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26: The Birth Revolution: Radical Responsibility and Personal Agency - with Nathan Riley MD (Holistic OBGYN)



On this episode of the Mindful Womb Podcast, we are joined by Nathan Riley MD (Holistic OBGYN). Together, we uncovered layers of spirituality, personal empowerment, radical responsibility, and the critical need for agency within the birthing process.


In this episode, we dive into the following:

  • Decolonizing the Western maternity model 

  • How to be the center of your care during your pregnancy and birth

  • Birth as a shamanic journey and rite of passage

  • The evolution of identity and the rebirth of self 

  • Radical responsibility 


Listen to the podcast:



Childbirth is a transformative journey, one that transcends the physical act of bringing life into the world. In a series of conversations that delved deep into the intricacies of childbirth, I had the honor of exploring profound themes with Nathan Riley. Together, we uncovered layers of spirituality, personal empowerment, radical responsibility, and the critical need for agency within the birthing process.


Aligning Mind, Body, and Spirit

Preparing for childbirth encompasses more than physical readiness. We discussed the necessity of intentional mental and emotional preparedness, emphasizing the importance of recognizing triggers and creating safe, supportive environments. Nathan and I emphasized the need to find solace within oneself and the birthing space, acknowledging the vulnerability inherent in the journey.


The Spiritual Journey of Birth

Our conversation beautifully unfolded the spiritual facets of childbirth, likening it to a shamanic journey. We recognized that regardless of spiritual beliefs, birth connects individuals to an altered state of consciousness. It's not just about delivering a baby—it's about ushering life into this world, catalyzing an identity shift for the birthing person and their support system.


Claiming Radical Responsibility and Agency

A central theme in our dialogue was radical responsibility. Nathan passionately advocated for reclaiming agency within the birthing journey. We discussed the importance of making choices aligned with personal values rather than succumbing to societal norms or medical directives. Our conversation challenged the conditioning that inhibits individuals, particularly women, from asserting their preferences and owning their birthing experiences.


Embracing Autonomy and Saying No

Empowerment in childbirth resides in autonomy. I emphasized the significance of saying no authentically, setting boundaries, and prioritizing oneself. We encouraged reclaiming power and making decisions rooted in inner truths rather than blindly following prescribed paths.


Reimagining Birth Perspectives

Our dialogue encouraged a shift in societal perspectives surrounding birth. It called for a more compassionate and supportive approach, challenging existing norms and limitations imposed on birthing individuals. Nathan highlighted the need for reverence and respect for the birthing journey, urging individuals to advocate for themselves within systems that might undermine their autonomy.


The essence of childbirth goes beyond the physical—it encompasses emotional, spiritual, and societal dimensions. Our conversation aimed to illuminate the transformative nature of birthing and championed the importance of embracing agency, reclaiming power, and honoring the profound journey of bringing life into this world. Embracing autonomy and making decisions rooted in authenticity are transformative steps toward empowering oneself within the birthing process.



 

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