Create something bigger and stronger for the future of Women in Birth
By: Katherine Bramhall, CPM
I sat in my villa on a beautiful Bali Saturday with the sun luring me to the many beauties outside such as the pool, a great iced coffee at Three Monkeys, an invitation to the beach, etc… yet I resisted the seduction of Busy. Instead I drank instant coffee and sat quietly working all day, compelled to harvest all that just unfolded in the last week with 14 incredible birth workers from all walks of life and all stages of life. I didn’t want to miss the harvest.
As I sat, women came to my door to say goodbye to me with their eyes and hearts soft and wide and hearts generous, open and overflowing with awe and gratitude for the experiences they had just shared together and privately during their time at Eat Pray Doula.
Words like ‘transforming’ and ‘I could never have imagined’ and ‘like no other workshop I have EVER attended’ along with ‘sisterhood’ and ‘tribe’ were quietly offered. These feelings affirming that the effort and investment to come to Bali to study was more than worth the investment in Themselves and could never be quantified by words alone.
I understood, as the Group was one more of the Gathering of Women that comes together to create something bigger and stronger for the future of Women in Birth at Eat Pray Doula. As one of their teachers, I am humbled.
But with all their dreams of becoming and developing as the keepers of Birth, what I saw MOST in them over the week was this:
Compassion is necessary to work with families in birth, but it isn’t enough.
Kindness is also necessary, but even it isn’t enough.
Intelligence and a hunger for knowledge and knowing is essential in order to teach and empower families, but it isn’t enough.
Wit and humor for both our families and ourselves is so important, but also, not enough.
Certainly these things are all common denominators in women who work with families in birth.
But what I am basking in tonight as I look back at the close of yet another Eat Pray Doula workshop here in Bali is that the piece that feeds ALL of those things…the Essence that makes it all WORK is COMMUNITY.
Community with our Sisters ties all the other components together…holds us together so we can continue to evolve this Birth Movement backwards- back to the time when giving birth was seen as natural and normal and part of life. Community has always been a huge part of my work and I am forever grateful to you and all my sisters, all around the world, for the mutual support we have shared.
Join me for Eat Pray Doula: A Gentle Birth Evolution for All Birth Workers March 11 – 20, 2016 in Bali Indonesia
Midwifery student and aspiring doula trainer, Kate, shares about walking into the unknown with women and being respectful, kind, and honoring each other. She ask birth keepers if there is nurturing that can happen in your own life to enhance your work?
Submitted by Amy Neuhedel
Reflections on Eat Pray Doul Bali
My daughter is a superhero. She goes by the alias ”Super Ruby Princessa” which has a touch of her Swedish/American bilingualism in the name. I think often about my daughter’s curly blonde hair (maternal grandma’s), her blue eyes (paternal grandfather’s), her oh-so-tannable skin (maternal grandpa’s) and so on. But I’ve only recently discovered the lineage of her super-heroine powers. She got this from me! Her Mom! I’m a superhero.
Doulas are peacemakers, miracle workers, superheros. Just our very presence in the world, make the world a safer, more peaceful place. So we are a lot like Wonder Woman.
So, why I am I a doula? Well, for no less greater cause than saving the world.
You may need to be a little familiar with 70′s American Saturday morning TV (or Marvel comic books) to get this metaphor, but Eat, Pray, Doula in Bali, was a lot like a gathering of the Justice League in a tropical place with organic, locally produced food and homemade ice-cream. Debra Pascali-Bonero, Katherine Bramhall, and Ibu Robin Lim, the more seasoned Super-heros lending some expertise to us novice, very enthusiastic, but perhaps not-quite-in-total-control-of-our-powers yet newbies on the Superhero scene.
Yes, to take the metaphor further, there is in fact a bat doula and Debra (or Bat Girl???) will tell you all about it at the Eat, Pray, Doula Workshop.
Actually, it’s Katherine who drives a moped…perhaps she is Bat Girl!?
And the fact is, Ibu Robin’s name is Robin…a coincidence? I think not!
On one of first adventures together, the newly initiated – myself and my three Wonder Twins (so we are Wonder Quadruplets in this case), Anita, Chrissy, and Alison find ourselves in the parallel universe of Bumi Sehat Birthing Clinic on Nyepi, the Balinese New Year – the Day of Silence. No one, not even a superhero, may be in the streets on Nyepi or else the evil spirits (think Legion of Doom) will make life on Bali really difficult the following year and none of us are willing to take that chance. Besides some super doulas must be at the clinic if any birthing moms show up (birthing moms on the back of mopeds are invisible to the evil spirits).
Anita Wonder Twin and 1st Doula-on-call: Form of loving, creative, continuous, non-tiring support for mama!
Chrissy Wonder Twin: Shape of water bucket!
Alison Wonder Twin: Form of hot water!
Amy Wonder Twin: Shape of water transport!
Success – in short, we harness our powers, dodge the Legion of Doom, and Anita doulas a gentle birth. One more step toward saving the world!
I thank my children and all my super doula sisters from Eat, Pray, Doula 2012 (especially Katherine, Debra and Robin) for inspiring and guiding me to focus my natural superhero qualities in such a meaningful way. And thanks to Anita for the super Bamboo clothing tip. Note to self: Synthetics+Tropics=Bad.
Love you all! And love to all future EPD attendees.
Building peace, one Mother, one Baby at a time.
Amy is a doula and practices hypnobirthing in Sweden. Read her birth story of baby Henry on #obirth or visit her at www.amyneuhedel.com/thecord.