A couple of years ago, I wrote an article on the most dangerous place to give birth:
The answer was: An American hospital.
America has the highest infant mortality rate and the highest maternal death rate in the developed world.
1 of 2 of kids have some kind of chronic disorder or disease, like asthma, allergies, autism, some kind of autoimmune disease.
The allopathic medical system and OBGYNs in particular are SELLING you on the idea that you NEED their help in order to give birth.
Their pitch is that the more control and interfere with the process,the better it is.
Except that we know that’s not true. Every bit of evidence we have shows us the opposite.
In fact, the entire OBGYN profession was BUILT on the idea that in order for them to even exist, they would have to systematically convince women that birth was too hard for them to do alone, and that a doctor surgically or otherwise interfering with the process, would be to their advantage.
This is a a quote from the American Dr. Hodge, from 1938:
“If these facts can be substantiated, if this information can be promulgated, if females can be induced to believe that their sufferings will be diminished or shortened, and their lives and those of their offspring be safer in the hands of the profession, there will be no further difficulty in establishing the universal practice of Obstetrics.
All the prejudices of the most ignorant and nervous female all the innate and acquired feelings of delicacy so characteristic of the sax will afford no obstacle to the employment of male practitioners.”
This is the foundational principle of OBGYN medicine: take the power out of the woman’s hands, and create doubt in her own powers of her body’s eons of genetic coding and wisdom that has set her up to INSTINCTUALLY know what to do do in pregnancy and birth.
And base a whole business model on this.
It’s been that way for over a century.
In the early 1900’s, most births—99%—took place at home.
By the 1950’s it was 50%.
And now, only 1% and probably less—of births, take place at home.
In the modern, industrial birth setting, a woman is rarely, if ever, allowed to follow her own bodily rhythms and cues.
Instead, she is subject to an arbitrary schedule with certain timelines.
She is placed in a foreign environment where her body is much more likely to interpret her surrounding as unsafe, and in a evolutionary act of self-preservation, interrupt the birth process.
We have a 33% C-Section rate in women with hospital births.
Hysterectomies and C-sections in the ten most common surgeries in the US.
What the FUCK is going on?
Why are OBGYNs so obsessed with hacking up women’s bodies?
I document the corruptness and uselessness of OBGYNs in my podcast episode called: Real Cures vs. Obsolete OBGYNs
I also go more into the why NOT to give birth in the hospital birth factories and on the empowerment of free and natural birth in the episodes:
What is Free Birth?
as well as:
Natural Birth = Ecstatic Birth
I explaining how everything about a hospital birth goes contrary to our true natures, and increases the chances exponentially of having complications.
In today’s episode, we’re going to the opposite end of the spectrum.
We’re talking about wild, natural birth.
So wild, in fact, that we’ll be hearing women giving birth in the Black Sea in Russia, with dolphins for birth attendants.
This sounds far more ideal and like a dream birth to me, than any kind of hospital experience.
My guest is Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova, who is the founder and Director of the constantly expanding international organization, Birth Into Being, which is dedicated to Conscious Evolution and the creation of a thriving future social structure based on Love, Compassion and Common Sense.
As a speaker, filmmaker and author, Elena artfully uses multi-media to share her message with the world. Since 1982, Elena’s tireless commitment has earned her the status of “spiritual midwife” to thousands of people. Through her lifetime of experiences, she saw that birth complications are preventable.
She has an incredible documentary film called Birth As We Know It, and teaches the Birth Into Being Method.
In my opinion Elena’s work is some of the most important contributions to humanity.
In helping to restore a woman’s true power, and reclaim the rebirthing and self-actualizing experience of SOVEREIGN childbirth in loving environments, we are reprogramming our species for pleasure and peace.
KIM: Hello, Elena. It’s fantastic to have you here today.
ELENA: I am very grateful for this opportunity.
KIM: I am so excited to be able to share your work and vision and your incredible contributions to the return-to-power birth movement.
The way that I see things is that we’ve come into this age of really heavy, industrialized, even techno birth. And in my view, your work and some of your past experiences are really polar opposite to that in terms of literally having births in nature.
When I was pregnant, that is exactly what I thought. “I want to give birth in the forest near a waterfall.” [Laughs] There was no way I would ever consider giving birth in a hospital.
