The Four Words I HATE the Most in Birthwork…

“I won’t let you...” These are the four words that I hate the most in birth work. If your provider starts throwing out this phrase often, then chances are you will not have the birth that you desire… It is YOUR body and YOUR birth. Too often in this society we are taught to blindly accept what we are told by doctors without question. No doctor, midwife, nurse, etc. is the be all end all. Maybe something you want during your birth might not be a good idea or maybe there is something that your provider is not able to do within the limitations of the hospital or birth center. But that should be a discussion between you both-not a blanket statement of what they will/will not allow you to do. With my daughter, I initially sought out another OB to attempt my VBAC. Many OB’s were open to “allowing” me to  try a VBAC but they all came with parameters… -“I will only let you go to 38 weeks and then we will induce labor.” -“If I see your second baby is getting bigger than the first, then I will have to do a c-section.” -“You will have to get a sonogram every week after 32 weeks so we can monitor the baby size.” These types of responses are what led me to seeking out a midwife and having my daughter vaginally and un-medicated. My labor with her was so long, I truly think I would have ended up with another c-section in a hospital setting. People forget that they have ownership over their own body. Don’t let someone else... read more

Melanin, A Map for Birth…

So, I have been taking some A-mazing classes about birth…really I don’t know where to begin with all the new knowledge that I have acquired on the things that happen to us as women giving birth.  We studied the endocrine system this weekend in relation to what happens when a women is pregnant. One of the hormones that is increased is melanin. You now, that stuff that makes brown people, brown :). Well, let’s think about what turns dark in a pregnant women. Typically, she develops a linea negra down the midline of her stomach, her areolas around her nipples darken and sometimes the area around her cheeks and mouth darken into what is commonly referred to as “pregnancy mask” or  “the mask of pregnancy”. Let’s now stop for a minute and think about the newborn baby. What do we know about their sight at birth? We know that they can only see bright contrasts. Not really any color. Their most prominent sense, is the sense of smell. Smell is the only one of our senses that is connected directly to the brain, in fact it is directly connected to the limbic system in our brain. The limbic system is one of the oldest parts of our brains and is often referred to as the emotional seat of our brain. In fact, our body will have a physiological response to smell before we even register it on a conscious level! But I digress… So we have this amazing little newborn (not as helpless as we think!) hardwired when they come out and when they are put on mom’s abdomen... read more

“Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End…”

So the title of this post makes it sound like it’s going to be some deep thoughtful post, sorry its not. I just want to talk about a song that I LOVED during my college years although I never set foot in a single bar. After watching this video, I will never hear the song, “Closing Time” by Semisonic the same. I always loved the song even thought I assumed that it was about a bar closing. This video explains that the song was actually about the birth of his son. It makes the line “Time for you to go back to the places you will be from. This room won’t be open till your brothers or your sisters come.” make much more sense in the song! Ha-ha birth is everywhere, even where you least expect it! [youtube... read more

A Moment of Silence…

My friend Keisha, whose children no longer have a mother. Who has become one of these statistics. She is real, the hurt over her loss is real. Sometimes it is very easy to sit and spit out numbers, much harder to sit with the grief of a lost friend and the lifelong ramifications for her children.

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Use Vaginal Steaming To Set Your Intentions For the New Year!

This New Year’s Eve, I will be sitting on my own pot. Sitting, steaming, and setting! Setting my intentions for the New Year that is… I believe very much in the power of intention! “Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” ― Mahatma Gandhi The womb is the seat of our creative and manifesting power as women. It is a mighty, mighty organ that we use in conjunction with The Most High to bring forth life and change into the world. You are very connected to your womb during steaming and that is a great time to harness your own internal power to change your beliefs and thoughts into actions for the New Year. Time to break up old thought patterns and beliefs that you hold about yourself that do not serve you as a human being and that hold you back! When I decided I wanted to have another child, I felt in my spirit that it was going to be a boy before we knew. I was out shopping one day and I saw the cutest sweater and thought to myself; I would totally buy this if I had a baby boy. On impulse, I decided to buy it and then I kept it under my pillow. I always sleep with my arm under my pillow and could feel it every night and be reminded of my intention to bring another child into the world. I just knew that I was ready whenever The... read more

Healing Postpartum Soups..

I love to give my doula moms a healing postpartum soup. It is good to eat warming foods after birth. In Chinese medicine they believe that you loose a lot of your qi (energy) during birth and there are specific foods and soups that you can eat to replace that energy that you lost. I don’t follow the strict recipes but I definitely believe in the healing power of soup. My grandmother used to say for a soup to be healing it had to have “one up top and two below”, meaning that you needed at least two root vegetables and one that grows on top of the earth. I don’t know where she got that from, but it has always held up for me. I love making soup because you can throw most anything in there, you can also stretch it if a few extra people show up. Certain soups hold emotional healing properties for me as well; chicken and dumplings remind me of the last time I spent time with my grandfather, just he and I, before he passed several years ago. Potato soup takes me back to when I was sick in my childhood and my mother would make a simple watery potato soup when we were recovering from a stomach bug. Congee is a thickened healing rice porridge that I love with chicken or cooked with chicken broth that a Chinese friend made for me once when I was sick and I have craved it ever since when I have a cold. I recently had a delicious soup made from a dear friend that contained... read more

20 Vaginal Steaming Benefits…

COSMETIC: increases blood flow to the vagina encourages tissue regenerations tightens removes vaginal odors MENTALLY: enhances creativity clarity quiet mindfulness increase sexual arousal/awareness less moodiness PHYSICAL clearer skin increased cardio encourages more restful sleep increased energy detoxes the whole body places your menses in harmony with your body (heavier if you need to clean; lighter if you have been letting go too much) helps with fibroids, cysts & endometriosis increases fertility, helps with vaginal discharge, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis soothes hemorrhoids open pores to take in steam... read more

How I was lead to vaginal steaming..

So I have finished my WOMB SAUNA practitioner certification and was reflecting on how I was lead down this path… Last year, I met the sista who developed this modern method for this ancient practice at a birth worker of color event that I was sponsoring. We clicked immediately and I knew that I was meant to meet her that day. She explained to me what she did (I had never heard of it) but it just made intuitive sense. I decided to gift a womb steam to a sista that had recently experienced a miscarriage and she told me how the experience helped her to release a lot of negative energy around the situation. I then decided to try it for myself and I noticed a huge difference in my energy level, creativity, and overall well-being. On my third go-round I made the sincere intention to clear my womb of all negative energy and to be a welcoming energy for a spirit (I wanted a third child). A month later I found myself pregnant! It was then that I decided that I was going to have to add this certification! Vaginal steaming was done across cultures as a initiation into womanhood, a cleansing ritual, and as ancient medicine for women. It is an honor to carry on this tradition and bring it forth into the 21st century. Basic vaginal steaming can be done at home, there are several YouTube videos that you can google and look up, but a WOMB SAUNA steam is a unique experience that offer 25+ biopsychosocial benefits that make it unique. You can definitely... read more