Welcome to my brand new website and new aspect to my independent midwifery business – Birthing with Grace. I’m offering antenatal classes (birth preparation) for parents-to-be and lots of other holistic services for parents and birth workers. I hope you like the website as much I as do, and enjoy looking round. I chose the colour scheme to be reminiscent of light shining on water. These blue and gold colours seem to me beautifully symbolic of the amniotic waters that surround the baby. And of course, while all the elements (earth, air, fire, water and spirit) are equally important, water also symbolises the fluidity of change in a woman’s life at the time of pregnancy. So I decided this was the element to flow through the website.
So why have I changed the name from Grace Academy of Midwifery and Birth, to Birthing with Grace? As an independent midwife based in Nottingham in the UK I’ve been at the sharp end of what has felt like an attack on midwifery, not just in the UK, but globally (please see my previous blog post). However, though change has been thrust upon me (rather than me having chosen it) and the circumstances have been very difficult for midwives and women, I wanted to move forward in a positive way rather than dwelling on difficulties and negativity.
In that spirit Birthing with Grace was born. Grace is my name, which has always seemed to me very appropriate for a midwife – there is even research suggesting in the past some midwives were known as Gracewives. The word ‘grace’ also describes perfectly (for me) what it means to be pregnant, to give birth, and to become a parent. There are so many meanings to the word ‘grace’ it’s impossible to pin down to one thing, but the meanings include: ‘smoothness and elegance of movement’ (which women show completely unconsciously when they give birth), and ‘a divinely given talent or blessing’. (See Oxford English dictionary for more meanings of this wonderful word.)
I am listening to, and learning from, parents and parents-to-be; finding out what they need, and using my years of experience as a midwife to offer ways to help them negotiate the birth journey with an independent midwife walking alongside them. Birthing with Grace uses an approach to antenatal classes (birth preparation) that’s gentle, powerful and respects the primal nature of birth. My first offering is a series of antenatal classes in Nottingham known as ‘Birthing with Grace Birth Preparation’ and there will also be online and weekend versions of these as time goes on.
The Birthing with Grace approach also builds on my holistic independent midwifery practice which has always respected the body, mind, emotions and spirit. More medicalised, mainstream approaches mainly acknowledge only physical/biological aspects of pregnancy and birth. However, as humans our presence is far more than bodies and the powerful mind/body/emotion/spirit connections need to be embraced. So the other offering for women expecting babies is a ‘Mother Blessing’ ceremony which helps the mother to prepare for birth with the support of her closest friends.
For Birth Workers
I’m also continuing to provide learning and networking opportunities for birth workers. I’m facilitating some workshops myself, and sourcing amazing teachers for other aspects of the work. The first offering is a spiritual retreat for birth workers currently being arranged, though I am also arranging trainings in other aspects of birth work such as home birth and breastfeeding.
Huge thanks to Petra Visser from Artemis Websites who so brilliantly translated my ideas into sparkling reality.