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My Commitment to “Natural Birth”

I intend to use my practice to serve women who yearn to birth with minimal medical interventions during labour, and recognize that “natural” or physiological birth (when the baby comes through the vaginal canal) carries significant physical and emotional benefits for mama, baby, & family.

That being said, I’m committed to helping you open to whatever way your baby is going to come through, while still honouring the essence of what you envision for the birth experience, including the immediate postpartum.

It’s not only about what happens, but how you experience it, how you view the situation, and how you feel– what you connect to in this process.

I don’t have children of my own yet, but over the last many years of mentorship & working with birthing families, I’ve realized…

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The ingredients of a positive & empowering birth have less to do with labels like “natural” or any specific fantasy outcome, and more to do with YOU being very clearly at the centre of the decision-making, along with checking in with baby.

Knowing that whatever way things go, it is very clearly the right thing to do in the moment, and you & your team are centred in on your values.

As the “keeper” of your birth circle I will do everything I can to promote your body’s natural ability to give birth, and support the transformation of your spirit that is being invited.

Instead of attachment to any one outcome, I support you in cultivating what you can control– knowledge, awareness & capacity in your own heart, mind, body & soul, right here and now.

There’s so much that can be done to support your body’s incredible, natural abilities. I hold space for you to face any fears & uncertainties you may have around the powerful act of giving birth. You will approach the experience informed, aware, and in your power.

However your birth unfolds, know that I am here for you in what is there for you in it, and available for deep postpartum healing & recovery as well.

You, your body, your partner, and your baby will navigate this process together with your chosen birth team’s support.

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Featured

What’s so natural about Natural Birth Control?

The word natural gets thrown around a lot these days. Natural asparagus. Natural deodorant. Natural emotional reaction……..

Basically when something is natural it means us humans haven’t tampered with it too much.

The way that thing is, wasn’t decided by a human being, it just exists naturally that way.

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The female reproductive system is a natural part of the female body.

Meaning, it exists (most often) naturally as part of the body and it’s health contributes to a woman’s overall health.*

Just like when your skin breaks out in a rash and you know something is wrong, having an irregular cycle or not ovulating naturally can be symptomatic of a larger health issue.

Now, yes, the female fertility cycle (as I like to call it) is pretty much all about ovulation and trying to get you pregnant.

That being said, it also deals with really important hormones in your body that actually help regulate a bunch stuff– not just baby making stuff.

“Osteoporosis, heart disease, and breast cancer are all somewhat prevented with a normal balance of estrogen and progesterone, which occurs when you are ovulating regularly.” – Dr. Alyssa Quimby, M.D.

When I finally put together that my cycle is integral to my overall health as a female human being, I felt embarrassed.

Because I realized I had very little knowledge of the mechanics of my own body.

Many women are in a similar position right now.

Here’s what happens.

Suddenly, at some point, we become sexually active, and we need to be responsible for our sexual health and fertility in a big way.

So what’s the easiest, most responsible thing to do?

“Go on the pill!”

At least that’s what I did, encouraged by friends and doctors.

“It will regulate your period and you won’t get pregnant!”

“No real dangerous side effects, and definitely not to your fertility.”

But the pill doesn’t regulate your period, it eliminates it, suppressing the ovulation process and inducing a sort of pseudo-menopausal state.

Lot’s of people still get pregnant while taking the pill, mainly because just like any contraceptive that involves a daily thing you have to do, it’s subject to colossal human error.

Uh Oh…

Stretch marks on your breasts, serious fertility issues that could go unnoticed for years, hormonal imbalances that could contribute to depression, heightened anxiety and general not-okay-ness, these are all potential side effects of taking the pill regularly.

Make me feel like a natural woman

I have been practicing natural birth control for years.

I’ve noticed there is another, more subtle, side effect that doesn’t get spoken of as much, and that’s ignorance of self.

Remember that big, intense responsibility for not only your sexual health but the maintenance of the species us women face when we become sexually active?

Well, when a young lady is told all she needs to do is remember to take a pill each day, or use a condom each time, that encourages self-ignorance which continues into adulthood.

This is what we get from the “…you will get pregnant, and die.” style of sexual education in schools (link leads to a clip from Mean Girls).

I believe when women know more about their bodies, and make the management of their body’s overall health an integral part of their lifestyle, we will all be much happier.

