EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth

Uniting the earth and birth movements for the well-being of our world

Monday, August 30, 2010

Exploring the meaning of EcoBirth

I have been thinking so much in the last weeks about the meaning of EcoBirth. Whenever I mention the word to others, I see a reaction- whether curiosity, amazement, intensity?  their eyes widen and their brows crinkle and they want to know what it is, they want a definition.

I try to keep it short and pungent: I generally say it links earth and birth, it emphasizes the whole life system because it is all connected, not separated, so what we are doing to the earth, we actually are doing to ourselves, our bodies, and then we are passing that onto our children and grandchildren. I say that birth is the primal event of life that we all have in common and that birth practices are as important and long-lasting as the effects of possible pollutants during a mother's pregnancy; that how culture practices birth is an indicator of what we think about women, babies and the earth.

I then go on, if there is the opening, to say that the first environment for our children is the mother's body- it is complete, everything needed by the baby is available and then when they are born they get their air, water and nourishment from the earth's environment.

This is usually a fairly provocative explanation, I then say there is research that shows currently that our mother's bodies are pre-polluted and the effects are being seen in our children and possibly in our grandchildren, because, think of it, when my baby is being formed in me, so is her reproductive capability- her eggs- two generations are being formed and a hormone disruption, caused by pollutants on any specific day during my pregnancy, could interrupt the development of my child, which may show immediately at birth or even later in her life, or with her children. There is usually some real eye-widening then.

Then my companions cannot hide a concern about the toxins in our lives, they mention the things they are generally doing now to help the world, like recycling and shopping conscientiously, frequently they are involved in extensive "green" causes. I get to hear birth stories; their own and in particular their baby's. There is no forgetting of details about what happened during their children's birthing.

I hear an emotional response to the idea of the connection between the earth and birth. They might ask for what more they can do, or wonder what else they could have done to have a peaceful birthing experience. They generally say it is quite overwhelming living in this world now and they are not sure how to best do it, and they worry about what their children will live with soon. I try to hold their fears and concerns, and listen well. I invite them to come to the October 28 lecture by Dr Sandra Steingraber, usually give them my card or get their email so we can stay in touch.

I would love to hear your first reaction to the word EcoBirth- what did you think it meant?

I wish you all goodwill and
may we have a clean world, safe births and healthy children!


Molly Arthur's Maternal Lines digital story from molly arthur on Vimeo.

We women can face the pain and grief we have for our suffering Mother Earth and reclaim our story of creation and redemption with the power and beauty intimately held in our body’s cells from our maternal lines since the beginning of the cosmos. Our existential and communal grief heals within the loving gathering of our feminine compassion, connecting us to the truth and strength of our Mother Earth and all our kin. We start with Molly’s Personal Environmental Story-to explore the birth stories and places and times of ourselves, our mothers and grandmothers.Using the stories of our own maternal lines, with sharing, active listening and intention, we call on our ancestors, our inner wisdom and the shared circle to witness our story with compassion. Using ritual, song, movement, and sharing of our truths, in community and powerful circle as well as spending time on the land - we can acknowledge the oppression in our lives, feeling it in our bodies, grieving it, transforming it and ourselves in a safe, loving space. Our healing path connects our sacred lineage from the womb of our Mother Earth to integrate our inner and outer lives and discover our place in the connected caring cosmos. We are a part of a continuum of sacredness, lifeforce, divine energy including our Ancestors back to the stuff of the stars. We can reclaim our cells, our lineage and our legacy to the future generations. Like in birth labor, we must yield to our bodies innate knowing, to progress, to open, to birth our love. With our active surrender to fierce compassion we can restore our connection to the natural world and our own inner wisdom. We can drop our obsessive addictions to control and return to our healing, caring, befriending tendencies- innate for us nurturers. And then we can repair, regenerate, and renew our culture for tenderness and kindness, naturally embodied by us. We will be able to guard and protect ours and all descendents - becoming their Beloved Ancestors- by asking - What is possible now to transform our world for Future Generations?

Molly Arthur of EcoBirth- My Personal Environmental Story November 2012 from molly arthur on Vimeo.

Why EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story
EcoBirth’s My Personal Environmental Story will help women tell their life story by considering the two primary environments- place and birth- for themselves, their mothers and their maternal grandmothers. Through this process each participant will come to realize the hazards in their environmental genealogy and realize the healing in telling their own story. And they will be empowered to affect the changes that are necessary for our Mother Earth and our children and grandchildren to thrive.
Imagine looking back to your grandmother's and mother's birth time to figure out what environmental influences you might have inherited? And have passed onto your children and grandchildren? Would you wonder what was in the air, water and food in their lives- and look twice at what diseases, birth defects, addictions there are in your family?