Several years ago at the annual conference of the MIdwives Alliance of North America (MANA) I had the pleasure of hearing Sister Morningstar speak. On multiple occasions I'd been moved by pieces she had written in Midwifery Today, none more so than this piece on what she calls Village Prenatals.
"The mothers come from near and far. They have a variety of birth plans and care providers. We are there to shower them with village attention and support and to bathe them in a sense of belonging and being cherished. The one inspiration and encouragement we echo over and over in our stories, on our walks, in our drumming and deliciously in our feasting is this: Trust your Instincts. Follow what makes sense to you. Do it your way. Take your time. Find a place of peace to make decisions. Speak your Truth. Find your Truth. Your body has all the right answers. No one has your knowing. Build your instincts. Trust your instincts."
My doula compatriots and I decided to bring that spirit to our clients and the greater community of childbearing folks in Charlottesville. Our version is a monthly gathering, open to all and free of charge where we share stories and support, often hosting speakers and folks with special skills and knowledge. Sometimes we have craft projects, meditations, picnics, classes - but always the spirit of supporting one another with validation and love. Join us the last Sunday of each month - details of location and topic will always be shared here and on our facebook page!