The nature of birth is an instinctive process, made up of physical, spiritual and soul changing experiences, which intrinsically support one another in functioning and create whole health. The practice of Spiritual Midwifery advocates that all parts of mother and baby’s well-being and birthing journey is sacred and be treated sensitively, upholding the mothers choice at all times. No harm or negative effects, short or long term, should occur from treatment or procedures. A baby who is born gently and welcomed into the world by love and care has the best possible start in life.
“Whole Health” in Maternity Health Care
“Maternity Care” needs to be about the care of the mother and baby throughout all stages, from preconception through to infant, this meaning the inclusion of not only physical care but the emotional, spiritual welfare and the soul’s journey. It is essential to include all four facets as we are then not leaving out any part of being, and allows optimisation of whole health for mother and baby, along with life long health. As much as many NHS midwives are wanting change, as it stands, spiritual or metaphysical aspects of maternity stages are still rarely included into our western obstetric health care, and there are unnecessary interventions and suffering induced because of this. When we include holistic health, care that upholds present and long term health, we can look to more enjoyable, safer, natural births and pregnancies. To example, each woman holds a precious sensitivity to enable her to birth safely, her birthing instincts. This sensitivity is not only within her hormones and physiology but also in her feminine inner wisdom, her spirit and soul. If we disturb her access to these places we are intervening with the mother-nature blueprint for health.
The role of a Spiritual Midwife:
A Spiritual Midwife, like a hospital midwife will help midwife new life in, however the service differs in that the Spiritual Midwife is working in wider context of sensory perception for the mother and baby’s health, for example hearing dialogue from the baby, incoming soul, and gently helping mum attune to this dialogue with her baby. Or seeing the incarnation line of the incoming soul and mother, providing support where needed. Spiritual Midwives are also often Soul Midwives, a Soul Midwife being a woman who supports others with the ending phases in life. The two roles are commonly worked within the maternal journey, as the Spiritual Midwife assists with the twists and turns the soul undergoes in the journey of life and birth, with natural ending phases included as part of the this passage. Spiritual Midwives work within various roles, as midwives, therapists, doulas, and will be applying the Spiritual part of midwifery into their client practice and into their own life day to day. One common thread of practice that we all work with in Spiritual Midwifery is to nurture all life and spiritual aspects of birth, and to care for mother and baby as they go through the most important rites of passage in their life together. In any rite of passage there are edges, if we didn’t have an edge we wouldn’t be at such beginning. With the maternal passage there are also edges and places of depth to journey with;
“Will I get through this?”
“How will my birth be?”
“I want the best for me and my baby, how can I provide that?”
As Spiritual Midwives we are there to walk this journey with the mother and baby, a compassionate friend, who provides gentle midwifery care in every action, with as little disturbance to their intimate journey as possible. We uphold the mother’s choices, and together we work with edges that are difficult to bear, because we ourselves have journeyed similar and survived. We are thinking about the present and long-term health of mother and baby so that their holistic health is protected, thus generational health is protected. We nurture the precious and sensitive energy in mother and baby, welcoming in the best chance of an empowered and natural birthing experience. As Midwives we continually nurture ourselves in order to be sustained whilst we help others.
Alongside physiological maternity care, one area of Spiritual Midwifery that is helpful to check is how the incarnation health is of both mother and baby, looking at the journey of the soul from a wider perspective, from previous incarnations to the present. This can be helpful for a number of reasons as we each carry through a cellular memory of our soul’s journey in our body from one life to the next. Due to the sensitivity of the maternal passage, this memory is opened up or more heightened. For example a mother may be experiencing a great fear of her ability to give birth due to having died during childbirth in her previous incarnation. This reaction from the mother-to-be, if not understood by the health caregiver, could then result in a cascade of intervention treatment. With the Spiritual Midwife getting insight of the fuller picture however, she can compassionately support the mother with effective, gentle midwifery. One way may be working with acupressure points and meridians, helping strengthen her confidence with solar plexus points, assist her to let go of fear with releasing points, and then nourish the kidneys. It could be however that providing a sensitive listening space for her is helpful. Pregnancy, birth, post-natal stages are commonly a time of healing the past and present, as well as new life coming forth.
From a practice perspective, working with the incarnation health line usually takes a couple of sessions for me to get to know the mother and baby. This then enables me to get a sense of the wider picture of their journey together, seeing what their needs may be and how they can be supported. This is done via intuitive senses similar to a simple meditation in the calm of a therapy treatment for mum and baby. I will listen quietly to the subtle energies and insight I am to meet from them both and listen also to mother-nature around and spiritual guidance. Any guidance I am given to work with is always uncomplicated, for example; to give some support to a certain area in the body for the mother, nourishment for a specific organ, or suggest to her more focus on her breath. It can also be giving some words of reassurance and compassion. All approaches are gentle, with emphasis on cherishing their special journey and helping mum to attune to her own wisdom and empowerment.
In addition, and if mum is wanting to, I encourage mum and baby to have dialogue with one another if they’re not already doing so, this helps greatly with bonding and supports the subtle messages her baby is giving her. When this natural intimacy is in flow, there is much improved outcome as mother is in touch with her natural birthing instincts and her baby.
As Maternity Caregivers, enhancing our own spiritual and compassionate connection within our practice is always of benefit, both to our clients and to ourselves. It keeps us sensitive, well, and enables us to be fully in service in upholding health and the sacredness of birth.
Sophia England is a “Spiritual Midwife & Maternity Therapist” supporting women and family’s birth journey from fertility through to infant years. She is currently writing a book on “Spiritual Midwifery” – maternity health and the incarnation journey, for parents and maternity health professionals.
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(Photo courtesy of Bridget Coila@Flick)