I think so much of your work is all about harmonizing into the natural flow, and to me, that alignment with nature is a really big part of that, which we’ll get to throughout this interview. But first of all, let’s start out with your definition of conscious birth.
ELENA: That’s a very good question.
Conscious birth is when both parents are fully present emotionally for each other and for the incoming soul.
When they both are on the same page about this enormous event of becoming a portal for a whole new human being that did not exist before. When they both are aware of the impact of their lifestyle, of their relationship, of how they connect with each other, of their environment and the quality of life of this future human being.
It’s really high mastery to have a conscious birth. It’s like if we’re talking about a birthing Olympic team; there are a lot of moving parts to that picture because they need to find the right timing, the right place. Time and space is important to really connect with the soul of that incoming baby because on some level, the connection is already happening. It’s already within pre-incarnational agreements that some being will come through them.
KIM: You’re almost going back to the idea of conscious conception.
ELENA: Well, you can’t take it out of the equation when you’re talking about conscious birth. Where does it start? It starts with conscious conception because what we know now from the new science, from the new biology research, is that the new life actually begins a few months prior to conception. Because the quality of the sperm and the egg is defined by the choices parents make a few months prior to conceiving the child. Well, actually, the whole lifetime prior.
ELENA: So, where do we begin? We have to start somewhere, so let’s start a few months before conception, and that’s a part of the equation. Because first of all, a woman really needs to be picky and choose the father of the baby consciously, intelligently, with all the moving parts being in alignment. It’s a very big topic. I can give the whole interview just on that part because we’re paying a very high price as a civilization for taking conception and birth for granted. There are so many people being born that it’s become, “Oh, whoops, another one.”
But that doesn’t take away the pure mystery of conception and birth because we actually don’t know anything about it. We know what it looks like at every stage of conception and gestation and birth, but what is actually driving the cell to recognize that particular sperm? Because there is a moment when she has a choice, and she chooses one of them.
KIM: To let that one in.
ELENA: Yeah. It’s an amazing mystery. A big guy running through the whole length of grand canyon to find this tiny, tiny cave at the end of it. No GPS, in total darkness, running. They’re trying to find her and she’s only available two days out of the month.
But by the time they get there, they don’t really have much energy to storm her; they just make their way through and penetrate the membrane. That membrane is the most impenetrable wall in the three-dimensional universe. It’s designed to protect the egg for years and years and years from the moment it was formed. When this woman was a fetus inside her mother’s body, inside her grandmother’s body, that’s when the eggs are formed. So, that membrane is designed to keep her unharmed; nothing will get to her.
So, how is he supposed to get in right now? Right? That is an absolutely mystical experience that is our home frequency. Because at that moment, she has to make the choice to fulfill her destiny. There is no agenda in her; she exists on her time scale, eternity. And she’s complete. She is a whole universe. And at this moment, she has to completely cease to exist. To let him in means that she will just explode in this flash. It’s like a nuclear reaction. It’s an explosion. It’s pure ecstasy.
She opens up and surrenders and takes him in and he has to cease to exist. He existed only for minutes or hours; she existed for years and years, but in that moment, they’re two equal parts. He is activating her. He is like a key to this holy tower that was dormant.
What’s the fairy tale? Sleeping Beauty, yeah, that’s the one. That’s about our conception.
She’s just there, dormant, completely unattached to the outcome, and here he comes, and he activates her in a way that she could not do by herself.
And she is the universe, but she needs to have that speck of consciousness in that particular time and space in order to get the whole show on the road.
KIM: Do you think there’s some kind of knowing and relationship? An energetic acknowledgment or recognition between the two on this ultra-microcosmic level that she selects? She feels something, the egg? And lets in that particular sperm?
ELENA: There is really no other way to think about it. [Laughs] With our human minds, we can’t really comprehend the way our bodies function. At any given split second, there are trillions of operations happening, and we can’t just pretend that we know something.
