WHO ARE WE?
My name is Josie Vendramini and I am the mother of two beautiful daughters currently living in the Blue Mountains Australia. I am an intuitive, writer and activist who is passionate about all things mama and baby.
Positive Birth Stories has been going for a couple of years and the millions of hits it gets from dozens of countries around the world is testimony to the power and transformative alchemy of sharing stories.
I believe childbirth is currently a multi-billion dollar profit making empire largely driven by pharmaceutical corporations, artificial infant milk companies and medical imaging multinationals. To ensure the continuation of profits fear and misinformation is perpetrated throughout the world around pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding resulting in endemic unnecessary childbirth trauma and suffering. Medical establishment advice, education, directives, policies and procedures run in direct opposition to the thousands of academic and scientific research and articles and the millions of anecdotes that speak the truth about birth.
And we do know how to give birth. We know what to do in pregnancy to support a positive birth experience. We know what to do during labour to ensure a positive birth experience. We know what to do post birth to maintain positive breastfeeding and positive parenting.
Unfortunately the profit makers do not want this information to be widely known because it suits them to keep birth the way it currently is…. a complete and utter set up. Except the tide is turning.
There is birth beauty everywhere…. the subversive midwifes, the gentle doctors, the vocal activists, the angelic birth leaders, the friends who loved giving birth and the supportive partners and family and you… the beautiful mama to be who is listening to an voice inside as ancient as the universe, that birth away from the set up of the money merchants and shadowy fear forces is celestial, rooted in deep power and connection with Mother Earth and filled with blessings. Everywhere is the powerful movement of change reclaiming birth.
I am always stopping to chat and crack a joke with pregnant women in the streets or shopping (I told you I was passionate!) One of my favourite anecdotes I tell them is of Catharina Schrader, a Dutch midwife practicing in the 1700s. She left meticulous records of 4000 deliveries, 95% of which were “spontaneous without intervention” (Dunn 2004). These births included 64 sets of twins and 3 sets of triplets. this midwife didn’t intervene in 95% of the births she attended because they happened naturally. This means over 300 years ago childbirth was easy and safe.
I love the clarity in this….there is so much myth around women facing immortal peril in the “old days”. The reality is very different…. In England in the 1800s the upper class women of the Kensington circles were dying because their esteemed doctors didn’t do things like wash their hands, whereas mothers and babies birthing in the poverty of the East End with the support of midwives survived and thrived. This is just a taste of the information you can find out that empowers you and supports you and your baby in a positive birth experience.
This website is my contribution…. it is based on my conviction that connected intrinsically to the struggle for human rights, social justice, women’s equality and freedom and the restoration of the Divine Feminine on earth is that elemental act of female power… birth. How we give birth has far-reaching implications, affecting the physiology and psychology of our children’s entire lives and influencing our mothering; including breastfeeding, attachment and post-natal depression. That makes birth not just a women’s issue but also an issue for humanity.
Part of me is angry this significant and sacred event has been exploited and manipulated in the corridors of profit and power. But part of me is also guided (to paraphrase Senor Guevara) by feelings of great love to stand with my sisters across the world in reclaiming, protecting and sanctifying birth once again.
I also believe in the power of women united sharing stories… and by Goddess, pregnant women need to hear the good stuff.
There is so much information and wisdom to learn and share. I am grateful for the books, people and groups that inspired and supported my pregnancies and births
- Basically anything by Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin
- Sue Gerhardt, ‘Why Love Matters, how affection shapes a baby’s brain’
- Michel Odent: ‘The Scientification of Love’
- Thomas Verny: ‘Tomorrows Baby: The Art and Science of Parenting from Conception through Infancy’
- Jean Liedlow ‘Continuum Concept’
- William Sears ‘Night-time Parenting Book’
- Dr Harvey Karp ‘Happiest baby on the block’
- Steve Biddulph ‘Should Under Threes go to Nursery?’
- Deepak Chopra ‘Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives’
- Fredrick L Boyer ‘Birth without Violence’
- Gowri Motha ‘Gentle Birth’
- Sarah Buckley ‘Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering’
- Sarah Napthali, ‘Buddhism for Mothers’
- James McKenna’s sleep research
- La Leche League
- The websites www.kellymom.com and Ronnie Falco’s www.gentlebirth.org
- Ten Moons The Inner Journey Of Pregnancy The Preparation For Natural Birth by Jane Hardwicke Collings
- Meredith F. Small, ‘Our Babies, Ourselves, how biology and culture shape the way we parent’
- Professor Margot Sunderland, ‘The Science of love’
I wish to express my gratitude to all the divine mother/baby love contributors of the Internet for so many helpful ideas, tips, techniques, specialist knowledge and solidarity.
This website is only possible thanks to the technical expertise of several people….Big thanks to my dad who built this website in his spare time away from creating new and wondrous theories of evolution and Neanderthals. And to Emily who put the power in empower… thank you so much! Thank you so much to the extremely talented Eric Simon and the generous warmth of Carrie Myton.. without whom this website would not exist. Thank you from the bottom of my heart
Danny Vendramini is an author, film-maker, photographer, traveller and evolutionary detective. He lives in the Blue Mountains and is the author of the acclaimed book “Them and Us” His websites are at www.themandus.org and www.thesecondevolution.com