactation Tea I make for moms. I use it in the tea for its calming and soothing effect and sweet taste but actually it is also super for gas, cramps, colicky pain and muscle spasms too. As a medicine it is well known for soothing teething pain and colicky pain in babies. I know a few babies and read more about its value for soothing, sleeping and general digestion so I figured I would have a use for it! So popped some flowers in a bottle and filled it up with Vodka!
One of my favorite herbs is Motherwort. I had plenty of her (dried) for my daily tea. (Although she is a bit bitter in a tea, so many advise it as a tincture). Here is more about Motherwort – Motherwort – the mothering herb. I love using her personally for menstrual cramps, and uterine tone (she mothers my mothering body), as a soothing and calming presence for nervous tension and she can also be used a cardiac tonic especially for heart palpitations. So I was very eager to use her to make a tincture too! I would have preferred to use fresh leaves but I only had dried leaves. You use less per ratio of herb to alcohol of the dried herb than the fresh herb and I could see why! Her leaves and stems cut up and dried all swelled in the liquid!
The whole exercise was SO satisfying and elevating! So now I visit my herbal tincture babies in the dark cupboard daily and swirl and shake them daily for the first week then less often and after 6 weeks I can start using them!
If you are inspired and would like to make your own tinctures, I found this site very useful. how to make your own tinctures. I highly recommend looking around your garden, reading up on the herbs you have lying around OR see what symptoms and illnesses tend to be in your family and read or get professional advice on herbs that can help you….and then play around with these extractions (following recipes).
Making your own medicines is a bit like cooking your own food! The consciousness and intention going into it definitely has an effect on the outcome and the healing effect on you! (In a positive wonderful way.) Even more so if you can harvest your own herbs too!
For purchases and info email me gauri@womens- health.co.za
Postage around South Africa – with SAPO as eco parcel or courier.
International postage as per individual costs to be quoted with inquiry.
As a holistic Women’s health and wellness doctor I am very enthusiastic and dedicated to supporting ecological and natural ways to support women’s health and well-being. When it comes to our moon cycle I am all supportive and love working with the actual lunar cycles, honouring our femininity, our fertility and our womb messages.
A big part of honouring our moon cycles is to find a Mother Earth friendly, hygienic and comfortable way to support our flow. The more we find out about how long pads and tampons take to decompose (500 years and 5 years respectively), their affect on the environment AND their affect on our bodies (their chemical (dioxin, aluminium) contents) – the more it becomes apparent that natural and earth-friendly alternatives are needed.
Many are using cups all ready and cloth pads. Sea sponges are still unique on the market and are a good alternative when used hygienically and properly. So I am giving it a try! And since I love the idea so much and want to support Mothers and Mother Earth too – and teach what valuable gems and info I gather around women’s health and well-being – I would like to offer you an opportunity too so I am making them available for those who are interested.
I plan to try them out personally along with the complete set of re-usable (soft, colourful and comfortable) pads as I need during my moon time. And as I love sharing ideas and teaching what valuable gems and info I gather around women’s health and well-being – I would like to offer you an opportunity too.
If you are ready for ecological alternatives for a comfortable moon time care and would like to use the sponges or / and clothers – you are welcome to call me for more info or an order. There will be an opening sale of discounts for first 2 weeks.
A few good references:
Pack of 2 sponges (1 medium and 1 small) – R46
Pack of 2 cloth pads (1 small and 1 big) – R94