Silencing External Influences to Hear Your Own Internal Voice for Birth.

Often when we find ourselves in a place or state that is unfamiliar we turn to other people for guidance. We look to them to help the unknown not seem so scary. But they don’t always know the complexities we are going through and they don’t know our unique situation.

Each pregnancy and pregnancy journey is unique because the mother and child connection is forged from, not only a physical pathway but a psychic and spiritual one. These pathways become apparent when there is active and intentional listening to each other’s cues on the journey.

Fear from external influences.

Sometimes the external influences of other people, though often well-meaning, can thwart this listening and actually create fears that then hinder your full birthing potential. And for many women, these birth fears are then placed before birth possibilities

Fear manifests itself as constriction or as states of freeze, or flight, or even collapse both on a physical and emotional level. These states can further hinder the flow of birth as they immobilize our inner resources so that we may make choices based on other people’s suggestions. 

Fear can keep you hostage as though caged behind bars. Any natural choices that could ground your feelings of joy and good choices that can improve your happiness become thwarted by your confinement. 

The skill every mother needs to cultivate is one where she can only listen to these external influences when she feels right in her body and then be able to listen to her inner voice. This is usually her instinctual knowing.

We affirm that pregnancy and childbirth are primal experiences and in that innate language you will be guided. If you listen carefully and with the intention to hear, you will be able to decipher the distinct messages and guidance from both what your body is telling you, and what your baby is sharing with you. 

External influences can pull you in many different directions, they can confuse you. So remember that in order to come into a relaxed place, to connect with body/baby wisdom you must be able to listen with ease. This will help you to calm your fears and relieve any tension in your body.

If this is something you struggle with, here are 3 tips to help you silence unhelpful, demanding external voices.


Don’t be afraid to say no and set boundaries.


You must stay true to your birth vision and know that birth is full of good possibilities and good outcomes. 

While you can still consider medical advice, remember that you can say “no” or “I don’t know” if something doesn’t feel right or if something told to you doesn’t align with your vision of birth...ask questions!

External influences can come from everywhere. Family, friends, the news, the media, television, the internet...etc.

If you feel you are getting overwhelmed you can set boundaries for yourself and others. Change the channel, turn off the tv, tell your friend or loved one “I appreciate that you care for my well being, but I know my body was made for this, and anything is possible”


Choose your birth environment well - including those who respect your decisions.


Look at what will serve your personality, your birth vision, your baby’s emotional and physiological needs, your partner’s needs, and your deepest truths.

When choosing who will accompany you on your journey, choose wisely those who will respect your choices, your decisions, and your space.

The key here is lovingly supported without pressure. There is no way we can reveal the authenticity of our truth by being rushed or under obligation. To overcome obstacles you must have security.

I go into more depth on this topic in the last blog post I wrote to help you to learn how you can create a peaceful birth environment.


Learn to find what feels right to you and not to others.


Often when we experience something for the first time, friends or family members who have already gone through the experience like to tell us what we should expect and how we should do things the way they did things.

But everyone experiences life in different ways, and no two birth experiences are the same.

Don’t worry about what other people felt about their own experience. Find what makes you comfortable and embrace your own desires and needs for your birth and your baby. 

If you let yourself listen to others’ voices, as your experience unfolds, you might think “wait, it’s not supposed to happen like this, this isn’t how they said it would be”. 

It will only increase your anxiety and tension. It would be better to relax in your own journey and embrace it as your own.

Letting yourself listen to your body as each moment unfolds in your labour will bring strength and confidence with a sense of peacefulness. 

I believe in you. Because I know you are capable, able, and strong. I know you have a voice that is speaking loudly to you.

Silence everything else to hear it!

Would you like to dive more deeply into this topic? I talk extensively about imposed and innate fears in my EmbodyBirth™ online childbirth preparation program for birth professionals and in my Mini EmbodyBirth™ online childbirth preparation program for mums-to-be.

Mamaste ?


How to Create a Warm, Secure, and Loving Birth Environment.

Did you know that certain external factors influence your internal experiences and emotions during birth?

Your internal experience is something I like to call your “inner birth landscape” and this is what guides your journey to building birth confidence.

If you desire a spontaneous, unmedicated birth (even in a hospital) it’s very important that you grow your awareness of how you would like your inner birth landscape to look and feel, so you can listen to your desires and choose the right external factors for you and your baby.

I invite you to take time to reflect on what external factors will serve your personality, your birth vision, and your baby’s emotional and physiological needs so that you can enter into a more secure and loving experience of labor.

Without reflection or consideration, external factors might negatively influence your birth experience and can inhibit or sever you from your instinctual body. Without allowing yourself to find or create peace externally, and internally, your birthing experience could become one you want to forget rather than a memory to cherish.

Here are some external factors that influence your inner birth landscape:

  • The people in the environment
  • The nature of the environment
  • Expectations to perform
  • Being observed when you’d rather be alone
  • Being spoken to
  • Having your choices questioned

All of these things can build inhibitions and expectations that create fears rather than what birth really needs - which is spaciousness, the freedom to let go, and a respect for your choices.

In order to tap into your mammalian primal drivers, you must feel as though you are not observed, cajoled, coerced, or in any way managed in labour. It is of value and benefit to recognise the influences these things have on your emotional state.

So let’s reflect on the 3 key elements of creating a warm, secure, and loving birthing space that will reduce stress and welcome peace and tranquility into your inner birth landscape.


Hormonal influences and the emotional pathway between birthing babies.


