Hands on, Hands off:
Midwifing the Inner Life of Women
by Sister MorningStar

[Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of an article which appears in Midwifery Today, Issue 118, Summer 2016. View other great articles and columns in the table of contents. To read the rest of this article, order your copy of Midwifery Today, Issue 118.]

“Do you have any other questions or comments?” I asked. Silje floated in her boat on the southern shore of Norway, and I paused in admiration from my cozy rural library in Missouri. I was a Skype midwife to this gorgeous woman with her rosy cheeks and new mother enthusiasm. Silje easily moved in and out of yoga poses while showing me her growing baby. Her Cocker Spaniel companion nestled in to watch us.

Then, I asked again. “Assuming all is well, what would your ideal birth look like?” She relaxed. Her head dropped back and her eyes closed and she started describing the scene.

“No, I don’t think so,” she beamed. Silje was now 33 weeks pregnant. We had met in Norway months prior when she discovered she was expecting her first baby.

“I have one,” I said. “What would your ideal birth look like? What would you be doing and who would be there and what would they be doing?”

At first she told me things that have to do with safety and I could hear the anxiousness in her voice. She began to describe medical back-up plans “in case the midwives say that transport is necessary.” I listened. Then, I asked again. “Assuming all is well, what would your ideal birth look like?”

She relaxed. Her head dropped back and her eyes closed and she started describing the scene. She was in the tub and her dog and her beloved were near. The midwives were not mentioned. She ultimately birthed in a strong yogic squat in her meditation room and her partner received the baby. They were happy and the new baby and dog were nestled in bed again, just as they were now only with the baby on the outside.


Sister MorningStar has dedicated a lifetime to the preservation of instinctual birth among native people. She was raised in the Ozark Mountains within the influence of Cherokee traditions. She birthed her own daughters at home and has helped thousands of other women find empowerment through instinctual birth. She is the founder of a spiritual retreat center and author of books related to instinctual and spiritual living. She lives as a Cherokee hermitess and Catholic mystic in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Visit sistermorningstar.com.


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