But what’s happening there is so much more complex, and it’s outside of our comprehension, really. We can bow and surrender to the mystery and just pat ourselves on the back [laughs] because every one of us is a huge success story. We made it through this improbability. Every human being walking this earth right now is one in about 400,000 trillion—an incomprehensible number of zeros, and we did it. Because not only did he find her and she decided to take him up on his offer, but then she had to go on this odyssey, on this journey, to find the uterus. She had to attach herself successfully, because a lot of pregnancies end before a woman even knows that she was pregnant. “Okay, I got there, I attached, but oops, didn’t work.”
And then the body starts forming, and every next wave of the cell division is absolutely ecstatic. The frequency of that experience is beyond anything we can comprehend. It’s the ultimate high. [Laughs] So, this is our home frequency. We are made in pure ecstasy, because that’s what calls forth the cell division. That fluctuation in the range of frequencies where it’s just pure bliss.
KIM: What do you wish people knew about conception that they generally don’t know?
ELENA: That it’s magic. It’s mystery. It’s something to be deeply grateful and respectful of. It’s really, really greatly overlooked, and we’re paying for it because if we knew how magical each one of us is, we wouldn’t be treating each other the way we do in the world.
KIM: Let’s back up. Could you share with us a synopsis of your history and your journey? How did you become interested in the realm of natural birth and get to the place of stripping away so much of the conditioning and programming and get to a community in the Black Sea, away from all civilization, with women birthing their babies in the water?
ELENA: That’s a long story because it didn’t happen just like that. When I stumbled upon the subject of birthing, that was the last thing on my mind, because I was a successful actor. My official education is theater/acting. I thought the theater would be my lifelong occupation.
But I was married to a wonderful, amazing man who was a leader of this very interesting brainstorming technology organization. I have an article about it on my website; it’s called Russian Games. He had a whole team of people. They were working together, and they could figure out how to create something, how to help organizations back from being on the edge of bankruptcy into the space of success.
Somebody asked me to bring in this water birth pioneer, Igor Charkovsky, who had advocated the idea of water births since 1962.
And the way he was going about it wasn’t getting him any attention. The person who asked me to help Igor had my ultimate respect, so I agreed to listen to Igor and see what we could do, just out of respect for this person.
I met with him, thinking it would be a short, 20-minute conversation. I ended up listening to him for four hours, and then I brought him home and said, “It’s really, really important that we put some energy and attention into this because everything we’re trying to do is just putting Band-Aids on a full-body burn.” In four hours, he really downloaded to me the whole concept of pre- and perinatal psychology. The way we make people is keeping us in the same level of misery that we’ve been for thousands of years. He really showed me the connection between the way we’re born and the way we function, the way we live, the way we love or are enabled to love.
He was talking about things that are most important in our life. Whether the business will succeed or not, that’s a good thing, but whether we’re able to love or not, that seemed to be rooted in much, much deeper layers than had ever been looked at.
At the end of our discussion and connection, I dropped everything and put all my time, attention, and energy into creating this school of conscious parenting. That’s what it was called in 1982 in Moscow.
The way we spilled out from Moscow into the Black Sea was that we had classes going, and women who gave birth in their bathtubs were eager to help other women to have that experience.
But to prepare for that, there were certain things that needed to happen during pregnancy, and one of the main things was neutralizing birth trauma. Not only in a pregnant woman, but in her partner, and in everybody who is going to be present at birth and involved in this baby’s life. Because the more we experienced how things work in this realm, the more we realized it’s not just about birth. It’s about pregnancy. And it’s about conception. And it’s about how you actually meet your partner.
Because it turns out that the mechanism that attracts us to certain people and repels us from other people is rooted in our limbic brain, in our limbic imprint that we receive from conception through the first few years of life. It turns out that the roots of likes and dislikes are right there.
KIM: So the conditions of conception and of pregnancy and then what happens during the birth are all creating the limbic imprint of the child, and that then goes on to be a receiver/transmitter/attractor/decision maker on an unconscious level of who we choose to reproduce with or partner with in sexuality?
ELENA: Exactly. And it turns out that one of the main ingredients in this dance of energies is the relationship of the parents with each other. Turns out that the fetus inside mama is responding to all the fluctuations in her. How much dopamine, how much serotonin, how much adrenaline her brain is producing, depending on whether she’s in conflict with the father of the child. Whether she’s in conflict within herself about this pregnancy. Whether she wants this pregnancy or not.