The first key element is finding a place that will help release the shared hormone in birth - oxytocin.

This hormone is often called the hormone of love, of bonding, and of attachment and it greatly influences a mother’s experience of birth and postpartum.

Oxytocin levels increase dramatically in the last few weeks of pregnancy and in an unmedicated birth. It is more likely to be released from the pituitary gland when you are in a state of calmness and peacefulness.

So it is largely responsible for helping you to feel at ease during birth.

Really choose your place of birth mindfully and make sure it’s an environment that has that sense of security so the levels of oxytocin can naturally increase as your labour progresses.


The people in your birth environment


The second key element is to find the people (or as I like to call them, those who witness a mother’s wisdom in the birthing environment) who you would like to accompany you in labour.

Choose people with whom you feel completely safe.

Choose people that will calm you and help regulate your nervous system.

And ask yourself  - "Who are the people that understand me the best and that will respect my decisions?"

You should consider these things without fear or guilt based on other people’s expectations.

It’s your birth, your voice, and your choice.

People may be offended when you don’t choose them to share your experience...but don’t let that stop you from creating an environment where you feel at ease.


Personalizing your birth space.


The third key element is personalizing your birth space so that you will feel as comfortable as much as you possibly can.

Reflect on how you would like to craft and curate your environment.

How do you envision it? 

Do you want your home comforts? Would you like to have a birthing pool? And would you like it to be set up inside or outside?

At a hospital, learn the protocols and learn how this will influence your ability to create a personalized space.

Ask the hospital staff what you can bring from home and what they already provide for birthing mothers.

I have been to births where mothers create their own sacred space with their own pillows, blankets, music, clothes, oil diffusers, trinkets, and other personal items to create a warm, comforting, and homely birthing space.

This is about you and your baby. Never try to create imitations of the birth environments of others. Your space is unique to you and your baby.

Find a place where you can comfortably settle into your body physically,  emotionally, and energetically - so your body can open easily and naturally to give birth.

Remember that, during labour, you can reassess your decisions and change your mind as your experience unfolds. You will know what to do by being aware of how you feel in your body. Your baby will also psychically inform you through a visceral pathway. It will indicate how it senses the birthplace and what it needs. 

Also remember the intelligence of the mother-baby dyad has a potent influence through hormones, the nervous system, and other physiological and mammalian birthing functions. 

Follow your maternal instinct, listen to your body and baby, let go, create space, and find freedom in birth.


Mamaste ? 


Human Rights in Childbirth

December 10th was Human Rights Day! This day is celebrated globally every year and I thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on human rights in childbirth.

In February of 2017, I had the honor of speaking at the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference (HRiC) in India.

The first successful HRiC was organised in the city of The Hague, Netherlands by the wonderful Hermine Hayes-Klein, a human rights lawyer from the United States. Hermine’s initiative to organize this conference came from her vision and mission to see all women respected and treated with dignity in the birthing arena.

In India, a dedicated group of women (and men!), the Birth India Organisation, and Bashi Kumar-Hazard (human rights in childbirth lawyer based in Australia) helped to make the 2017 HRiC conference possible.

This gathering was eye-opening and revealed to me that the world has a huge need for advocates to fight for the human rights of mothers and babies in childbirth and beyond. The mere fact that we have these kinds of conferences shows the stark reality - we are not serving mothers and babies in the manner in which they deserve!

It seems that once a woman becomes pregnant her autonomous right to make informed decisions is immediately hijacked. The fact that there are organisations and systems that declare their ownership over a mother’s body with her baby in this rite of passage journey shows that we have an extreme misunderstanding around the basic tenements of human rights...including infant and maternal health outcomes.

I heard many disturbing stories at the HRiC conference and I could not believe they were referred to as part of a framework for maternal care. They sounded more like an abusive form of power-based structures that saw their right of domination taking precedence above any kind of heart-based understanding for maternal care.

It seems to me this paternalism has been allowed to run its control for too long and without much challenge. It’s an appalling fact, and not just in India but worldwide. The problems experienced by many mothers, babies, fathers, partners, and families are common and heartbreaking to all.

I cannot stress this enough...the time is well and truly surpassed for a change!!

Despite disturbing stories, I was also uplifted and overwhelmed listening to (and meeting) incredible speakers who have had, and will continue to have, the courage to call out damaging attitudes and practises that do nothing to serve a mother’s well being.

All of this lead me to experience a strong vision around the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea – I saw the Princess sitting atop a huge pile of mattresses and the pea sitting under the very bottom one. I clearly felt the pea was a representation of a mother’s inner wisdom and the princess estranged from it by the pile of mattresses.

Human rights in childbirth was the key to this vision. I saw the need to deconstruct the maternal bed by bringing mothers and babies home through a loving compassionate model of care that rightfully understands when we love a mother, her baby, her body - then her inner wisdom will naturally, and without force, activate.

On the other hand, whilst she feels estranged from her womb wisdom and her baby, she will spend her pregnancy defending her need to be seen and heard in her autonomy - rather than indulging in a place of physical and spiritual harmony with her growing baby, partner, and family.

In some ways we all carry, on an unconscious level, society's birth hurts and/or birth trauma whether we consciously realise it or not. And both personal and generational imprints can impact the way in which we all view maternal rights. As a collective, we are all in this together, and once we can truthfully acknowledge the patterns we carry in our own cellular memory as birth keepers, the more honest a change will be made at a foundational level.

