Welcome to The Birth Circle
The practice of women gathering in sacred, healing, and supportive circles is as old as the hills, as is passing down the knowledge we need, through the generations, for our health during pregnancy, birth, and the new momma years. So much of this tradition has been lost. The Birth Circle is a place where we can reclaim the power of support, encouragement, and inspiration – as well touching into our common sisterhood – through shared stories. The inspiring, moving stories of transformation you'll find on this page are here to provide you with insight, inspiration, wisdom, and support.
For additional inspiration and support, join me for a free online experience with me at Facebook at #ideservebirthsupport where you'll find over 30 hours of classes on pregnancy, birth, new mom, and new baby care, and a weekly ongoing support group with my and members of my professional community from midwives to lactation consultants and more.
With love, Dr. Aviva
Bee an Empowered Mama with Brandi Frazier
After being hospitalized due to postpartum complications, Brandi Frazier knew that something had to be done to help women. If she had not advocated for herself throughout her pregnancy and postpartum, she could have lost her life, a fate that has befallen a shocking number of other African-American mothers. From these experiences she created Bee Empowered Mama, an organization that provides online resources, workshops and community to coach mamas to self-advocate for themselves from the moment they find out they’re pregnant, and beyond. Join me for this inspired and inspiring conversation with Brandi.
Facing and Healing Postpartum Anxiety with Gabby Bernstein
In this Birth Circle episode, I sat down with multi-time-NYT best-selling author, Oprah Super Soul Sunday guest, and sought after talk show guest with appearances on everything from the Rachel Ray show to Good Morning America, Gabby Bernstein for her to share her journey through postpartum anxiety and out the other side. After a beautiful pregnancy and birth, Gabby found herself in a very dark place – battling insomnia, agoraphobia, and dramatic weight loss, she was living in constant fear and anxiety. After months of trying to climb out of this place of doom and despair, and enlisting support from the circle of healers in her life, Gabby turned to mood stabilizing, sleep supporting, and anti-anxiety medications that helped her sleep, function, and be a mom to her beautiful little boy.
Gabby is on a mission to help normalize maternal mental health struggles, postpartum anxiety and depression, and – against many popular voices in the wellness movement – antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. This is one of her most intimate public conversations with one of the people in her personal Birth Circle. In this conversation we begin to break down stigmas around ideal motherhood, mental health, medications, and more.
How Being a Black-Woman-MD Made Home Birth the Best Choice
I had the opportunity to sit down with new mama Dr. Jessica Clemons to talk about racial and reproductive justice, and how her experience as a Black med student and Black pregnant woman impacted her journey to bring her baby boy, Brilliant, into this world at home this past April. Dr. Jess, MD, is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist, from Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University NYU Langone Medical Center. While her work is primarily in providing direct clinical care, her mission is to reduce stigma associated with mental illness, particularly in the Black community. I hope you’ll listen and share this with the women in your life – because understanding the reality that Black women, and Black mamas, experience in our medical system is a very important first step in understanding the medical system that’s impacting all of us – and becoming activists for change.
Finding Wisdom in Birth with Emily Baldoni
I'm delighted to share this Birth Circle interview with Emily Baldoni! Actor, entrepreneur, @weareamma co-founder, mama to Maiya and Maxwell, and partner to actor Justin Baldoni, Emily shares her experiences with her two births – the first at home, the second a transfer to hospital – the tools that helped her ride the waves of each, and how birth and motherhood have transformed her – and are still – transforming her today. Emily’s experience is a deep, beautiful reminder of so many of the things, big and small, that can play a key role throughout the journey of becoming a mama.
Miscarriage as a Portal with Jovan Sage, Doula
In this first interview in The Birth Circle Stories, my guest, Jovan Sage, a full spectrum doula, herbalist, and chef (and also student in my Herbal Medicine for Women course) generously shares her miscarriage story with us – and how it served as a portal for her life’s work. After learning that her baby had lost its heartbeat during a prenatal visit, she didn’t know where to turn, what to do, or what her options were. “Where were her grandmothers?”, she wondered. The clip you hear above is from the first episode of what will hopefully be a long and inspiring series of pregnancy, birth, and transformation stories with insight, inspiration, wisdom, and support.