That will be reflected in the quality of their communication, and the baby absorbs all of those chemical messages, and not only absorbs them, but automatically registers them and memorizes them. Not cognitively. Not with the cortex like the way you remember somebody’s phone number, because the cortex is not fully functional for a few years.
But it’s the limbic memory. It’s cellular memory. It’s chemical memory. From what I understand at this point, this limbic imprinting is happening due to the property of water to maintain memory. And it has something to do with the way not just one molecule of water has that ability, but the number of molecules of water form a structure depending on the frequency of the experience.
In other words, the environment dictates what structure those molecules of water will assume, and that structure remains in the body. Babies are 99 percent water. There is not much less.
KIM: Right, yeah.
ELENA: That’s why it’s called imprint; it just really settles in the body on this molecular level. That’s why it’s so hard to talk yourself out of if you’re imprinted for liking a certain type of a man. Say if the father was abusive to the mother, then the baby girl inside the mother is absorbing that chemistry of being abused as a comfort zone, as a way to survive.
That’s where it roots because the limbic system is nature’s merciful mechanism of allowing the species to thrive and survive. Because mama bear cannot send her cub to school. The cub learns to be a bear by just being in the field and absorbing the information that is happening around it. They have an incredible learning capacity, all the small creatures, because their survival depends on it. Whether they will be able to procreate depends on this. It’s nature at work at its finest.
This imprinting is not intended to set us up for failure; it’s here to help us to thrive and survive because nature was not expecting domestic violence and wars and famine and that we would start killing and hurting each other. It’s very rare that a species turns against its own. Humans are very special that way. This is designed for us to actually learn to be and become, and that’s why it’s so strong.
If it’s a natural flow of things and we’re born into love, then we’ll learn to love that way. If a woman is born well, she knows everything about giving birth by being born because that’s how things work. It’s already imprinted. Her body knows how to give birth.
But if she was not born well, then her body might be in this highly radioactive, multidimensional background radiation all her life, and she will not even know that until it comes to getting pregnant.
From her own birth, in the cellular memory, she might be carrying the memory that birth is terrifying, horrible, a near-death experience. Especially if there was some kind of numbing agent that disoriented and completely turned off all the sensory apparatus and participation in the process. That’s why it’s very important that a woman giving birth is fully present and participatory because then her zest for life is activated to its absolute maximum, and that is the chemistry that activates that zest for life.
It’s a very, very important ingredient in a human being. That desire to live, explore, be creative, be sexual, be everything. We can go through life on autopilot or we can actually be fully engaged and loving it. That’s the difference.
But the medical profession doesn’t really recognize the difference.
They think if the baby doesn’t die, that’s a success. But if the baby doesn’t die, but is never activated in this raw, primal sense, then there will be a failure to thrive in one form or the other.
KIM: Right. What you’re talking about then becomes the imprinting of disassociation. Of not being connected, of feeling unease in one’s body. And I would say judging by the look of our culture, most people have addictions that are very dissociative. We know that in our modern culture, most people are born in traumatic circumstances, whether they’re legitimate or manufactured, in the industrial birth setting; that’s the imprinting that most people have right now in the world.
ELENA: Exactly. That’s why we see so many atrocities and an absence of common sense, the way our civilization is making those sharp, crazy turns, because when you are not present in your body, you’re not able to make sound decisions and discern right from wrong. That is actually considered normal right now.
I saw with my own very eyes the textbook on psychology from a medical school that says that women are not able to give birth naturally, period. That humans are not equipped with the ability to discern right from wrong, and they need to be told. These are all in writings, all those things, like that the umbilical cord at birth needs to be clamped immediately. Which is a capital crime against humankind because up to two-thirds of the baby’s blood is still in the placenta. Don’t get me started on this one. It’s unnatural to clamp it.
Where do you see that a cat or a deer or a tiger clamps the umbilical cord? It needs time to keep pushing the blood from the placenta to the baby’s body. But if we clamp the cord, then the placenta is heavier, and they are sold by weight to the cosmetics industry.
But the problem is not about somebody making money on that baby’s blood; the problem is that the baby’s lungs are not ready for that breath. So, it’s a major, major assault on the baby’s system because the amniotic fluid is inside. It needs to drain the lungs that were squished during delivery through the really narrow birth canal. It needs to relax, open up; everything needs to unfold gently, slowly.