Maha speaking at the Human Rights in Childbirth conference in India
Maha speaking at the Human Rights in Childbirth conference in India (2017)

As I continue my advocacy for human rights in childbirth here in Australia and worldwide, I highlight the needs of mothers and babies in order that they have a voice. I am blessed to have a voice of privilege here in the West. And despite there being less than optimal care of mothers here too, I do believe that if we (who actually have a voice) can speak up for what the collective needs – that is respect for Mothers Choice and Mothers Voices – our voice can be a gateway for our sisters worldwide who are not able to share their truth.

May we continue to speak the language of the feminine that awakens the heart for pregnancy and birth matters - because how birth goes is how life flows.

Enriching Humanity through the way in which mothers birth babies, is the way of hope, dignity, truth, and justice for a more peaceful and compassionate world. Let's keep fighting for the right to respectful and genuine care that places mothers and babies at the center of the experience. This is the way forward for Human Rights in Childbirth.


Do you have any reflections on human rights in childbirth? Please share them below in the comment section!

Mamaste ?



NOTE: Revised from 2017 blog post - A Reflection on the Human Rights in Childbirth Conference - India February 2017

Peace on Earth Begins in Birth - Part 2


At birth, a baby's primal NEED is to be with its mother - the person they were connected to for 10 moons - and if no emergency is required - this biological imperative MUST be upheld to lay the ground as a contribution toward lifelong security!

As we move on from part 1, I ask, what is it that babies learn about the world when this natural psycho-biological need is severed or in fact altogether neglected? Remember I shared that babies' brains are essentially wired for the receivership of love states yet when disconnected from their caregiver at birth, this wiring takes a different route that is more attuned to "survival mode". Survival sets the nervous system imprint in a way that says the world is unsafe, lacks empathy, gives a sense of coldness, perhaps even abusive and violent. The message babies then energetically garner is the feeling “I am all alone on this journey Earthside. I am not safe, there is no one here to support, embrace, protect, and LOVE me.” In other words, the feeling becomes “how do I belong in this place?”.

And this is where the wild ride of ambivalence and emotional severance can manifest. It is known that in some ancient warrior tribes baby boys were denied breastfeeding for the purpose of raising fighters. Why would this be so? In order to go to battle and kill an enemy, there must be a level of detachment from shared feelings of warmth, safety, love, and connection. In our modern world we can expand upon this and surmise that if we battle against our own nature through confusion, separateness, or hopelessness in order to declare that there exists an enemy within, this then helps justify seeing an enemy out there.

So where does this leave us in 2020? As we watch mothers birthing babies in environments that lack compassion, or an understanding of this precious imprinting, we see a world that is creating troubled infants. We know globally that when the severance of the mother-baby bond is sabotaged during the birth process, oftentimes in a cruel and heartless way, it will no doubt set up lifelong feelings that reflect deep heartbreak and heartache. 

Heartbreak, an emotional sense of dismissal, can manifest as increased susceptibility to physical ailments in children. These ailments in relation to unconscious birth practice seem to have escalated in our babies and children. And then this dis-ease (lack of being at ease), seen as emotional distress in our children, shows up as a sense of detachment with an earnest longing to belong. 

One culprit of this is the use of oftentimes dangerous and unnecessary birthing drugs that are known to interfere with a mother's natural hormonal flow, hence a babies birth experience at a visceral level, and will underpin these kinds of emotional sorrows we are seeing! Dr. Michel Odent, in his continued attention to primal research, often speaks about the manifestations of this at length. It's a HUGE topic that I will cover at another time.

So, with this knowledge, and returning to my conversation with my friend, I expressed to him that relationships, where addiction manifests, could sometimes be the result of our very early birth imprints. Whether those imprints have manifested from the prenatal period, the immediate post-birth period, the postnatal period, and extended beyond, they are all worthy to consider. 

I have become conscious of all these things in the 24 years I’ve spent working as an independent birth educator and recognise on an unconscious level that we tend to create the familiarity of our childhood through an attachment to a default pattern in our intimate relationships whether it feels good or not.

So let's consider it like this. If our mother-baby bonding was less than ideal, or if unnecessary drugs were administered, or if the relationships we had with our primary caregivers as babies to childhood and beyond were dysfunctional, cold, lacking love, distant, emotionally painful, or we were neglected, not seen nor heard, abandoned and more, we unconsciously carry this language of pain, whether ambivalence or distress from the imprinted experience then (wait for it) we recreate the scenario with our intimate partner and call it Love

And to top it off we often don't even realize this manifestation, often known as co-dependence, that thrives on our emotional pain! Why is this? 

Well as we now know, the imprint of the layers of brain circuitry embedded in our deepest subconscious and implicit memory (from the formation and placement of the brain neurons in utero and as babies) all have an innate intelligence from a neurobiological pathway that knows how and where to attach. 

If this is disrupted from physical or psychological abuse in birth, which may for e.g. come from birth care providers style of care that is lacking an understanding of nature’s physiology and how love states are created, the brain synapses get diverted away from their blueprint navigation or they may even snap off and never form. This acute loss affects a baby’s brain development in both the limbic system and neocortex and robs them of their full potential as a human being.

Ahhh how simple would it be if we actually respected birth’s physiology and its psycho-spiritual roots!

And as I am always personally curious to learn more, I wonder about the science of brain plasticity. Can we regrow these missing neurons at the junction of the synapses throughout childhood and adulthood?? If so, what does it take to grow them? How do we repair the unconscious as well as bring it to consciousness for healing? Is acknowledging and understanding this complex patterning the first step to re-training our brains? 

