“…a tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future….a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” (adapted from a quote by Agnes M. Pharo)
Happy New Year!
“Understand that the tremendous energy going through you during birth is the same sort of power as the force of ocean waves moving towards shore. Know that just as a bird knows how to build its nest, and when to lay its eggs, you too will build your birthing nest…” –Janice Marsh-Prelesnik (The Roots of Natural Mothering)
“Open hearts, strong hands. Be present, listen, feel her, trust your instincts. And remember–I have birthed my children…she will birth this child her way, with her power, be with her and let her feel your faith in her.” –Jennifer Walker (quoted in Adela Stockton’s new book, Gentle Birth Companions)
“We are living in a time where many birth peeps start out in passionate service to birth work, inspired by a Calling. But without elders to harness that passion and slowly cultivate it to grow a strong inner container so the new birth peep can learn to hold the psychic power of birth, the hard work and… unrealized dream of making a difference gradually morphs that passion into keeping a job or career…” (from Pam England’s blog post about Where are the Birth Grandmothers…)
”Doulas are just women who really, truly care about other women, on a major level.” –Linda Quinn (quoted in Adela Stockton’s new book, Gentle Birth Companions)
“Childbearing integrates a woman’s mind and body in the most intense way and brings on an existential crisis. However, this crisis is instructive rather than destructive. It forces a woman to rethink the meaning of her life, and to deal with the imminent, inevitable changes of lifestyle and family roles.” –Elizabeth Noble (Childbirth with Insight)
“Do not force nature, do not insult it, for it is as if you were to open the ears of corn to make the stalks grow.” –Chinese Medical Review (1852) (via Lamaze International e-newsletter)
”Every pregnancy and birth has something to teach us. Every one is important. Every mother and baby deserve whatever is truly best for them with respect and dignity.” —Preparing For Birth
“The more pregnancy is lived like an illness, the more it becomes in itself a cause of illness.” -Michel Odent, MD, Birth Reborn (via Mothering Magazine e-news)
“I used to have fantasies…about women in a state of revolution. I saw them getting up out of their beds and refusing the knife, refusing to be tied down, refusing to submit…Women’s health care will not improve until women reject the present system and begin instead to develop less destructive means of creating and maintaining a state of wellness.” ~A Woman in Residence, Dr. Michelle Harrison (Delightful Pregnancy & Birth)
“It is necessary for some women to risk total reclamation, to risk the direct and intentional use of power, in bold, even outrageous ways. It takes only a minority of women to alter present reality, to create new reality, because our efforts are more completely focused, more total.” –Barbara Starrett
”Please, choose your birth attendant and place of birth carefully. Search hard for the attendant that you connect well with. You and your baby deserve to be treated with utmost respect and dignity. There are attendants who believe in the sacredness and sanctity of birth. You may, however, need to act as a detective to find them.” –Janice Marsh-Prelesnik (The Roots of Natural Mothering)
“I know myself linked by chains of fires,
to every woman who has kept a hearth.
In the resinous smoke
I smell hut, castle, cave,
mansion and hovel,
See in the shifting flame
my mother and grandmothers
out over the world.”
–Elsa Gidlow (quoted in The Politics of Women’s Spirituality)
Posted in honor of the Winter Solstice.