All the nerve endings are still brand-new and very, very sensitive. Some research says up to 150 times more sensitive, because we’re already quite hammered by sensory overload left and right. But the baby is brand-new and everything hurts at that moment. The sounds, the lights, the touch, the rough surfaces, everything.
If you’re forced to take a breath with lungs that are not ready for it, it’s a very big trauma for the brain and body.
KIM: Let’s wind back to Moscow. You were learning these things and having these classes and it sounds like part of your training or educating people is helping them to clear their limbic imprinting. How did that then transition you from being in the center of Moscow to out in the wilderness?
ELENA: Well, we didn’t really know. Everything was discovery. There was nobody to ask questions. [Laughs] There was no internet; there was no body of research like what is available right now through the field of prenatal psychology. There was nothing in the eighties in Moscow. It was basically just learning from every couple that was brave enough to step into this unknown, uncharted territory.
Everything had to be found first. What worked, what needed to work, in what area, how, what worked for some people and didn’t work for others. What worked for most people. It was a very tedious process of discovery, part of which was learning to meditate. That was revolutionary, because in the eighties in Soviet Moscow, the word ‘meditate’ was not even heard of. There were no teachers. There was just a concept that something needed to happen to shift our ordinary state of mind, of being, into some kind of heightened state of awareness. What it was, we didn’t know. How it was, we didn’t know. “So, let’s just sit down and close our eyes and figure out what’s going to happen.” [Laughs]
But when you really have a clear intention, answers come, and they were coming by the hundreds. There were a lot of answers that we received in those deep states of meditations. One of them that was reported by basically every single pregnant woman in the circle was that in this deeply meditative state, they saw their babies, their fetuses, surrounded by dolphins, playing with dolphins. The fetus was a dolphin. There was a lot of information coming about dolphins.
You’ve got to understand that if you live in California or in Fiji, dolphins are kind of part of your environment. Not so much in Moscow in the dead of winter. [Laughs] We didn’t know anything about dolphins. As far as we were concerned, that was just another type of fish.
It was dolphins, dolphins, dolphins, and at some point, the cumulative number of those accounts added up so that Igor Charkovsky said, “Well, let’s go to where dolphins are. Let’s try to actually connect with them and see what happens.”
We found a dolphin area on the Black Sea. We kind of danced around and around it, but we were not allowed there, especially to give birth. [Laughs] Okay, there’s a mental institution to the right. Don’t go there. [Laughs]
But at some point, Igor said, “You know what? Let’s just go to the Black Sea and camp somewhere on the beach and meditate and ask dolphins to connect.” That’s exactly what we did and what happened. The first year, they did not respond at all.
Dolphins—I totally understand them—didn’t think much of people because the only people they knew were fisheries and the boats that were killing dolphins because they didn’t want them in their nets.
I was there four months, from mid-May to mid-September at the camp. And about halfway through, the dolphins connected with the pregnant women only. I was never pregnant at the camp. I was one of the organizers. But the dolphins went into very beautiful, harmonious connection with pregnant women, and then they started coming. Somebody in the birth camp would go into labor and sure enough, the dolphins would come and stay as close as they could, because we were in shallow lagoons. And they jumped and sang and played and just stayed there in deep stillness.
We did not really have a way to articulate what was happening, but when someone was going into labor, there would be this agitation in the camp. The dolphins would come, and everything would just relax and calm down. It would be a palpable, almost kinesthetic, physical sense of incredible support and rightness of what we were doing. Just a pure high.
If you looked around, there were tears in their eyes of pure happiness. It just felt amazing. There were no drugs— to eliminate that thought! [Laughs] Absolutely no drugs. But it was this incredible experience of complete and utter coherence and just this undeniable rightness of being. You were in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, and there was absolutely nothing that could go wrong.
And nothing ever went wrong, that’s the thing. That’s the most amazing thing, that there was no plan B. There was absolutely no way out of there. We didn’t have a medical education. We were not contaminated with pictures of pathology. We were so naïve; there was absolutely no concept that something could go wrong.