All good questions as I further my own studies and educate birth professionals (doctors, gynecologists, midwives, doulas...etc) who may not yet have a full understanding of the primal period and its acute influence on how humans develop. 

I do believe that once we understand the true potency of this knowledge where in most instances, Mother Nature knows best ( for after all she is our first Mother), we then can subscribe to the qualities that birth is inherently safe, that the mother-baby bonds of deep attachment are the ultimate first quest we encounter to implicitly and viscerally know love, and that the way we treat mothers, babies, children, partners, families, communities have the potential to heal the ongoing separation of ourselves and each other from our spiritual potentiality in this ocean of Humanity.

Without wasting another second this knowledge MUST be deliberately, wisely, gently, and consciously embedded in ALL societies to uphold conscious sacred birth and conscious sacred birth practices so we can all live with our hearts intact.

My friend and I expounded on this knowledge. We talked about the value of living life wisely in both the relationship with self and others and how most times we live outside of ourselves or co-dependently in relationships. In this, I see many of us waking up each day but living as though we are not really living our maximum potential because living can be painful when there is a sense of something amiss.

Yet there is always hope for healing and activation where new ways of being can emerge. Feeling loved and supported in a non-judgemental way to live as awareness with emotional intelligence as vibrant spiritual beings is a great goal. I know, I am an idealist at times. But hey, wouldn't you want to aspire to swim bravely in the ocean of potentiality to awaken what else could be possible for a more fulfilled life? I would. It can be a long road unfolding in a non-linear way yet it is the experiences we encounter along the path of discovery that excites me.

I pray that the whole world will wake up to the why’s of how we can birth babies into the arms of Love and the beating heart of true Love to elevate consciousness for the sake of all Humanity and create the tenements of peace on earth to begin through birth!




Note - This is a revised blog post from 2014

Peace on Earth Begins in Birth - Part 1

Several years ago, I had a wild and woolly banter with a male friend of mine who had been a drug addict, love addict, sex addict, and all-around relationship addict. We had an enlightening conversation concluding that in some ways we all have some kind of “addiction” held captive in our psyche - an addiction that is also linked to pain in some way or another and although the pain is crippling, we seem to keep searching for it - even willing to recreate it.

His experience with relationships and addictions connected so perfectly to the research and work I have been doing for many years in the pre and perinatal period of a baby's development. I excitedly shared with my friend the work that I do in this arena of birth and what I have learned in relation to this knowing. 

And it is what I want to share with all of you, my blog readers - in the most conceptually accessible way. It is that we are all born with a sense of who we are firstly from our prenatal experience and secondly from our birth experience. Everything our mothers thought, felt, and experienced during pregnancy has had an impact on our development via the neurological vibrational signals and patterning that influences our brain circuitry. Mothers and babies are a closely pulsing symbiotic field of influences that marinate and interchange sensory information on a second by second basis.

In layman’s terms, if the maternal environment has ongoing stresses, these stress fields have a marked impact on a baby’s experience in utero (scientifically verified by Joseph Chilton Pearce). This has been noted (for e.g.) as a baby with a larger reptilian brain which essentially shows an imprint of flight, fight, freeze, collapse built into the foundations of its nervous system. Contrary to this, a calm maternal environment, and hence a calmer mother, calmer baby, results in a baby born with a larger neocortex.

What exactly does this mean?

Explicitly, how we treat mothers whilst their babies are growing in utero, and then how she feels about this said treatment - in terms of to her thoughts, feelings, emotional output, and sense of the world - has a direct and potent influence on the formation of her baby's brain and heart development that encompasses its psychological, spiritual, emotional and energetic awareness of the world around!! Yes, that’s right - a mother’s emotional state combined with the chemical and hormonal output can determine her babies in utero experiences. Are they optimal, ambivalent, fearful, connected, or disconnected? 

Does the world understand how HUGE a revelation this is? This understanding always astounds me as I delve further into the rabbit hole. Why? Because it can be life-changing (on a spiritual evolution level) for all of humanity!! The way in which we treat and care for mothers has a colossal knock-on effect as it directly impresses upon our in utero experiences and results in a huge impact on the evolution or neglect of future human beings.

Just imagine the outcome of humans having the potential for love to be imprinted in utero and carried into birth as a marker for world peace! This knowledge and the implementation of it through the creation of conscious sacred birth environments could no doubt HEAL the planet! With dedicated practices, centred on deeply caring about the mother/baby dyad, we could change our species for the better - WOW!

How and why is this so?

It is important that we have the connection to our mother laid down in the most optimal neurological patterning through pregnancy, the birth process, and immediately after birth because our experience of peace, love, connection, emotional safety, and compassion throughout life is a result of this connection. In utero, the opportunity to lay the human template for a baby’s life is available moment by moment. Then both mother and baby’s first awakening Earthside in the first hour (or Holy Hour) after birth continues developing and refining this interpretation and design. 

Did you know that there are actually 9 stages we need to move through once born, to trigger, switch on, and set this life-affirming imprint? The question is do we as a global community truly understand the significance of these precious building blocks? If we do, is it even respected? Or is it treated with little or no regard for the mother and baby's lifelong health and wellbeing? If the birthing process is unnecessarily severed and/or interrupted, how does this have a detrimental effect on crucial bonding and attachment that continues well into childhood and beyond?

