Fiona Shaw and Samara Hawthorn originally met in 2002, and were united in their passion for being ‘with woman' through the childbearing year. Fiona went on to practice as an independent midwife for 11 years, and then for four years in the NHS as a health visitor.
They met again in early 2017, and found they held the same concerns about the increasing number of women who are traumatised by medicalised birth, and stories of women feeling alone, scared and unsupported.
Sacred-Birthing was born from a desire and passion to make a difference, and realising that the role of the doula is more necessary now than ever before.
Together Fiona and Samara want to pass on all that they have learnt so far and continue to learn through this journey.
Please use the form below, or phone Fiona on 07917 333090 (UK mobile)
" In 1993, I gave birth to my first child, my beautiful daughter, and
I was filled with awe by the mystery and power present during the rite of passage that childbirth is.
I lived in Spain, in a community where we lived a simple life, close to the land. Women from different nations, both from my community and the surrounding area started asking me to accompany them before, during and after their births. My work as a lay-midwife increased continually and I learnt to deeply trust the natural process of birth, by supporting and witnessing the power and beauty of these women.
Already a nurse, I trained as a midwife and worked in the NHS to begin with. I was horrified to find, in contrast to my experience in Spain, that the majority of women did not trust their bodies, the birth process, or see it as a rite of passage. I noticed that a significant proportion of women were deeply traumatised or re-traumatised by their birth experience.
I then moved to work in the way I had always wanted: as an independent midwife in a partnership. However, I stopped practicing independently soon after the new insurance legislation came in, because I felt it would made our work financially inaccessible.
My focus turned to supporting women individually – to prepare for birth, and process and de-brief after traumatic birth experiences.
Now I am excited to have the opportunity to share my passion, knowledge and experience by teaching and inspiring birth attendants and doulas.
I have always found it an enormous privilege to walk alongside women during this right of passage, and an honour to be present when the baby takes his or her first breath.
In the last four years I have worked as a health visitor, supporting mothers from all walks of life and witnessing the issues that are common to all women in current times.
I am passionate about 'birthing' women into their power and have been able to share my passion strongest and most effectively directly with women in individual sessions and in my women's circles and development groups which I have been running for many years now.
I am also a Reiki Master and therapist and was initiated as a medicine woman in 2000 and like to bring this experience to the groups that I hold and teach both in the UK and abroad.
I have a vision of a stream of beautiful women living in their power and feel excited and honoured to be part of the process to make this happen. "
See also: www.birthingthesoul.co.uk
" My passion for birth-tending began with the birth of my daughter in 1995.
I went on to train in Shiatsu at the Zen School in London, and in 2000 began to specialise in Shiatsu for Maternity Care with Suzanne Yates of WellMother. Over several years, I completed the diploma and teacher training and became a WellMother Teacher.
In 2002, I moved to Ashland, Oregon and began training with CPM Maureen Mitchell of Helping Hands Midwifery, and continued to learn from Maureen up until her death.
Upon my return to Wales in 2004, I continued working as a community doula and traditional birth attendant.
Both of my sons were born at home (2005 and 2008), and I put my energy into building a low-impact roundhouse for us to live in, tending the land and animals, and continuing my work as a doula.
In 2011, I founded the WellMama organisation, and began to teach the WellMama Holistic Doula Training. I was soon joined by my two apprentices, and together we formed WellMama Community Interest Company, based in Wales, which continues to offer services and training to support and celebrate the 'childbearing year'.
I volunteer annually at the Chinamhora Birth Clinic in rural Zimbabwe, and support their efforts to establish a purpose-built birth house.
I am a certified counsellor, a Healing Tao, Chi Kung and Tai Chi Instructor, and a visiting lecturer for the School of Midwifery at Swansea University.
I have a calling to learn, weave and tend traditional midwifery skills and herb lore in order that women and their families continue to have access to this ancient knowledge.
I have attended more than 130 births, and supported numerous women and their families throughout the Childbearing Year. "
See also: www.wellmama.wales
Care for life
We always take care of the right to come to this world in the embrace of our first community at the time of our birth.
That first community which guarantees the strength of life, in the trust of feeling, and then of knowing that the arms and hands that receive us are loving, affectionate and responsible.
The other mother, the other guardian, that we call the midwife...
I first met Fiona in 2000,when she was carrying her second child in her belly. I saw that she offered herself to the earth, talking to the earth, asking Her what is and what will be the way of passing down love to the generations, which will become the guarantee and strength in their walk in this present civilisation.
Her outlook, her vision, her dream for life inspired confidence in me, so I invited her to join me on a two month journey through South America-Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. She was my apprentice, and I wanted her to experience the knowledge of my teachers, and so it was that she learnt of the way, that is both ancient and modern of welcoming children, by reading in the plants, the embroidery and the altars of more than forty midwives and medicine women as we came together in a large gathering in a large gathering in Ecuador.
I celebrate her choice of life for life.
In trust and love
Medicine woman. Bearer of the Art of Altars. Head of the Dance of the Sun and Spirits.
Carmen is a revered medicine woman who has been sharing indigenous wisdom traditions around the globe for over 30 years. She brings people together to revitalise the memory of the ancient cultures of the earth and renew awareness of the relationship of spirit and life.