New Beginnings Doula Training

New Beginnings Doula Training
Courses for doulas and online childbirth education

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Healing through the generations

I was sitting with one of my cousin's yesterday who is very pregnant and ready for her baby to be born. Another cousin sat down and started giving her a foot massage. As we were sitting there talking about pregnancy and birth, my cousin who was massaging feet talked about how our grandma used to do this. He said that it was our grandma that began teaching him about how different points on our feet help to keep us healthy. Because of this, he had become interested in reflexology and was learning it himself.

This struck me because last year, I too had become interested in this as a means to help laboring patients. I also began massaging my children's feet at night. When I mentioned this to one of my aunts, they said my grandma used to do this with her own kids and grandkids. In some way, this made me feel connected to my grandma. Like we shared a motherhood secret to help ourselves and our families.

I then started thinking about how many alternative forms of medicine continue to be passed down throughout generations. On the otherside of our family, my husbands cousin uses essential oils. These were given to him by his own mother who had passed away from cancer about 10 years ago. I wonder how much of his use of oils, is a connection to his own mother.

Modern medicine, with all the great things it can do, fails to rise the same stirrings of connection and love that these simple home remedies do. The knowledge science provides is passed down through a heirarchy of elites. While this serves us in some way, it does not provide a connection of generations of family like alternative medicines do.

While I feel grateful for the scientific knowledge I have been able to gain through school and work, I feel much more grateful for the connection of love and healing I feel as I massage my children't feet each night. It reminds me of my grandma's love for her own family. It reminds me that I will always be connected to that.

Now as I use different modes of healing and touch, I wonder what will be passed down to my own children. Will the scent of lavender bring back fond memories for my own kids. When stressed or anxious, will a foot massage help them because of the memories of it being used in our own family. I just don't think taking a tylenol is going to have the same effect.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.