When nerve pathways are functionally laid down, the connection between the hemispheres of a baby's brain will initiate vital interactions in order to switch on the many pathways available for optimal living and relational loving. In fact, I say that these multi highways switch on our "humanness" (and perhaps our humane-ness), the places where we internalize empathy.

These activations found in our physiology and biology, that I call essential primal drivers influence how the sensory interconnected perceptions of smell, touch, taste, hearing, sight, heart space get interwoven in a blanket of protection for physical and emotional safety. We implicitly learn what feels good, right, available to us in each moment and trust in nature's nectar (the love hormone Oxytocin) to turn on the lights of the gifts of a merging human consciousness.

And conversely, if this has been less than harmonious or violently neglected or indeed switched off, we form within the intricacies of our brain circuitry a different kind of reality. The neurological experience immediately after birth can switch on survival mode - the need for self-protection and self-preservation. This state of being contributes to a feeling of implosion where our biological needs for warmth, security, and attachment are not met. A host of pathological and psychological lacks get vibrationally and energetically embedded in a distressed baby as well as a distressed mother. 

We can say then that if these neurological imprints are not set as nature intended, brain neurons and synapses may go haywire or not fire at all, and in fact, they can actually break off with no connections occurring. If this persists into the first years of a baby’s life and beyond, a snowball effect occurs that leans deeper into the childhood experience of something amiss in life that is internalised as emotions of shame, anxiety, grief, sadness, and even depression. 

So, going back to the opening of my blog; what does this have to do with my friend’s addictions? Well, being armed with a pre and perinatal understanding can explain some of our codependent and repetitive behaviours that may cause these social, sexual, and relational addictions. Addictions that don’t serve our highest form of self-love because of our early imprints where we may not believe we are loveable. Not feeling loveable can undermine our ability to think rationally and feel accepted.

Read PART 2 where I explain more about this topic!


Mamaste ??



*Note - This is a revised blog post from 2014


Do you need support and guidance in your pregnancy and birthing journey? Check out my online birth preparation program EmbodyBirth™. Connect to your baby and join a community of women who have experienced the liberating qualities of birth!

The Importance of the Non-Medical Support Doulas Give to Women in Childbirth

Pregnancy and childbirth are accompanied by mixed emotions such as joy, anticipation, doubt, and fear. In addition to these feelings, there is planning to do and decisions to make throughout your journey. You will need to consider your options and listen to your internal guidance. From time to time all these considerations may be stressful. 

You might feel as though you need an anchor, a shoulder to lean on. Doulas, and those who give non-medical support, have the beautiful position to become a totem pole of strength for pregnant mums-so-be. Their all-important job is to be a stable, protective presence for mothers in the natural unfolding of the pregnancy and birth journey. 

This non-medical support is a huge asset and can complement the medical support doctors and midwives give. Medics perform vaginal exams, ultrasounds, and fetal heart monitoring and doulas assist by deeply listening to guide you in making informed decisions as they give non-judgemental support and help you communicate your needs to those on your birthing team. 

If you are a pregnant mother and want emotional support during pregnancy and birth, here are a few more reasons as to why you may like to consider having a doula by your side during your journey.

A doula as birthing support implicitly knows your capability of giving birth. 

Birth doulas understand that pregnancy and birth are biologically normal events in a woman’s life and that within each woman is the natural ability to tap into their deepest strength during the birthing process. You may already know that you have this innate knowledge and with a doula’s loving support you can be reminded of your womb wisdom that is always available. No doubt it can cross every mother’s mind at different times as to whether or not she is able to give birth. This can be a normal thought process whether it’s a first baby or fifth. With the support of a doula and the knowledge that you will not be alone, you will feel great comfort and reassurance which is such a valuable offering.

A doula can help you understand what is happening during your labor and birth.

During labor, especially if it’s your first time giving birth, you can feel many sensations that are new. You might, from time to time, not understand what is happening. Further, if you can not fully express what’s happening, especially during a contraction, or expansion as I like to call them, or because your focus is on your breath, a doula will be able to gently communicate to you. She may do this via touch, gentle words, a loving look and this validates your feelings during each unfolding stage of labor.

A doula can help you positively adapt to the changes that can take place in pregnancy and birth.

When change occurs, a doula will help calm any panic that may arise and will help you work through it with ease and patience. She can offer you a sense of security and comfort. Without a doubt, it’s a great feeling knowing you will have someone by your side throughout your birth. No matter what decisions you make or how you choose to give birth, doulas will stand by you through it all. This sense of security can relieve stress which activates the hormone oxytocin, your other beneficial helper in childbirth. 

A doula provides a space to discuss anything and everything concerning birth.

It’s important to communicate with doctors and midwives, yet they cannot always be there for you emotionally. A doula provides you with companionship in your birth journey as she is there to talk about whatever may be on your mind. Doulas are trained, not only to provide non-judgmental support but to also provide any evidence-based information a mother needs about pregnancy and childbirth so she may make an informed decision. This is true even if the doula disagrees with any of the mother’s decisions. A doula’s personal needs, wants, or expectations aren’t the focus here as she centers her energy on mother and baby.

A doula can support you through fear, pain, and your birth rhythms.

With the support of a doula, a mother can feel secure enough to completely relax during rhythmic labor expansions. This is important because tension constricts the body physically, emotionally, and energetically and a surrendered birthing body will help you to embrace these rhythms rather than resist them. This process of embodying birth through the gateway of release brings relief and confidence into your experience.

A doula can be a guardian of birth to avoid unnecessary intervention. 

