“When I was creating this birth mandala, I felt like I was giving myself courage and strength I never knew possible. I am more confident after this experience. I feel peace and a connection with my baby that is so deep and beautiful. I am now ready for an amazing, healthy and safe birth experience.
AMY’S REFELCTIONS AFTER THE BIRTH The mandala helped me go into my center and set intentions around the type of birth I wanted. I looked at it during my labor. I felt powerful and strong, just like I did when I was creating the mandala at the workshop.”
Nancy, in your role as a counselor in the birthing field for many years, what would you say are the primary concerns you’ve witnessed women wrestling with?
This is an interesting and important question and has taught me not to make assumptions. I thought for sure the issue of pain would be predominant, but women were expressing other issues of concern like: fears around single parenting, the addition of a baby interfering in the couple relationship, and financial issues. All of these concerns are so personal and important to be addressed, accepted and come to terms with. I included a chapter on Reframing Pain because my own personal experiences and the feedback from women who used self-hypnosis and other tools to have a non-medicated birth was very empowering and satisfying.
What has been the most surprising, rewarding aspect of running these workshops and writing the book?
The workshops begin by creating a sacred space; women sitting together in a circle; lighting a candle and expressing their intentions. I suggest they spend the day creating their birth mandala in silence, which allows them to stay focused and dive deep within themselves. This in itself is a wonderful preparation for childbirth and is very rewarding. I trusted in my own inner guidance to offer this work. When I received positive feedback from women about how the process helped with their birth, I was not so much surprised as delighted. It was at that time that I felt inclined to put the work in a book form to reach more people than I was able. I am offering workshops for childbirth professionals to be able to offer this work to their clients in a deep and meaningful way.
Any mentors or other resources in the field of birth and female empowerment you wish to share with us?
My greatest mentor lies within myself. That is what inspired me to co-create with Constance Miles, the CD; A Pregnant Pause. In this CD women are guided to find their ‘inner midwife’ that guides them and supports them in birth. It is my belief that we all have the wisdom within, we just need to unveil societies and programming from the media to get in touch with our own inner guidance. Writing the Birth Mandala book brought a very important lesson to me that is equally important to birthing a baby, or anything we are pregnant with. Another childbirth author cited my work in her book and people were contacting me to buy my book. I became anxious about completing the book quickly. Like birth, you cannot force anything. It ends up with complications. The book taught me to have patience and trust the natural unfoldment of its birth. When I felt stuck that is when I did the Mother Nature Mandala Collage to take my time and honor the process of birthing the book:
MOTHER NATURE MANDALA COLLAGE
Nancy's Mother Nature Mandala
As far as resources, there are many books and DVD’s available to empower a positive birthing. They can be found at the end of the book.
Nancy Burns is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Northern California, specializing in pre and perinatal concerns. For over 30 years, she has supported pregnant and postpartum women in various capacities. She has been a doula, childbirth educator and prenatal yoga instructor. She has also been a presenter at the California Association of Midwives annual conferences.
Nancy invites you to join her for “a FREE unique evening that promises to stimulate a fresh vision of childbirth” on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm at Soul Shine Chiropractic – 440 So.E St., Santa Rosa, CA, and a Birth Mandala Workshop on April 20 and April 21, 2012 at the same location. For more information, e-mail Nancy: BirthMandalas@gmail.com .