The Birth Hour Podcast

If you follow me on Instagram @lifemother you might remember that I posted this picture a while back, saying I was super happy and excited doing something WAY out of my comfort zone...

And now I am even more excited to tell you what I was up to: Recording my three birth stories over Skype with the wonderful Bryn Huntpalmer for her podcast The Birth Hour!!!

I was sooo nervous about putting myself out there like that and even more so about speaking English. I read and write and even think in English a lot, but I hardly ever speak it and my tounge was almost sore the day after from making all those unusual sounds... But like all of the Birth Hour episodes I am proud to say mine too turned out so well and I will always treasure having this recording of my births.

It has been a while since we did the recording, but the timing of the episode going live could not have been better. Yesterday I got back from my final weekend of doula training in Gothenburg and I am now ready to help out any pregnant mama in the Umeå area.

If you have not yet listened to The Birth Hour you are one lucky person because that means you have 70 absolutely beautiful episodes of mamas sharing their births to listen to. It is without a doubt my favorite podcast and it is such an honor to get to share my stories there. You should also check out @thebirthhour on Instagram for some serious oxytocin :)

Thank you so much Bryn!

Co-sleeping and Babywearing in Swedish Hospital

Yesterday I found out about a beautiful change taking place at the hospital here in Umeå, Sweden. Turns out that our hospital is one of the first in all of Sweden in introducing babywearing and co-sleeping to all new parents after birth.

Before they have had these sort of sterile plastic beds on wheels in all post delivery rooms for parents to use for their newborns, but now they are changing all of those to baby wraps and baby nests to encourage closeness and safe co-sleeping.

Personally I think that it is a positive change as I would have never dreamed of putting my tiny fresh little person in that plastic thing away from me. But I know we are all different and I think our own choice of how we want to birth and parent our own babies are the most important and all parents can decide for themselves how they want to do it. Therefor I still think it is good that the hospital is keeping some of those plastic beds around if anyone specifically asks for them.

The big difference I think is that simply by presenting baby wearing and co-sleeping as the primary option the hospital is helping in creating a great acceptance and trust in those two practices. A lot of new parents doubt their own ability to know the best way to care for their children and trust that the way that it's done in the hospital has to be safest and most recommended way. So the former practice of putting newborns in those beds on wheels in addition to the general idea that "independent" babies = good babies, that co-sleeping might be dangerous and baby wrapping difficult really means you needed to be sure that that's what you wanted to do to even try it. 

Now that babywearing and co-sleeping is becoming the general practice in the hospital I think a lot of people who felt insecure about it before will give it a try and hopefully it will help both babies and moms be both healthier and happier. Research is showing benefits of co-sleeping and babywearing to be everything from easier breastfeeding and more peaceful sleep to decreased risk of postpartum depression and SIDS, and a WHOLE lot more. I promise, google it if you don't believe me. Also, without that kind of clear research these kinds of "hippie/primitive" changes would never get in to a hospital. I just wonder where we even got the idea to stop doing this in the first place...

Here is the clip from the news announcing these changes and why, in Swedish.

 

 

Yoga on YouTube

Today I am just going to share with you two beautiful practices from the Kundalini Yoga tradition that you can try right now, even if you are a beginner. These are two guided YouTube classes that you can take for free anywhere anytime. I don't want you to listen to me, or the guides in these videos, I want you to listen to your self. How? Practicing yoga and meditation is one way and if you don't know where to start, it usually feels easier when someone tells you what to do, even if they are just telling us to sit down, close our eyes and feel our breath and body for a while. 

This first one is a comfortable prenatal yoga class, that will smoothly get your circulation going and give you a moment to connect with your body and your baby.

This second one is a Mantra Meditation on the Divine Feminine and it is a wonderful meditation if you are not pregnant as well. If you have tried meditation but thinks just sitting down and breathing is really difficult because you always think about EVERYTHING except your breath, then a Mantra Meditation can be your way in. A mantra simply gives you something more to focus on, and usually in Kundalini Yoga the mantra/ breath pattern or mudra (hand position) is weird enough to keep you busy. Also singing and chanting feels so good!! This version is 11 minutes, but if you want you can start with 3 minutes and work your way up.

Complete Mantra:
Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Adi Shakti, Namo Namo
Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Sarab Shakti, Namo Namo
Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Pritham Bhagvati, Namo Namo
Kundalini Mata Shakti, Mata Shakti, Namo Namo
Translation:
I bow to (or call on) the primal power.
I bow to (or call on) the all encompassing power and energy. 
I bow to (or call on) that through which God creates.
I bow to (or call on) the creative power of the Kundalini, the Divine Mother Power.