A doula can act as a mediator between everyone present during labor by helping your birth team understand the process, and more importantly, let them know every step of the way what your needs are. She is there to advocate for you and your baby in any situation where her facilitation skills are needed. Remember, a doula is not a medical professional nor do they want such a role. They are most enthusiastic about making sure you feel safe, secure, loved, and held in warmth where your decisions and choices are paramount. Doulas are, as I like to call them, a wise sisterly bond of support that inherently know what you as a mother with your baby want and need. It is their responsibility to uphold this at all times.

Women who choose to have a doula are more likely to avoid epidurals, avoid c-sections, have shorter labors, and have less difficult or painful labors. While medical care can sometimes be a necessity, non-medical doula support is paramount to an emotionally healthy birth experience for mother and baby.

Doulas are the experts in bringing birth home! Home to a mother’s heart, hands, womb, and wisdom so that all babies have the spiritual rite to be born into the arms of Love.



Do you need guidance and support during your pregnancy and birthing journey? Take a look at my EmbodyBirth™ ~Unlock and Awaken your Ancestral Womb Wisdom~ online birth preparation program and know of the liberating feeling childbirth can bring you.

Prepare for a Natural, Non-Intrusive, and Positive Childbirth through Belly Dance

Hi everyone! I have a series of 8 videos I would like to share with you called Why Belly Dance for Birth?

If you are a pregnant mum-to-be and are interested in how belly dancing can help you prepare for a natural, non-intrusive, and positive birth experience, these videos are for you. The information is timeless. So go ahead and dive straight in!

[VIDEO 1]: What is the blueprint of birth? Or as I call it "The Living Book Within" that is passed through the Mother line and reminds you that you are the expert of birth.



[VIDEO 2]: How BellydanceBirth® instills a positive body image for mothers-to-be.



[VIDEO 3]: How BellydanceBirth® strengthens your pelvic floor, releases your lower back to relieve pain, and creates fluidity as your baby grows and your uterus expands.



[VIDEO 4]: How BellydanceBirth® allows you to slow down, release the "feel-good" hormones, relax, and connect you emotionally with yourself and your precious baby.



[VIDEO 5]: How BellydanceBirth® acts as an anchor during labour as you meet the birth contractions (or as I like to call them expansions).



[VIDEO 6]: How BellydanceBirth® create awareness of the connection between your pelvis and jaw, cervix and lips, and throat and vagina.



[VIDEO 7]: How BellydanceBirth® eases your fear and dread of the pain of labour.



[VIDEO 8]: How BellydanceBirth® helps to move your baby into an optimal position for childbirth.



Ready to start learning belly dancing? I have included my method of BellydanceBirth® in all six dance chapters in module 4 of my powerful EmbodyBirth online birth preparation program. You may sign up for the course HERE to reap the benefits of dance in your pregnancy and birthing journey.

Always dance from your heart!



Getting free from birth fear

The Benefits of BellydanceBirth® in Pregnancy and Childbirth

One of my happiest memories as a child was dancing on a Persian carpet spread out on the lounge room floor in our family house.

The freedom I felt as I swayed and moved to rhythmic music gave me immense joy and I somehow knew, even as a child, that dance was a valuable part of me. Without knowing it, I was already preparing myself for the journey of pregnancy and birth.

And so it was when I became pregnant with my first child I received powerful revelations that inspired me to immerse myself in my cultural dance which was coined belly dance in the West. I regularly practiced this ancient dance throughout my pregnancy journey finding the inner dance that called me to listen - listen to my body rhythm and trust - trust in my joy - just like when I was a child.

In 1997 when my first son, Kailash, was just six months old, I began teaching BellydanceBirth® classes for pregnant mothers. I passed on the knowledge and wisdom I had gathered from my cultural roots as well as what I had intuited from the movements expressed throughout my own pregnancy and birth experience - movements that had opened me to embrace my whole birth experience with a fearless embodiment. I loved teaching these classes and found it such a beautiful experience to have with pregnant moms as we all danced in the Universal circle of family connectedness.

During my next pregnancy with my second son Tariq, I continued the BellydanceBirth® dance practice allowing the movement to even more deeply connect me to my body, heart, womb, and baby. And now, 24 years on, I continue to share the benefits of belly dance for birth with women all over the world.

I want to share a few of those benefits with you all, so you too will be inspired to join a multitude of women who have and will practice BellydanceBirth® as a powerful yet gentle means to prepare for their upcoming birth.

~BellydanceBirth® is a gentle, self-sourced prenatal exercise~

In our modern world, we find we are becoming more sedentary and I believe, this leads to physical and energetic stagnation, that can contribute to a lost connection with our bodies. We don’t till the earth, prepare the fires, or carry our babies on our backs as our ancestors have done and we rarely open our bodies to their full capabilities every day. 

But exercise during pregnancy is extremely important for you and your baby’s health. It has been found to have a great number of health benefits and (to name a few) it can relieve stress, decrease pregnancy complications, aid in ample blood flow throughout your body, open energy fields, and build up the stamina needed for childbirth. Doctors recommend low-impact exercise as perfect for pregnancy.

I advocate for BellydanceBirth® as a prenatal exercise for pregnant women because it’s not only a perfect, non-strenuous practice that fulfills your body’s need for moderate movement but it is also a primal exercise that brings attention to your womb space, pelvis, and your baby. 

