Interestingly enough, this is a question we get somewhat frequently (sometimes indirectly), and every time we do, it is surprising all over again, because we don’t feel like we hide or separate out our spirituality from our work.
Well, we felt like it would be worth finally putting an answer in one place. This is mostly something that comes up when people are interested in our Indie Birth Midwifery School, but is applicable across the board!
Our work at Indie Birth and the Indie Birth Midwifery School is free from any type of affiliation or approval, whether that be from a midwifery board or organization or whether that be affiliated or associated with a particular religious group, or dogmatic belief system.
We are a radical, heart centered group of women who follow our own souls and intuition in all matters. We utilize the scientific as well as the sacred in our teachings. Maryn and Margo each have their own spiritual paths, although there is much overlap, and YES we utilize many eclectic resources and perspectives to inform and enhance our teachings when we feel they have benefitted our lives and our midwifery.
For full transparency, we do believe in all of these things and more: the power of energy and intention, meditation, manifestation, myth, connecting with nature, the elements, crystals and animals, reading sacred texts, journaling, dream work, chakras, auras, vibrations, mantras, somatic healing, tarot cards, shamanic journeying, ET’s, other dimensions, clairvoyance and communicating with the spirits of babies (all depending on the day!). Whew.
We don’t identify as Pagan, although we draw from earth based spirituality (following the moon, sun, and the seasons). Sometimes this is the elephant in the room, so we’ll just say it! We do not identify as Christian, but have very dear friends and students who are. We actually don’t identify as anything at all, but also feel strongly connected to the divine/a higher power.
In our teachings, we don’t shy away from the way our beliefs inform our midwifery practices and our lives as women, but that doesn’t mean you have to believe what we do, even if you are a student of ours. We would never ask a student to do something that made them uncomfortable, and have offered alternative assignments and opportunities as needed.
Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, countries and religious orientations. We have had Muslim students, Pagan students, Atheist students, Buddhist students and Christian students. We strive to always respect everyone’s unique path, while honoring being committed to our own. Our mantra and encouragement to our students is to take what works, and leave the rest.
We don’t believe that our students need to all be from the same place, or need to believe in the same version of God/Goddess/Source/Creator to all learn together and support each other. In fact, we believe that coming from different places, but yet all holding similar ideas and philosophies around birth makes for the richest and most interesting learning atmosphere possible. We always encourage you to infuse your birth work with your own faith and spiritual beliefs.
We encourage each woman, pregnant or not, to find and follow her own individual truth, and stand by her sisters’ autonomy and freedom.
This whole conversation makes me think of a time someone asked our Indie Birth community of birth workers if they had any rituals they did on the way to births. It was so beautiful to see all the different answers, with many of the same threads running through them – prayer, grounding and centering, breathing, music.
What has your faith or spirituality brought to your own pregnancy and birth experiences? Or your experiences as a doula or midwife? We would love to hear from you!