Birth is a life-changing event.
The worlds open up. We have access to parts of ourselves that we may have never glimpsed before.
Yet, in our fast-paced lives, with little exposure to what a birth is actually like, we sometimes enter the process saturated with information. Our brains are prepared, but our bodies aren’t. I’m not talking about exercise or yoga; I’m talking about a felt understanding of what birth feels like.
To prep and nurture the body, I offer my most sought-after Magamama service—the Birth Rehearsal.
What birth is actually like can only be experienced by birth itself.
However, you can arrive at the birth gate with your body and mind more prepared by an actual rehearsal of birth.
You’ll leave a Birth Rehearsal feeling more confident, less fearful and available for a deeper level of healing and awakening in the birth process.
During these individualized sessions, we’ll:
Map your pelvic floor
Learn and experience perineal massage (for decreased risk of pain/tearing)
Create resiliency in the vagina and perineum
Address fears around “stretching out and not tightening back up”
Address fears around pushing the baby out
Address tensions and fears held in the body (conscious and subconscious)
Give you a felt sense of your vagina’s amazing capacity; how it can stretch and return to its natural shape
Find the pushing muscles and practice using them
Create more knowledge, relaxation, and ease around birth
Skillful Perineal Massage with Felt Sense
Many women are familiar with perineal massage but have a difficult time guiding their partners to do it, or doing it themselves. I’ll gently guide you through a mapping and stretching of your pelvic floor to create a greater sense of expansiveness and openness.
During birth, the muscles of the pelvic floor need to be malleable and resilient. Most of the women I meet assume that their pelvic floors are not “tight enough.” The truth is, many women carry a lot of tension in their pelvic floors that can predispose them to tearing. Mapping and massage help alleviate this tension. Using breath, oil, and contact, we can create the resiliency you need for a more comfortable birth.
As we create more space, you will see and FEEL how amazing your vagina is...
stretching and then returning to its shape. Women share that there is no substitute for this felt sense of releasing their fear and anxiety, that they may not even know that they had, about a baby passing through. Women viscerally feel the capacity of their body and feel the space opening.
Finding the Pushing Muscles
If you’ve never had a baby, pushing is a bit elusive. Many women have been told that giving birth feels like taking a big poop. And that trains you to visualize and imagine pushing in the wrong way.
Regular Kegels don’t train you how and where to push. After a Birth Rehearsal, you won’t have to guess what to push or where to push—I’ll help you find your pushing muscles and we’ll practice using them.
Who Else Comes in for Birth Rehearsals?
I also serve women who really want VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Sometimes they are even more nervous than first-time moms, wondering if there body will really be able to open up for a natural birth. A birth rehearsal is a wonderful time to address tension and fears that may be held in the body and allow you to come fully into the present moment with this baby and this birth.
Women who are having their second, third or even fourth child love this work because they know how much their body transformed through birth. They know how wonderful it is to emerge from birth with an intact perineum. Some have had episiotomies or stitching in previous births and want to avoid tearing again. (In that case, ideally I will have worked on the scar tissue when they are not pregnant.)
Most women can benefit from a Birth Rehearsal in one way or another. This is the space where we can take time with your unique body and concerns, to prepare you for the transition.
I work with parents who are excited to engage the birth process as an entryway for growth and expansion. These couples realize that when a baby is born, everything changes. Some of those changes are welcome, some are unexpected. But all are transformative.
Research shows that how you feel about your birth experience isn’t so much about WHAT happens or WHERE you are, but HOW you feel—how much agency and support you feel during your experience.
My aim is for women, partners, and families to emerge from the birth process feeling whole—physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, and spiritually. For some, this process happens fairly seamlessly. For most, the sacredness and power of birth wakes up new understandings. With the right support, this material can be gracefully traversed, bringing each person into a deeper level of understanding and connection.
Without support, we don’t integrate these awakenings.
The changes are disorienting and we emerge fragmented. Years later, we are unable to harness our own life force energy and we don’t know why.
Each family is so different; there can’t possibly be one way for birth to happen, nor for the transition to parenthood to occur.
The shape my doula support takes varies from family to family as a result.
In order to be fully available in the way that each couple needs, I work with just 8 women or couples per year.
This is for you if:
you are willing to dive into the birth and mother mysteries, even if they scare you a bit— and you want a witness to dive with
you had a difficult birth yourself, had a previous difficult birth experience, abortion, or miscarriage or are just afraid of birth, and want to tend these threads so you can have a spontaneous, satisfying, new birth experience
you want to get more deeply in touch with your instinctive, intuitive nature
you want to emerge stronger and more connected to your partner
This is not for you if:
you want to return to life as usual, as fast as possible, once you have your baby
My doula work has included:
medical translation (Portuguese/ English)
holding a woman’s leg for four hours when she lost feeling in it from an epidural
internal pelvic floor work as a Birth Rehearsal
a spontaneous nude photo shoot
crying with a couple as they let go of their dream of a vaginal birth and enter a Cesarean
a hospital shower birth!