BellydanceBirth® when danced with a slower pace settles your nervous system and allows for your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles to be beautifully toned. In a way, the dance movements mirror birth’s contractions (or as I like to say expansions), so practicing the movements of this birth dance makes so much sense as a labour preparation. It also has many other physical advantages. When practiced often during pregnancy, belly dancing:

  • increases muscle tone, circulation, and flexibility.
  • strengthens pelvic floor muscles
  • reduces any tension or anxiety
  • maintains good posture and reduces lower back pain
  • helps maintain a healthy weight

If you feel that walking or aerobics classes during your pregnancy have become dull and are in search of an exercise that connects you to your body and baby, I invite you to give belly dancing a try. 

~BellydanceBirth® supports you to embrace the changes in your body throughout the prenatal period~

Pregnancy can be a state of raw emotion. Besides joyful feelings, it may elicit a sense of loss, confusion, fear of the unknown as you navigate uncertainties or hesitation to fully embrace the changes in your body. Be reassured that when you begin to dance the gentle dances of BellydanceBirth® spaces will open up for you to guide moving through any of these raw emotions that may arise.

You might feel tightness or bodily constrictions when you first begin to explore BellydanceBirth® but as you practice, the movement will bring awareness with a more focused connection with all aspects of your changing body. It will also deeply connect you with your pelvic basin affirming it as the true seat of your female power.

BellydanceBirth® may also help improve your body image and enhance self-esteem which may pose challenges for some women during pregnancy due to the physical changes and fluctuating hormones. Sensual and self-oriented dance that leads you to the roots of your inner wisdom can be a wonderful reminder when, and if, you pass through difficult places.

If you continue to practice this dance you can peel back the layers of your subconscious and societal influences and conditioning to discover many freedoms. These freedoms can support the emotional and physiological changes throughout your pregnancy to provide a strong foundation as you enter motherhood.

~BellydanceBirth® is a supportive modality in labour and childbirth~      

I believe our modern society conditions many mothers to be reliant on the medical system to do the work of childbirth. We think that birth preparation will be taken care of by another. But birth dancing, as a means to prepare for your labour, reminds you that your strength lies in claiming that you and your baby are at the centre of your experience.

This innate exercise is always available as a confidence booster as it awakens your womb wisdom. In this awakening, you will be able to meet your birth rhythms and fully welcome your body sensations with your baby by changing positions and listening to your body cues. No medical doctor or expert can give you this. BellydanceBirth® holds the keys to your unique labour.

BellydanceBirth® allows you to experience labor with openness rather than in a constricted manner as it assists nature by moving with your expansions, not against them. The movements are most conductive during the first stage of labour as your cervix relaxes, dilates, and pulls up to build your fundus (top of the uterus). For example, the soothing rocking and stretching motions of the pelvic figure-eight enables you to release and flow more easily with your natural rhythms using breath, and sounds. This will create room in the pelvis so your baby can find optimal positions as well as space for the baby’s head or bag of water to be massaged down onto your cervix aiding in its opening.

All pregnant mothers can experience the beauty of BellydanceBirth® for birth preparation that pledges total trust in their body, mind, heart, and spirit and with these benefits I’ve shared with you, I invite you to try this transformative dance style knowing that there is always a dance within waiting to be felt. I suggest that you begin around 14 weeks then all through your pregnancy and of course, as I have shared, through the whole labour.

Always remember that the dance of life both grows your precious baby and supports you to discover the jewels that lie in the corners and crevices of your body. Listen to the whisper of your intuitive guidance and soften into the call of your womb wisdom for in this place you will find both courage and peace.


Always dance from your heart!




If you would like to have a deeper knowledge and understanding of the benefits of BellydanceBirth® as a prenatal exercise and birthing tool, I invite you to read my award-winning book Dance of the Womb - The Essential Guide to Belly Dance for Pregnancy and Birth.

I have also included my method of BellydanceBirth® in all six dance chapters in module 4 of my powerful EmbodyBirth online birth preparation program. You may sign up for the course HERE to reap the benefits of dance in your pregnancy and birthing journey.  

EmbodyBirth™ - An Illuminated Perspective on Pregnancy and Birth

It was 1996. I held my firstborn son, Kailash, and I felt so liberated.


I was completely in awe of birth’s power.


And I remember thinking, why doesn’t anyone speak about the majestic and liberating qualities of birth? These powerful aspects are so hidden while it’s often the negative and sensationalized stories that get pushed into the limelight. I inherently knew the way birth was being portrayed needed changing so that all women, without reservation, can give birth without feeling suppressed, manipulated, or controlled.

My EmbodyBirth™ creation is a birth preparation program that shares the immense qualities of birth that are available to every woman. I believe women should have another perspective on pregnancy and childbirth that equally runs parallel to the medical model. My program provides a framework and a pathway that puts pregnant mothers at the center of the experience and wraps them in compassion and understanding.

EmbodyBirth™ invites women to see birth, not as something to be feared, but as a pinnacle journey that can be embraced. It’s an opportunity for growth and transformation where feelings can be faced, embraced, and experienced in an authentic way - a wonderful precursor to the initiation that is motherhood.

The very name of the program “EmbodyBirth” is a reflection of what takes place during birth when a woman fully embraces every moment and every emotion unfolding before her in a purely raw and unfiltered way. By opening herself up to this intentional path of meeting, not resisting, she is truly one with the experience of birth with her body and with her baby. She truly embodies birth.

