Artfull Mother Boulder - Summer 2016

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Tell Me the Truth about Birth: An interview with Erika Primozich Hello Artful Mamas, I want to share a conversation I had with Erika Primozich, one of the Boulder Birth Communities true gems, on May 23rd , 2016. Erika is a Certified Birthing From Within Mentor, and founder of Dive into Birth. Erika has been offering her refreshing and compassionate approach to birth preparation and postpartum care in Boulder for over 14 years! SarahKate: Hi Erika, thank you for meeting me today! I have heard so many great things about you, your Birthing From Within classes and something you offer called “Birth Story Medicine.” We have a lot to cover, let’s start with your birth preparation classes, which if I understand correctly, are based on the book Birthing from Within, by Pam England. Erika: Hi SarahKate, thanks for having me! Yes, my classes are based on Birthing from Within. In my classes, women and their partners are prepared for birth in an approach that blends modern medical knowledge, instinctual

drive, and inner wisdom. In this way, they feel educated, and empowered, and well supported. Couples are often surprised to discover the depth of their internal and external resources. SarahKate: Say a little more about the internal and external resources… Erika: Sure! Examples of internal resources might be mindfulness practices (and pain coping strategies, which we cover in the class), and recalling past experiences that required inner strength and determination, as well as emotional preparation. Of course, external resources include things like partner support (touch, encouragement, connection), doulas, sustenance, care provider’s expertise, etc… SarahKate: Tell me briefly how you integrate the medical knowledge piece… Erika: It’s important for couples to have an understanding of how birth generally unfolds and what they might expect to encounter.

We use the labyrinth as a metaphor for birth…

-it is a sacred map, and when walking it, all you know is that the path is leading you toward the center, you really don’t know how it will unfold, or what lies around the next corner – and yet there are no wrong turns. 11

So, we cover the nuts and bolts – like the stages of labor, baby positioning, medical interventions, decision-making tools, pharmaceutical options, and medical staff interactions. All of this evidence-based information is explored in a non-judgmental and compassionate space. SarahKate: So how does a mother’s instinctual drive and inner wisdom come into play here? Erika: Great question! These are such important pieces… because it’s easy in our culture to rely too heavily on the medical information, forgetting to tap into what we already know on an instinctual level, and what holds true for us on an individual, personal level. Sometimes, we overthink things ...we read books and watch videos, and we can get overloaded with information and linear, left-brain thinking, when it’s actually the creative, fluid, instinctual right-brain that is most active during birth. It takes an ability and willingness to balance what we know rationally with what we know intuitively. This is a key piece of the Birthing From Within philosophy. SarahKate: It sounds like Birthing