After 2 months in the wonderful Northern Hemisphere I have to say that I’ve fallen completely in love with Europe! I never thought it would happen. I’ve always had a slight aversion to my homeland primarily because of the weather but I suppose you can’t deny your roots at the end of the day. It definitely helps to have had the rockstar summer of course.
There were so many amazing moments and experiences that I’m not sure where to begin…so I will share bits and pieces over the next few newsletters as well as what is in the pipeline for 2015 in France.
Teaching She Births® in Notting Hill was a huge highlight – I was so excited to teach my first international Yoga course and sharing She Births® with midwives, doulas and yoga teachers in France invigorated my passion for childbirth education beyond all measures.
The biggest shock was the lack of choices in hospitals and the control of insurance companies in both Ireland and France. There seems to be a growing lack of woman based care and a lack of education made available to women. (Both quite religious countries interestingly).
While we were in Ireland for our family reunion a second time mum was in the newspapers fighting her case to have a homebirth at the High Court and she LOST! Although she was attempting a VBAC it seems that the lack of choices and the dangers being portrayed to public are so different to what the studies actually show us. She has currently moved to England in order to give birth at ‘home’. There were so many hospital horror stories that I was hearing in Ireland that I think women are being pushed into giving birth at home. (See here for more info)
In France I was just astounded! Doula’s are illegal in all but a few hospitals and considered a ‘sect’ by the Government! Internal exams generally take place at every prenatal check up – which I think borders on sexual abuse! The moment labour begins or there is a water leak mums are required to go into hospital. Internal examinations take place every hour during labour! If mum hasn’t dilated 2cm within 1 hour there is compulsary medical augmentation. How any one has a natural birth in that country is quite beyond me.
The level of sadness and frustration amongst the mothers, grandmothers, yoga teachers, midwives, doulas and chiropractors I spoke to was deeply tangible. Everyone wanted to tell me how devastated they were about their own experiences and their daughter’s experiences. These systems now seem so powerful – like a quicksand swallowing up any remaining sacredness, beauty or normalisation of birth.
It made me feel very grateful to be here in Australia – our Lucky Birthing Country – but also very passionate about returning to Europe and sharing She Births® with mums and dads ASAP.
As I can’t dash over I have FINALLY got the ONLINE course up and ready for November. It will launch with TWO FREE Teleseminars on Tuesday 15th October at 6pm and Tuesday 29th October at 11am.
All mums, dads and interested birth junkies are welcome to join so please share the love by forwarding on this email to your mates interstate and overseas. They can read more information by clicking right HERE.
Also, if you are newbie mum I hope you can join me at the next Soul Mama Circle or perhaps at a yoga class at the Dharma Shala if you are blessed with some ‘time out’.
Lots of love,
Pics from France:
Studying with the master of pranayam, Tiwariji was a great honour and privilage not just for the teachings but his very presence. Looking forward to sharing new secrets with you all.
Floating down Venise Verte with Perrine Guillon-Moktan, Head of Training at the Institut de formation Doulas de France. Perrine has began translating our She Births® book into French already!