How is the internet revolutionizing childbirth today? I speak to many pregnant women who relay all the information they receive from pregnancy and baby-related community bulletin boards online, as well as the movies they see on Youtube, or the births seen on dramatized emergency childbirth television shows.
In 1999, I found myself simultaneously pregnant and living with the internet in my home for the first time. I had a deep thirst for knowledge about birth, pregnancy, and also connection to other women with my experience. I found a unique community of women at the former hipMama.com bulletin boards.
Through hipMama, I formed connections with moms from all over the country, who gave me support in making my independent childbirth and parenting choices, amidst the vast voices of the media and consumerism. My hipmama friends mailed me packages of cloth diapers and baby clothes, zines and music. I gathered with these women in Portland and Seattle, New England and Baltimore, at the legendary HipMama gathering in 2001, and these mamas inspired me to become a writer and to share my words with creativity in many forms.
In the past couple years, with the explosion of Youtube and online video streaming, there are tons of videos online of births - both hospital, birth center, waterbirth, homebirth, unassisted births, twin births - you name it! There is so much information it can be powerfully informational and yet overwhelming in volume. It can hard to sort through the scary or mundane stuff to get to the powerful nuggets of golden inspiration.
Lamaze recently reported that less couples in the US are attending childbirth education classes, with attendance dropping in recent years. Yet, families that attend natural childbirth classes have a higher success rate of healthy unmedicated labors and births. It has been shown that attending classes is beneficial for improving the healthy outcomes of both mother and baby. Instead, more pregnant women and expecting fathers are turning online for information.
This is how I was stuck with the idea of creating an online natural childbirth education classroom and community. I receive emails all the time from women interested and motivated to learn more about natural birth from all over the US, Canada, and beyond. I am creating the Co-Creative Birthing Circle - which includes a complete natural childbirth education program online with reading, videos, links, resources, birth stories, activities, printable PDF's, and a private birth circle discussion forum.
I've been busy at work creating this program and the website for the last month and am anticipating opening enrollment in July. The Co-Creative Birthing Circle is the first holistic healing online learning circle at the Maia Institute of Co-Creative Healing, and following the release of this circle will be a Women's Healing Arts Circle, Co-Creative Energy Healing Circle, and more ideas are awaiting the time to bloom.
I am very excited about this new online learning circle model to fit the modern women's lifestyle - accessable, intimate, independent, empowering, holistic, and networked.