Episode 10: Honouring the Postnatal Period and Truth-Telling with Nicola Goodall

 
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Nicola Goodall lives in Edinburgh and has supported women during and after birth for over 20 years. She grew up in a diverse community in South London and became a Muslim and a mother by the age of 24. Nicola is passionate about traditional storytelling, sharing and learning amongst women. She is one of the founding members of the Scottish Doula Network and a birth educator.

In this episode, we talked about:

 

  • What is a doula? “Your ultimate faith-bearer, ready to fill any gaps that might be there”

  • The woman that has that blessing

  • Fully in service to the mother

  • Humility and spiritual development

  • Becoming a doula in her spiritual community

  • Training to become a doula with Michel Odent

  • Earning money from something in service

  • Fair exchange

  • The importance of the postnatal period

  • The impact of the fourth trimester on the rest of life

  • Issues of depletion on health

  • Prioritising well-being in the postnatal period e.g by reducing spending on non-essentials

  • Simple ways of restoring wellness such as stockpiling bone broth, massaging ginger oil into the legs and keeping warm

  • Warmth to retain energy and assist blood flow around the body for efficient healing and recovery

  • Keep snug and wrapped up

  • Science backing up traditional wisdom

  • Medicalisation and the colonial approach to health care

  • Witches, Midwives and Nurses

  • Class and choices

  • Conflicting voices around breastfeeding and other choices

  • The change in postnatal services

  • Cultural competency and woman-centred care

  • Profiting from traditional wisdom and cultural appropriation in the birth world

  • Ancestral memory passed down through the women in the family

  • Instagram culture makes it acceptable for

  • The book: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race’ by Renni Eddo-Lodge

  • Postnatal ceremonies around the world such as ‘Closing The Bones’, mainly involving women, bathing as a ritual cleansing, anointing by the elders

  • The 6 week check as a remnant of the 40 day laying in period

  • ‘Churching’ where you get blessed in church after having a baby

  • The concept of a death ritual, saying goodbye to who she was and welcoming the new mother

  • The birthkeeper is the storykeeper

  • Facing death and dying

  • The common fear of dads-to-be that their partners might die in childbirth

  • The impact of generational trauma

  • Matching care to their cultural experience

  • The MMBRACE report , which states that black women are 5 times more likely to die than white women, and Asian women are twice as likely to die at birth

  • Postpartum herbs for rebuilding energy and blood

  • Dr Sims and the origins of barbaric gynaecological experiments on slave women

  • Telling the truth of the history of medicine

  • The impact of pregnancy, birth and maternal-baby bonding on the psyche

  • The need for loving care after having a baby

  • Nicola’s article about the ethical consumer and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), who partner with Clarion, and hold arms fairs



Resources:

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You can find out more about Nicola by going to her website 

 Or visiting Red Tent Doulas 

Nicola’s TED talk