EmbodyBirth™ was also designed to provide a sacred, safe space for women to connect deeply with their spiritual and energetic bodies to know that the journey is one of awakening and a transformation where the whole experience is valuable and valid. When a mother can feel herself with her baby in this place of autonomy and safety, she is more likely to birth with confidence, inner strength, and self-reliance. These states of deep conscious openness will hold her in love and my EmbodyBirth program seeks to impart the enormous benefits of how loving states within birth’s environment can have a profound impact on maternal outcomes.

Women with their babies are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in their childbirth experience with great strength as they unfold and dance through each sacred moment. My hope is that through EmbodyBirth, all mothers can embody the grandness of the birth experience through a deeply spiritual and loving pathway, that doesn’t need to rely upon the medical model, but instead, brings them home to their own heart, hands, womb, truth, and baby.



Visit my →  EmbodyBirth™ ~Unlock and Awaken Your Ancestral Womb Wisdom~ page to learn more.

If you need help deciding if EmbodyBirth is right for you, please contact me HERE.

Overcoming Societal Pressures Associated With Natural Term Breastfeeding.

“It’s not normal”.

This is the sort of comment I would receive back in early 2012 when the media placed my story all over the news of how I, a 49-year-old woman, was still nursing my 3.5-year-old daughter. This happened just after I openly supported Jamie Grumet on Time Magazine for publicizing the fact that she practiced natural term breastfeeding for her 3.5-year-old son.

My daughter was still breastfeeding 3 years later in 2015 at the age of 6, and I received even more backlash from people who told me “She’s too old. You’re damaging your daughter”. 

But I continued to breastfeed her despite the negative comments and became an advocate for all mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies in infancy and beyond. I also received hundreds of supportive and positive comments that were heartwarming because of my advocacy.

Today, I still stand by my convictions that a mother and baby’s love pathways shine a light of truth on the natural gift of breastfeeding, and in a society that has many opinions on the subject, here is the wisdom I wish to pass down to young mothers who inherently know that breastfeeding their child to natural term* is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

*Note: I use the phrase "natural term" in place of "extended" in relation to breastfeeding because it accurately describes the action as determined by mother and child cues. The use of "extended breastfeeding" is an unuseful label that can't be used in comparison with a mother who breastfeeds her child for a shorter length of time.

~There are no rules that apply to all women and babies~

People probably meant well when they commented on those news articles several years back as they were thinking about the well-being of my daughter. However, while they tried to tell me “what is normal”, they forgot that each mother-child relationship is unique and can’t be placed under invariable constraints.

People set rules for natural term breastfeeding based on the opinion that beyond the age of 2 it will “ruin them” (e.g. the child will be emotionally impaired, they will grow up being teased, or they won’t be getting nutrition from solid foods as they should), but there is no scientific evidence to prove it’s in any way harmful. It’s actually quite the opposite. Children develop at different rates both physically and psychologically and no one other than a parent and child should declare when nourishment and comfort from breastfeeding have achieved their full effects.

Mothers should do their best not to be guided by opinions that don’t have any scientific validity. 

When a mother’s innate knowing dictates her choices for her child during breastfeeding, she is able to strongly come home to her wisdom where the opinions of others won’t bother her. 

~Breastfeeding is both instinctual to our female nature and a learned art~

When I would breastfeed in public, my daughter and I wouldn’t give it a second thought. She would come up to me and ask and I would feed her. It wouldn’t embarrass us because as a mother and as a child we were following each other’s cues. I knew I was giving her nourishment and I didn’t have to feel ashamed.

This natural exchange we shared as a mother and child can be shocking to many because one of the biggest stigmas that revolve around natural term breastfeeding is that women sexualize the practice and somehow damage their children. But that’s just a sick opinion society imparts and burdens mothers with. It signifies the ignorance of society rather than the mother-child relationship.

So our breasts are seen as sexual objects instead of a nurturing part of a woman’s anatomy. We see women’s breasts relentlessly displayed in movies, magazines, and media in a sexually explicit way but heaven forbid they be uncovered and used for their biological purpose - to feed our children!

When people feel uncomfortable seeing a woman breastfeeding an older child it most likely stems from an inability to detach their sexualized view of a woman’s breasts with the actual nurturing function they possess. I encourage all women to question these views and not automatically conform to these images society portrays. I invite women to come home to their heart home knowing and following their natural instincts.

~Mother and child know best~

With 24 years of experience as a birth educator and a mother of 3 children, I know that breastfeeding is a very individualized experience. For some, it can have its challenges and requires commitment but I encourage every mother who is unsure of taking the breastfeeding path to educate herself on its benefits, and then, she with her baby, decide what is best. Whether breastfeeding for 6 months, 6 years, or longer is up to them and they should not be silenced by shame or judgment. 

Mothers who choose to practice natural term breastfeeding should never feel they have to refuse their child because of societal pressures saying they’re too old. Children will always self-wean when they are ready and, until then, do not deny your child nourishment or comfort.

Mothers who are doing the very best they can for their children should be respected for their choices and they should be loved and cherished - just as they love and cherish their children.

As a strong advocate for those who breastfeed their children to natural term, I fully support mothers in whatever they choose as they follow the wisdom of their mothering heart and continue with unabashed freedom to comfort their child wherever and whenever they need. 

You and your child know what you are doing. Breastnurturing is real! It’s normal! Don’t let people tell you otherwise.



Maha Al Musa


Do you have any questions about my experience with extended or natural term breastfeeding? Please, visit my contact page to get in touch! I would love to hear from you and offer my support.

Interested in my inspirational, wise, and sacred EmbodyBirth™ online pregnancy and birth preparation program? Click here!