Just returned from a long weekend in Summertown, TN with my mother and grandmother. We spent three days attending a Herb Workshop at ‘The Farm.’ ‘The Farm’ is a renowned spot in rural TN that was pioneered by a group of hippies in the 70’s who wanted more from life. They wanted to live off the land, promote peace and have the kind of birth they desired.
We stayed with a sweet and amazingly hospitable couple (their birth story is in ‘Spiritual Midwifery’ a book about The Farm’s births). One night my mother and I sat with our hosts on a bench in the middle of the country road and looked at the sky.
The food that was served at The Farm was soul food. It came from a garden that was on The Farm and it was vegan or vegetarian because they don’t harm animals on The Farm. It was delicious.
Hearing my mother and grandmother speak about their birth stories over these home cooked meals with other women was something I will cherish forever. Midwives and Doulas travelled from Puerto Rico, England and Australia, among other places, to spend time tapping into the spiritual energy of this place.
Everyone in the group (Hospital Nurses/Midwives, Healers of all kinds, Doulas, Psychologists, Health Care Professionals…) agreed on one thing: the state of birth in our world (not just the United States) needs to change. We need to give the power back to women and help them trust their bodies. Too much fear and machinery surrounding the most natural process that there is. It should be sacred and special (no matter how the woman births) instead it’s too often drugs, surgery and shame.
Bottom line: No matter what kind of birth a woman has she needs support and love. Unconditionally.