KIM: I love that. I love the reinforcement, because I think that’s such a major problem, both the limbic imprinting, as you speak of, and the conscious messaging that people get when we watch movies or television shows. The woman in childbirth, screaming her lungs out, and it’s like the most pain she’s ever had. Those kinds of images are laid down in the psyche and can get reactivated in birth.
But I love that being out in nature, and even the energy of water. There’s a beautiful quote from you that I noted when talking about water birth:
“The woman herself becomes very water-like, resilient, and fluid, and it melts down all of the frozen structures in her emotional landscape and her rivers flow effortlessly.”
I think that’s such a beautiful way of talking about receiving that energy or teaching from the water, as perhaps you were taught by the dolphins. These influences from the natural world remind us of that flow.
ELENA: I can see you watched my movie.
KIM: [Laughs] Everyone ought to. It’s one of the best birth movies ever made. It’s beautiful.
ELENA: Birth As We Know It, the whole DVD, is almost four hours long. I really squeezed a lot of information in there. So, I highly recommend it.
KIM: And you guys were filming at the Black Sea, so you have actual footage of these births.
ELENA: Initially we didn’t have a camera and nobody we knew had a camera. There were a lot of foreign midwives coming to the Black Sea to study with us and one of them realized that we didn’t have a camera, so she just took all the tapes that she made and left the camera behind. Bless her heart. I don’t remember who that was, but thanks to her, we have footage, though it’s not much. In Birth As We Know It, there are only 11 births. That’s because most of the births came at night and we didn’t have sufficient lighting or women didn’t want to be filmed, which is very understandable. The majority of women did not want to have a camera there.
The fact that we have those few births from Lexi, I’m incredibly grateful.
KIM: You’ve talked about—and I agree with this—birth being the ultimate high, if it’s allowed to be. How does opening ourselves as sexual beings or even just allowing the birth process to happen help to facilitate a pleasurable birth?
ELENA: Well, it doesn’t start at birth. There is not much you can do when you go into labor. All the work needs to happen prior to conception, or at least during pregnancy.
Why I’m saying prior to conception is because, ideally, a woman and her partner, the father of the baby, which ideally is the same person, have already established a very healthy, strong, sexual connection. They are literate in their sexual body language, in their understanding of how the sexual energy works. And they acquire some degree of mastery, of navigating this enormous power of their sexuality. Sexuality is an enormous power and unfortunately, we lack education. It’s not en masse. It’s just a few people that break through the social and educational taboos and get to that place of mastery, of navigating their sexual energy.
Ideally, the partners are very familiar, which will help them sustain their deep connection and intimacy throughout the postpartum period.
KIM: I work with couples, and there’s this myth that’s quite common for people where they just assume that after a baby is born there is no sex, there is no intimacy, and they grow apart. I say, if a couple is really close and intimate and strongly sexually connected prior to a birth, that doesn’t happen. But that’s very rare. Like you’ve said, the sexual Olympics, or the birth Olympics, are when people have that connection that they actually need as the glue to get them through pregnancy and then to have this transformative, transcendent birth, and postpartum.
Yet the average couple is not that sexually connected, and so they get all kinds of things that come up for them, like Madonna/whore triggers. As soon as the woman gets pregnant, she has to deal with all that, and then if she hasn’t dealt with her birth trauma, she’ll be activated. He could be activated in pregnancy. Then they’ll go through a typical birth experience, which is normally some kind of violence or violation or crisis. Then they’ve got that to deal with. I really believe that that’s what postpartum depression is; it’s more like PTSD than some kind of natural outflow of the birth experience. It’s manufactured from all of this accumulated stuff that hasn’t been really dealt with. People go through these experiences unconsciously.
But when people have done this kind of resolution within their relationship, they’ve activated, as you say, or catalyzed the sexual component of their relationship, so it becomes their sanctuary, their superpower. Then they’ve done the work around clearing birth energy or prior birth experiences in themselves. Then I believe they have that potential to move forward into these initiating and self-actualizing experiences, truly rebirthing themselves in a very powerful and positive way. Except that’s not what most people have.
This goes back to our original definition of conscious birth. It’s the whole process of conscious conception, conscious pregnancy, conscious birth. All of that work and preparation goes into birthing—and everything that follows then becomes a product of that work. This is probably the most undervalued, unacknowledged work that humans don’t do in the entire world for our species.