Imagine a world where instead of desperately wondering if you are going crazy, or what’s wrong with you, and lashing out on loved ones, imagine you actually know when you are about to PMS (can warn people) or better yet can ease the monthly hormonal transition with herbs, food, rest, and other self-care.

It is a sign that something might be off physiologically if you are experiencing serious pain or hormonal turmoil simply due to your fertility cycle existing.

Something in your natural system could be off. 

Imagine also a relationship where your partner knows where you are at in your cycle and adjusts how to approach you sexually and otherwise according to where you are at. 

Happier women lead to happier societies people, it’s just science.

What way of being with your body do you feel most naturally drawn to?

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* I understand that not all females ask to be referred to publicly as women, and vice versa, but this is a big conversation for another time. I will say, what you do in your bedroom with other people and what you ask them to call you, that is none of my business.

How does Natural Birth Control work?

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Natural Birth Control, otherwise known as fertility awareness, refers to ways of preventing pregnancy, without the use of synthetic hormones or an IUD.

I’m not talking about knowing your overall fertility level here.

I’m talking about how we as ovulating females can actually tell when we are fertile & when we are not fertile throughout each menstrual cycle.

This is about how can use observing our bodies to avoid pregnancy, or facilitate conception (or just make really cool charts).

FACTS:

  • Natural birth control methods are alternatives to hormonal contraception (the pill, the shot, the ring, etc.) and copper IUDs.
  • Natural birth control at its best, specifically the official Fertility Awareness Method, prevents pregnancy at about the same rate as regular condom use (about 90-95%).
  • Yes that’s right, paying attention to your body will give you about as much power over creation as a condom. One way is free.
  • Natural birth control methods DO NOT prevent any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Where to start?

Now, be honest with yourself, do you actually know how your period works?

Do you know the difference between the natural hormones our body produces and the synthetic ones?

I’m still learning, and I’m passionate about this stuff.

Find a resource that works for you to learn, re-learn, and un-learn whatever you need to around the basic physiology of the female reproductive system, and how synthetic hormones impact that.

Then call me and we can talk about the ins and outs.

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Many women (and girls!) want to go off the pill, and are afraid of the change.

Other women have been practicing withdrawal, or using condoms to prevent pregnancy, and are seeking more peace of mind, and freedom, by actually knowing when they are fertile, and when they are not.

Yes, that’s right, there are many days out of every cycle when you 100 per cent cannot get pregnant.

(Shocking news to me as I was told in sex ed, ‘you have a 30% chance of getting pregnant each time you have sex.’)

Ovulating females are only fertile for a short window in each menstrual cycle.

There are about 8 days where you have to abstain from sex or use a barrier in order to avoid getting pregnant when going with a natural birth control approach.

You also have to track yourself.

Wait, why 8 days?

That’s 6 days of sperm being able to stay alive inside the female body (pretty impressive), plus two days to be absolutely sure you’re past ovulation, the only baby-making time.

Ovulation occurs over a 24 hour window and stimulates hormonal changes in your body that make you unable to conceive after it’s finished.

Ovulation refers, loosely, to the egg being released, traveling through the fallopian tubes, then arriving at the uterus.

What are the benefits of Natural Birth Control?

Natural birth control methods help you identify where you’re at in your fertility cycle (menstrual cycle, moon, call it as you wish), so you can know when to have sex, or not, depending on your goals.

You can use an app on your phone (this a version of The Calendar Method) or some kind of manual chart to track your period, and this is great, but there is a lot more understanding to be had about what’s happening inside your body with the extra effort of observing further physical symptoms.

Your cycle is not just about bleeding days and not bleeding days…. and cramps.

There is SO MUCH MORE.

Using a natural birth control method will change your life, and ultimately help garner greater trust and intimacy in your close relationships… including with yourself.

Plus you avoid all the harmful (and inadequately studied) side effects of synthetic hormones, or increased risk of zinc deficiency from too much copper in the case of my stint with an IUD.

I don’t get any bad side effects, why not just take the pill?

The pill induces a kind if pseudo state of menopause in your body.

Sorry to say it does not “regulate your period” (huge myth), the pill suppresses your body’s natural cycle from occurring using synthetic versions of the hormones your body creates naturally when well.

So you’re preventing ovulation from happening, ever.

This is really unnatural, and what I find most unnerving about this fact is that it’s not widely known or understood by the people putting the product in their mouth every day.

