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I have been working as a doula and supporting families in Cornwall for a number of years, yet I keep coming back to the same question. How do we find out what we really need to know to birth our babies and ease our transition into parenthood? Its not as straightforward an answer as we might think!

I’d like to say that birth is merely a physiological function of our bodies (it is!) and that we don’t need to prepare for something we already know how to do. Yet, birthing in this modern world can be a minefield. I have experienced this as a mother, I have seen this as a doula, I know this from talking to friends and family. We are birthing our babies in a world where all our lives we have been told that our bodies aren’t to be trusted, that birth is to be feared, that it is a medical event and that we need to be saved (from ourselves?!) by medical intervention. And as a caveat here, I am not saying that there isn’t a place for medical support, of course there is, but consider this first:

‘Birth is a natural event, that occasionally needs medical help, not a medical event that occasionally happens naturally’

Kemi Johnson

Much of our birth preparation is unconscious and is passively learnt from the time when we were babies ourselves (and even through our own birth experience!) The stories we have collected throughout our lives have influenced our beliefs and the rules and agreements we have made for ourselves. When preparing for birth we should consider what we already have in our ‘fact gathering basket’ – is it healthy fruits and berries or do we have things that are not so good for us? How do we know what we should keep and what really could do with being discarded.  

“If you don’t know what stands between you and your options, then you don’t have any”

Birthing From Within

Antenatal Education – Knowledge is Power

We all know the age-old adage that ‘KNOWLEDGE IS POWER’ and that is absolutely correct. However, we should consider the types of ‘knowing’ that will help us to prepare for the birth of our babies. In our modern world we spend so much time collecting external information – facts and figures. It feels like we are ‘cramming’ for an exam and by the time we get to the threshold of birth we have assimilated so much ‘data’, it can be a bit overwhelming and at the expense of other ways of ‘knowing’.

Whilst we will continue to need to use ‘modern’ ways of knowing to navigate the healthcare system as it currently is; we must also acknowledge that birth preparation is so much more than simply collecting ‘data’. It is so much more than just understanding our rights, consent, alternative pathways and writing a comprehensive birth plan. Whilst these things are important and necessary (somewhat sadly), it takes us away from exploring the transformational inner journey we make during pregnancy and birth. We seem to have all but lost our connection to our wise inner guide, our trust in our intuition and our inner ways of ‘knowing’.

By tapping into the knowing that lives deep within our bones, the most ancient type of primordial knowing we can consciously prepare for birth. Its is also helpful for us to remember our connection to nature, to the rhythms of our bodies and the universe, to our wise inner guide (and our wise baby). We can build this connection by weaving a little ritual and ceremony into our pregnancy and birth journey and as a doula with an interest in shamanic birth-keeping, this is something that I love to offer to families in Cornwall.

However, I felt a need to bring all these aspects of my work together in one place by taking a deeper dive with families through birth preparation courses and mentoring.

Labyrinth image and Birthing From Within logo

How can you Birth From Within?

Birthing from Within is a holistic heart-centered approach created by Pam England that recognises birth as a rite of passage and the huge transformational journey of self-discovery make. Whilst we are beautifully designed to grow and birth our babies, the passage through pregnancy and birth is ultimately into the unknown. Birthing From Within provides us with a map to help us to find our way.

By combining practical and evidence-based information with art, meditation, visualization, storytelling and breathwork, parents are gently supported to embrace and tune into their intuition and natural instincts, explore their fears and unravel their unconscious beliefs about birth and parenting. Parents are also supported to build a coping mindset and learn skills that they can call upon during labour, whilst learning how to foster self-compassion and acceptance if things do not go to plan.

Labyrinth of Birth

There was something about the Birthing from Within approach that really spoke to me as a mother, a doula and as someone who loves to weave a little ritual and ceremony into life, pregnancy and birth. It was the preparation that I wish I had been able to do whilst pregnant with my babies and brings together so many aspects of how I love to work that it feels like it could be the perfect fit for me.

Childbirth Preparation in Cornwall

I am pleased to be able to bring Birthing From Within childbirth preparation classes and mentoring to Cornwall, helping parents to feel confident and empowered about birth and parenting, whist honouring the sacredness of the journey they are on.  

Photo of women writing on sheets of paper sitting around a table
What is your heart’s Question?

If you would like to join one of my Birthing From Within childbirth preparation classes, or book private mentoring, you can read more about my offerings here Birth Preparation and Pregnancy Support

Photo of Jo with colourful rebozo scarves hanging in the background

Jo Kidman lives in Cornwall with her family and is a birth and postnatal doula, Birthing From Within Childbirth Educator and Mentor and shamanic birth keeper. Jo weaves traditional birthing practices with modern ways of knowing into her work and holds sacred space for birthing families across Cornwall and the Devon border. To work with Jo, please get in touch. Contact Me

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