Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Dear Birth Peeps,

I want to thank all of you who helped us reach our fundraising goal to publish Ancient Map for Modern Birth. Enough money was raised to ensure the design for an e-book!

On this cold morning of November 17th, I am sitting by my fireplace reading the newest edition of Harper's magazine which arrived yesterday with a stunning cover photo of a pregnant woman lying on her side; the feature article: “The Bed-Rest Hoax” by Alexandra Kleeman. I highly recommend this excellent article to all birth peeps (as well as a subscription to Harper’s, a magazine that’s been in circulation since 1850 and covers a wide range of articles and short stories).

Kleeman reminds us that in spite of research over the past ten years that shows bed-rest has no health benefits (in treating hypertension, a shortened cervix, miscarriage, or impaired fetal growth), it is still being prescribed regularly.  Each year, 700,000 pregnant women are put on bed-rest, ranging from a few hours a day to complete bed-rest for days, weeks, even months. Do some birth attendants do this out of habit, or out of wanting to give the woman something to do to make them both feel like they are "treating" the problem?
 Consequences of bed-rest include: bone loss, blood clots, muscle atrophy, weight loss, and psychological stress. In addition to the physical complications, bed-rest means loss of income and difficulties with older child-care. Although it is not mentioned in the article, bed-rest often interferes with eating a healthy pregnancy diet which is an essential part of holistic management of any diagnosis leading to the recommendation for bed-rest. If research does not support this treatment, from where did it come? One of the most interesting parts of Kleeman’s article is the historical roots she uncovered beginning with a treatise written in 1863 by John Hilton called Rest and Pain. As they say, “old habits die hard,” and this one applies! The history of bed-rest is fascinating and enlightening.
 Get up and go get the magazine and read this article. It will make you think twice about bed-rest in pregnancy.

Stay warm, 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gestating in a Labyrinth by Pam England, acrylic 28"x22"2015
Good Morning Birth Peeps,
My newest painting depicts a universal contemplation of how the mother and baby's journey from conception and through life is labyrinthine. 

This painting is one of the perks on the IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the production and printing of the new book, 
Ancient Map for Modern Birth. This campaign ends on November 15. We are so close to meeting our goal of $30,000 by Sunday. Less than $1000 to go!!

Please, visit IndieGoGo today if you've been putting it off til later--or remind everyone you know to go to IndieGoGo today and pre-order a book--

Or take this beautiful painting away as a perk!

Many Thanks for your support.
Pam England

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pre-Order New Book: Ancient Map for Modern Birth

Hi Birth Peeps,

I'm B a a a a c k...  and I have some exciting news.

After four to five years of research, writing, illustrating, and editing... the NEW book, Ancient Map for Modern Birth, describing how birth can be a heroic journey is done and in design now, and will be ready for printing next month. We are raising $30,000 by November 15 to cover the costs of the beautiful interior design, printing, and early marketing. I need your help!
 If you would like to be among the first to read Ancient Map for Modern Birth, even before its official release (estimated February 2016), please pre-order your copy Today at a 10% discount on the crowd funding website, Indie GoGo. Here is the link:
 And check out the cool perks... 
and these excerpts from the new book!

It is human nature to want to know how to get from “here” to “there”—without getting lost. As a pregnant woman preparing for birth, you will be handed our culture’s standardized “modern map” of birth. This map is useful for navigating routine medical and consumer tasks. And yet, many women have told me that something is missing from that modern map—they know there is something more. 
While the standardized or medical map is accessible through common knowledge, the “ancient map” is one that must be actively sought. When parents and birth professionals are shown the ancient map through modern birth (in classes or workshops), they instantly feel excited, validated, and guided. 
A pregnant woman has within her a personal compass, and yet if she has never been to Laborland, she needs a map that highlights tasks of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum transition.

Ancient Map for Modern Birth weaves together art, science, meditations, ceremonies, and the telling of great stories.  A pregnant woman has within her a personal compass, and yet if she and her partner have never been to Laborland, she needs a map that highlights her tasks of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum transition. This book offers that map.

Ancient Map for Modern Birth sheds light on many important issues in childbirth education including some that were not addressed in Birthing From Within, such as inductions, ultrasound, vaginal birth after cesarean, postpartum ceremonies, and more. This book also introduces the six archetypes of birth: Gatherer, Mother, Gatekeeper, Fool, Huntress, and Birth Warrior. All of these archetypal energies are within you, and each one plays a part in your preparation and transition into parenthood. Here’s another excerpt from Ancient Map for Modern Birth:

The journey of the Birth Warrior is reflected in a complex map made up of many layers. Within the body, a living map flows through our veins. Within the soul, a timeless map guides our intuition. Within the mind, an ever-changing map is engrained in our values and beliefs. Within the heart, a personal map connecting thousands of stories informs us. Mindful preparation for birth and parenting means becoming aware of your multi-layered personal map.
Have you ever seen the cellophane overlays of human anatomy in the old Encyclopedia Britannica? Each structure of the body (skeletal, muscular, circulatory, and so on) was drawn on transparent pages, so, as you turned the pages, you watched the human body built, layer-by-layer, from skeleton to skin. In the same way, as you turn the pages of this book and of your life, each new discovery, each new task you complete on your journey, will build, layer by layer, a new self who is fully ready for birth.

The Birthing From Within model and this book are both layered in four parts: the Call, the Tasks of Prenatal Preparation, the Descent into Laborland,++ and the Postpartum Return.

Stay tuned Birth Peeps, I'll be posting more excerpts from the book this week.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Take Your Baby on a Color Walk
When you feel your child move in your belly, your connection to nature and the mystery of life awakens. For the first time in years, you may notice birds making their nests in the spring, feel especially tender toward baby animals, or be aware of buds unfolding. You may enjoy quiet moments during a busy day to commune with your growing child. A color walk is a lovely practice that fits naturally with this awakening to nature and your baby still cocooned in his dark, watery world.
   Once a week, take a leisurely walk and describe to your baby the world of color and beauty that is waiting for him out here. Choose a different color every week. Wherever you take your walk, through a city park, on the beach, along the river or mountain path, or down a bustling city street, be your baby’s eyes and tell your baby about everything of that color.
   Your narration might sound like this: Look, this shirt is red . . . There are hundreds of roses bursting in red . . . The petals are very soft, like your velvet-soft skin . . . Can you hear the red truck?. . . There’s our red mailbox. I wonder what the letter carrier is bringing . . . “

Even before your baby is born, taking him on a color walk begins building a playful relationship with your baby. On a color walk, you are not just walking to get from here to there or performing an exercise routine. Even before birth, nurturing your relationship with your child helps you to see as a child sees and to be delighted with the smallest miracles in nature.

Today it is a winter white day in Albuquerque. It snowed more last night than it has since some time in the 1930's. So today's color is WHITE. Take your baby on a White Winter Walk. Tell your baby about snow, about mittens and boots and how someday you will build a snowman together! When you drink hot chocolate, tell your baby about hot chocolate and marshmallows. Your little one growing within is a "sheep" (Chinese Astrology), so s/he will be plenty warm and cozy in you!

On my walk I took pictures of snowy madonnas.  Here is one to celebrate the Great Mother, in nature, and within you.