Fun fact! There are body builders that take oral contraceptive pills to dope because they contain a synthetic version of testosterone.

The problem is ovulation is not only good for making babies; it is beneficial for your overall health, diagnostically, and just in terms of feeling good.

We don’t really know the long term effects of so much flooding of synthetic hormones in to our systems.

The pill has recently been linked to depression and breast cancer in scientific research, and could be linked to complications in pregnancy occurring after years of use.

Enter, the nutritional aspect of supporting our hormone systems, you are what you eat!

Do it for everyone, especially yourself. 

Ultimately, the greatest benefit of all this is that it is totally empowering.

When you take responsibility for your personal fertility, you are not being oppressed, you are gaining power.

When you know what is going on in your body, when you are connected with your natural flow of hormones, you begin to tap in to new depths of your creative power as a woman.

It sounds witchy because it is, in the best most wholesome and sexy way.

When during the moon cycle does your bleeding happen?

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Taking Charge of Your Fertility and Natural Birth Control Made Simple are two books to check out. I also recommend this podcast with Dr. Elizabeth Wade (she has a great book as well).

Please feel free to message me with specific questions.

Like why do women constantly get pregnant while breastfeeding when it’s supposed to be a form of natural birth control….

Talk soon.

Slow the F down

Right on the heels of International Women’s Day I have a message for all of us–

Slow the F down.

Seriously, you’ll be amazed at how much more sense your life can make when you take the time to really absorb what is happening to you.

Take that 5 minutes to breathe in the bathroom in the middle of your day.

Turn off your phone, computer and all the lights and sit beside a candle to drink a hot cup of tea.

Breathe in deeply right now through your nose and as you exhale close your eyes.

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These things can seem like annoying nuisances– just another task to add to the laundry list of ‘To Do’s– but really giving yourself, and all of your internal systems, the time to rest like that is extremely beneficial.

Our most creative ideas happen in time of play or free flow.

We get more nutrients from the food we eat when our nervous system is not on edge.

If we spend all of our time cramming as many activities, tasks, and information into the time that we have… we end up losing out on our full potential as human beings.

To enjoy our lives.

To feel peaceful.

To connect.

To really reflect on how we are choosing to live, what we are celebrating, what is our growth edge, and how do I really feel anyway?

As the saying goes, when you rush you’re only putting yourself further behind…

Take a minute to meditate on that.

Yes, even if you have kids this applies to you my dears. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for support.

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Ya savvy? The importance of words

We use a lot of words.

When we talk to each other, to children, to ourselves.

I wanted to use the first blog post to talk about why I chose to describe Mamas To Be as “savvy women who want to get healthy right now…. and have babies one day.”

(This was my original tagline).

Both the noun and the verb came into use around 1785. “Savvy” is based on the Portuguese term sabe, meaning “he knows,” which itself is from Latin sapere, meaning “to be wise.”

The general definition of savvy is “shrewdness and practical knowledge; the ability to make good judgments.”

Basically it’s practical intelligence, which I believe we all have.

Now read the following, which is complete plagiarism from the lovely Marriam-Webster:

Did You Know?

You may be familiar with the noun savvy, meaning “practical know-how” (as in “he has political savvy”), and the adjective use (as in “a savvy investor”).

And if you’ve seen the blockbuster movie Pirates of the Caribbean, you also know that the verb is often used as an informal, one-word question meaning “Do you understand?” (as in “I’m Captain Jack Sparrow. Savvy?”).

But Jack Sparrow (i.e., Johnny Depp) didn’t invent the term. Both the noun and the verb came into use around 1785. “Savvy” is based on the Portuguese term sabe, meaning “he knows,” which itself is from Latin sapere, meaning “to be wise.”

Creole speakers interpreted the Portuguese term as “sabi” and began using it as one would “know.” Eventually, the Creole’s “sabi” evolved into savvy.

The West Indies origin of this word is also said to come from the French, “Savez(-vous)?” which means, “Do you (all) know?”

So it’s like a question and directive all wrapped up into one.

I find this so fascinating.

A small reminder that everything we do or say has a foundation in what came before, that our actions and words are steeped in history, old ways of knowing and believing about the world.

I also believe “to be wise” is pretty much the most important thing in life.

That’s why I created this resource for women and do my work around birthing and bodies, to do my best to share and spread wisdom.

As I saw on a T-shirt once:

“The main thing is to keep the main thing… the main thing!”

Here’s to you mamas.