ELENA: Right. There are also two more things to add to that mix. Not only birth trauma gets activated by pregnancy and birth, but sexual trauma.
Because we have unforgivably high statistics of rapes and if a woman never had a chance to really process and neutralize the trauma from rape, it’s going to raise its ugly head at birth. It’s really, really important to find a way to deal with rape trauma and heal the physical tissue, the emotional impact from that experience. It’s very difficult to come through with flying colors, but it’s really necessary, if we’re talking about the big picture of conscious birth, to come to terms with our past and leave it in the past for the sake of our future.
It’s not only a difficult birth that leaves a woman with severe postpartum depression; it can even happen if the birth was good, but the connection with the partner gets altered at birth, depending on his ability to show up and be present.
I also thought that severe depression only occurred after difficult birth. But what happens is that if a woman is doing her part, but the guy is kind of winging it, it means that there was something in that space between them where she was not really feeling met, because there will be an amazing activation of her as life-giving creator. She will become everything that she was born to be. Giving birth in an empowered way activates a woman in a way she has no concept of. She will have a whole other dimension open for her. And in their relationship, the guy will be expecting her to go back to where she was.
ELENA: And she can’t. She doesn’t want to. It becomes a moment of tension. With the activation of her full goddess self, he finds himself in a very complicated place because he is used to a young maiden that was maybe lacking some confidence or maybe was not very clear of who she was and giving birth connected all the dots for her. All of a sudden, there’s a full-grown queen in his kitchen. The dynamic needs to change. It needs to shift. It needs to accommodate everything the woman has become, and a man, again, doesn’t have that many tools or role models or guides to help him meet his woman in her new place in life.
That is something that is very important to bring to our attention for couples that are planning on conscious birth.
There are so many moving pieces in that because then, if you have a beautiful birth, you don’t want to have this baby exposed to you yelling at each other and divorcing and connecting, disconnecting and leaving. That baby, beautifully born, needs the stability and reliability and emotional presence of both parents. That’s what conscious birth is.
KIM: What can fathers do? Because I think that for women, as they’re pregnant, they’re naturally being catalyzed. You’d almost have to fight against growth to not be transformed through pregnancy or you’d have to have a lot of blockages to really squelch that process of evolution that’s naturally propelling you forward. As a woman is building a new life within her body, she has to really try hard to suppress that energy that’s pushing her towards growth and evolution.
Then for the man, it reminds me of your original analogy, the cells coming together in cell division, all this stuff happening. What can he be doing then? We’ve talked about his own birth trauma potentially getting activated. Circumcision trauma would be another trauma that he would sustain. But what would his work be while he’s on the journey of pregnancy with her so that he can meet her and keep pace with her as she transforms into this beautiful new goddess being? How can he walk out of that experience a king, rather than a young prince who was maybe sidelined or felt impotent during the birth experience, which I think, in most hospital settings, the father is. He’s shoved aside, “Oh, there, there, you just sit in the corner and shut your mouth and we’ll deal with this.”
What do you suggest for men to help really ensure that they emerge as transformed kings?
ELENA: First of all, they need to educate themselves. There is a lot of information online. Get involved with some men’s groups where they can have some men time and share and talk and help each other. It’s really, really important to have some kind of support groups other than just watching football together and yelling at the TV or having guy beer time. It’s really important to try to brainstorm together and connect the dots. “This is what I’m dealing with. This is what I found I can do. I read this book, and you guys have to read it, too, because it explains a lot.” And there is a lot of information.
It’s important to know that they are not the only ones. Every single first-time father is in this situation because he has to reinvent the wheel. How to be with the woman who doesn’t know who she is yet. One of the biggest pieces is that a woman, after giving birth, goes through a complete identity crisis. Everything she was is no more. She is now in uncharted territory. She has to reassemble herself piece by piece. She has to make a lot of decisions on who she is, how she is, what is happening in her life with this man. Everything is brand-new. It’s not only the baby who is born, it’s the mother. It’s kind of a cliché, but that’s true.
