These old pics are from 2002 – Fiona, Kaz and Sophie all training together to be Herbalists!
Here in this blog post we hear from Sophie about her amazing journey with herbs and birth……
It was October 2005 when I sat on Kaz’s sofa staring at the positive pregnancy test in my hand in shock… ‘Your going to have a baby and it’s going to have a monobrow’ Karen joyfully cried out.. Her face beaming at me…” it’s ok, Seth is a good guy, he will support you…”
Birth is a natural process… and as with all of our natural processes it can be beautifully supported with the plants that grow around us in the world…one of the reasons I expect you are drawn to the work of the wonderful Seed Sistas.. read on to find out more about birth herbs!
Looking back at it now I am so super grateful that I was with Kaz when I found out… Lexi is soon to turn 17 and our journey has been a big part of what I am able to offer now to the world … Kaz had a deep understanding of early motherhood and always had a positive outlook… our shared story around this actually goes back further to when she met my family (when I was just a kid) in my hometown of Orgiva while she was travelling Spain.
Herbal medicines have been used throughout history to support the birthing process. We can use herbs safely to nourish a woman through her pregnancy, to provide relief for common ailments and constitutional imbalances that may arise and safely support health problems that a woman may have already been dealing with previous to getting pregnant.
It is also a possible to use our plants to tone and prepare the uterus and pelvic muscles, improve circulation and reduce any anxiety leading up to a woman’s ‘due date’. During the birthing process herbs may be used to improve strength of contractions, relax muscles, ground and calm (mother and her helpers), boost energy, help the placenta to be delivered, reduce blood loss and support the postpartum period.
So, there I was, in my last year of training as a medical herbalist, about to choose my dissertation topic and just found out I was pregnant… As the daughter of a homebirth midwife, with an innate trust in the childbearing process and deep curiosity for how plants could be woven in as support I jumped at this opportunity to investigate more. For my study I decided to focus on the oxytocic (contraction promoting) effects of certain herbs and how they may be applied in birth.
On a more personal level I got hold of every research paper I could find about the use of raspberry leaf in order to discover how it would best serve me, how to take it, what dosage, when to start and so on…
Throughout my exploration I found many incongruities… I became increasingly aware of why we had learned so little about using herbs around pregnancy and childbirth in the 4 year phytotherapy university degree that Kaz, Fi and I had all been through… basically, a lot of fear and misinformation… this, of course, only propelled me further in my passion around the subject.
Long story short… I ended up having 3 herb assisted birth experiences and now creating kits for the homebirth midwives around me so that we could get first-hand experience. For the past 5 years I have been teaching herbal medicine to groups of radical midwifery students at the Da a Luz Oasis School, meanwhile pulling everything together to create educational guides around the use of herbs in pregnancy and childbirth.
A guide aimed at any woman who is interested in using herbs to prepare the uterus for childbirth and support any situation that may be encountered during birth and the postpartum period. It contains detailed information around herb dosages, applications of herbal tinctures and teas, suggested simples and mixes for a birth kit, as well as cautions and contraindications.
17 years after sitting on that sofa with Kaz….
Sophie is a multi-passionate integrative therapist and coach with special interest in women’s mental and physical health.
Through her 1:1 work and online programs Sophie offers tailored guidance and holistic support for women who are ready to use their childhood trauma and unresolved grief as a catalyst for deep self-knowledge and inner peace.
You can find her on instagram @return.to.radiance
or on the contact form of this link https://seedsistas.krtra.com/t/xpg8j6LvuQoQ