The Grand Mother

Who am I to have a Website?

A while back when Lifemother was still on the idea level, I was sitting one day pondering what my path really was and what I wanted to give voice to through this project. I just felt overwhelmed by all of the things I wanted to do, didn’t know where to start and like I just needed some help with clarity. I’ve been really bad at asking for help and support for as long as I can remember and until quite recently viewed it as a sign of strength to be able to do everything on your own. A lot of times I just feel like I might get judged or that if I ask for help or share a dream, it will be so embarrassing to know someone know I failed if I do. I’d rather just make everything as hard as possible for myself and then present only my successes after I’m done. Super stupid, and I’m putting a lot of loving working on that one, but more on that another time.

What I wanted to get to was that I was sitting there feeling like I needed some help with clarity when I came to think of my tarot deck. I bought it many years ago just because I thought that the pictures was so beautiful and the Native American symbolism really spoke to me. I didn’t really think much about ”believing in tarot or not” and I’ve just kept them around. I don’t use them very often, but what I have found is that all of the cards, their elements, symbolism and messages are all just universal wisdom that you can apply to basically any person or situation at any time. That being said, they have a tendency to really spark exactly the conversation you need to have with yourself. Or in my case, being some thing to ask for help when you’re too proud to ask some one. I’m always amazed at how perfect the cards are, but this time I seriously got goosebumps.

So I was sitting there pondering my passion project Lifemother, feeling overwhelmed and confused not knowing where to start and I asked for a card to help me gain clarity on my intention and what to come back to when in doubt. I shuffled for a while as I usually do, waiting for a card to catch my attention, took it out and placed it in front of me on the yoga mat. This is what I saw.

 

What is this card saying to YOU, if you give it a moment to speak?

The first thing I saw was a woman holding a baby. Yes that makes sense. Then I saw she was older which to me symbolizes maturity and wisdom, she looks at peace with who she is and done rushing things or trying to please anyone. Respected and powerful but in a gentle and forgiving way.

I also recognized the turtle which I know is a symbol of Mother Earth and Creation in native American culture, as well as the spiral which is a symbol of the Cosmos and Evolution. The full basket of corn speaks to me of the life giving generous mother, actual mothers as well as our great mother earth. "Totally buying this" I thought with a smile and went on to read the description of the card.

”CREATIVITY – caring – productivity – the power of mature feminine wisdom – heartfelt empathy – compassion – love – protection – understanding – safekeeping

This power exists within you as well. Let it reveal itself. Let your inner love-light become visible. Just open yourself to the source of your feminine powers. THE TIME OF THE WOMAN IS NOW!

You are in a perfect position to help others recognize their worth and find a more positive way to live on this earth. Your example is helpful. Most of all to yourself! Accept this responsibility. It may prove to be the greatest blessing of you life.”

Writing and reading this again I’m tearing up. So spot on. The truth is I just want to give and to grow. But I have always been so afraid of putting myself out there. Who am I to have a website? What do I think I have to give that someone would want to receive. But my heart is always whispering to me to open up and shine my light, for me and in extension for you. And now the grandmother is telling me to step into my power. I would be honored if you want to join with me on this journey.


The Native American Wisdom Tarot ”Vision Quest” by Gayan Silvie Winter & Jo Dosé

Swedish Television

About one year ago the local news came to visit me in our home to talk about why I chose to give birth at home. Why? Living in Sweden where almost all births and prenatal care are handled by midwives you would think that home births are quite common and a very "normal" one by an infamous person like myself would have no news worth what so ever. But that's not the case at all!

In fact there are only about one hundred planned home births every year in the whole country and right now only two cities have the option available within the regular maternal care. When I chose to give birth at home I had never met or even heard about anyone who had done it. That is the reason I agreed to talk about this on TV even though it was kind of scary. I love the saying "if you don't know you options, you don't have any" and the most common reaction I get when I tell women about giving birth at home is "I had no idea that was an option". 

The clip was also followed up the day after (I think because of some uninformed reactions about the costs and risks of birthing at home) with another clip where they went more into what the research is actually showing and how it looks in some other western European countries where giving birth in the comfort of your own home is more common.

During the past year I have had another baby (this time not at home, but that story is for another time). I have also realized that there is nothing calling me stronger than the sacred act of bringing babies to this world. I know I can't keep having them forever myself, therefor I have decided to go through Doula training this spring and also start Lifemother.com. I am hoping to provide information, support and inspiration to all the amazing mamas out there. May you know your options and have a wonderful empowering experience of pregnancy, birth and beyond - however that may look for you.