The man needs to, first of all, comprehend that it’s not going to be going back to how it was. He has an opportunity to really experience something so profound, so big, so important for him becoming a father and activating his spirit’s purpose. To really step up the game and get to know his place in this world. It’s a very big topic, what he can do. In my trainings, first of all, he needs to neutralize his own birth trauma. He needs to clear his relationship with his parents, because the lingering ground radiation of conflicts with his parents is going to come into his relationship with the woman and the baby and his work.
He needs to clear his childhood owies [laughs], you know? He needs to really clear the waters not just with parents; it could be grandparents, it could be guardians that raised him; it could be siblings. Sometimes it’s older siblings that have caused more trauma than parents. Sometimes it’s the best friend that betrayed him in first grade or some kind of first-grade love of his life that betrayed him. All of a sudden it’s activated to the point that it’s blinding him and it’s so present that he can’t see through that and he starts acting out that hurt from that time.
What needs to happen is bringing all those bubbles, one by one, into his awareness and neutralizing their impact on his nervous system.
There is a lot that a person can do by themselves, but there comes a point when you need to find somebody who is able to hold you the way you need to be held. That is what seals the deal. Everything else could be just mental construction and trying to talk your way out of it, but the trauma happened before the ability to articulate came into being.
In order to address those primal wounds, there has to be this kinesthetic experience of being in a place of trust, surrender, warmth. Being touched, held, loved. Just put that new experience into that place where the hurt happened in the first place.
KIM: Right. Let’s wrap it up with the most positive vision of the birth experience that you can imagine. Most people are programmed to see birth as pain and discomfort, rather than pleasure.
What can we leave people with as the inspiration of what’s really possible? Birth is the greatest source of ecstasy or spiritual awakening or bliss. How would you frame that for people?
ELENA: Well, suffering in birth is just a bad habit. The main thing is recognizing that. Our hormonal supplement is there to release obscene amounts of oxytocin during birth. That’s exactly what our nature is supposed to be doing. That’s why we’re talking about bliss, orgasmic ecstasy during birth because there is absolutely no drug that can produce that amount of oxytocin in the bloodstream. It’s the ultimate high. That’s what allows a woman to open up to that degree. That’s what nature is supposed to do.
The only reason why the other thing happens is, again, there’s a chemistry lab in the brain, and it cannot produce oxytocin if it’s already producing adrenaline and other stress hormones.
If the lab is occupied, pumping stress chemistry, you can’t switch it. You have to start training your brain. Basically, homework is pleasure. Just start training the body to produce vast amounts of oxytocin because if there was no life of pleasure prior to birth, the body simply does not produce enough oxytocin. It’s just like with every muscle—use it or lose it. If you don’t exercise your biceps or triceps, they atrophy. They become weak and not very useful.
It’s the same with pumping oxytocin. You have to train that muscle. You have to figure out every single way you can know pleasure because every cell of the skin has a pleasure receptor. We have to find every one of them. [Laughs] And that’s the birth preparation. [Laughs]
KIM: [Laughs] I love it!
So, the birth preparation is to experience as much pleasure as you can. Have as many orgasms as possible, generate as much oxytocin and ecstasy as possible as a way of rewiring our systems.
ELENA: Right. Removing the internal taboo on pleasure.
That’s a very big piece. Because we can get as many massages as we want, but if we internally are not giving ourselves permission to enjoy having the body, it’s going to just be…
ELENA: It’s on the skin, it’s great, but in order to start really increasing that flow of oxytocin, we need to just destroy all the dams and taboos that we allowed ourselves to adopt due to somebody else’s ideas of what’s good and what’s not good.
It’s basically an internal revolution to shed all those notions that are not even ours. It’s like, “You know what? I think it’s so eighties; I’m just going to lose it. It’s out of style.”
KIM: Yeah! [Laughs] Pleasure is in! Pleasure is the new black! [Laughs]
ELENA: Pleasure is the new black, yeah! [Laughs] It’s just really learning to love life, love your own body. Really getting to know every which way the body can experience being loved and pleasured. Yeah. The sky is the limit.
KIM: Fantastic! I love it! Thank you so much, Elena. You have so much wonderful information and inspiration to share with the world and I’m so grateful for your contributions to humankind.
ELENA: Thank you for this opportunity to be heard. I appreciate every one of them.
How inspiring is that?
To know that YOU have the power. You always have.