Women helping women survive and thrive through pregnancy and birth is an ancient service well worth reviving in this day and age. Childbirth is a transformative experience, and should be a positive one. But too often today, it is unnecessarily traumatic for both mother and baby. In America, we need to re-think how we help mothers bring children into the world, and how we help these mothers care for themselves and their infants through, during, and after the birth process.

I personally do not believe that America does this right, let me share some sobering statistics that show our nation lagging well behind ‘underdeveloped’ countries when it comes to mortality rates of both mothers and babies. Women need to re-take charge of the birth process, from pregnancy, labor and delivery all the way through to the postpartum period in a more natural, beneficial way.

For these reasons I am devoted to sharing what I have learned as a prenatal yoga instructor and as a doula with my fellow women, because with these wonderful natural tools, in their belt, women can properly prepare themselves for the most gentle birth experience possible.

Yoga is the ancient science of “yoking” the breath with the movement of the body to calm the mind. Prenatal yoga, as taught by a certified prenatal yoga instructor, is one of the best ways to remain strong and flexible when pregnant. It helps a woman learn breathing techniques and the ability to remain focused moment-to-moment. These skills are excellent pain management tools and my prenatal yoga classes are specifically designed to facilitate a gentle birth as well as ease the common aches and pains that come along with pregnancy.

The word doula comes from the ancient Greek and refers to a woman who is devoted to caring for another woman during her entire pregnancy cycle, a relationship as ancient as humankind itself. Nowadays, a doula is a non-medical companion who offers physical and emotional support to the mother-to-be and to her birth partner during the entire birth process. A doula can also remain in this support role for the vital first twelve weeks postpartum (the Baby Moon). Doula service is often referred to as “mothering the mother”.

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