Monday, November 21, 2011

God Was My Midwife: My Interview with Shifra Mincer

Last week, I spoke with Shifra Mincer, who runs the Jewish birth site Layda Birth. She had intended to interview me about my dissertation findings on unassisted birth, but our conversation soon took a more personal turn. We spoke about why I chose to give birth unassisted the first time--and why I did not for my subsequent two babies. We also discussed the LDS understanding of the Feminine Divine (a.k.a. Heavenly Mother) and how I found strength and wisdom from turning towards her in my first pregnancy. We ended with my thoughts on feminism's near silence on birth issues. If you're interested to read more, please read God Was My Midwife.

An excerpt:
A Mormon, Freeze has the practice of speaking to God directly through prayer and meditation. Mormons have the concept of God the Father and God the Mother, a kind of Godly husband and wife, she said.

When she was pregnant with her first child, Zari, Freeze said she found herself reaching out more than ever before the Divine Mother, asking her for guidance. “I did find myself, during my birth and pregnancy, connecting to my Heavenly Mother. I was like, okay Father, I need to talk to Mother." Then I would tell her, "I need your help and guidance, I need you to be there with me for this process. I need a female presence to guide me through this process.”

As she meditated and listened to hypnobirthing CD’s before the birth, a visualization kept coming to her: “My pregnant self was walking down this long hallway next to Heavenly Mother, this serene Mother who led me down to the room where I would give birth. There I had to do it myself. And then after I gave birth, I came out another door where I saw these crowds of women who had gone through this before.” Throughout the meditation she said felt a sense of real closeness with the Divine Mother and of “needing her with me. I really relied on that heavily during my first pregnancy.”
Read the rest here.


  1. What a neat experience for you.

  2. Thanks for the link to her site, as well as the beautiful stories.

  3. I think this is a good insight into your entire view of birth--it is totally faith-based i.e. no evidence to support it, much like a religious belief.

  4. Anon--I wouldn't agree with that at all. It definitely is a good insight into how my religious practices have informed my birth practices, but that's just one of many aspects of my view of birth. Don't mistake discussing one facet of an issue for the whole.

  5. Rixa,

    Your experience was very similar to my first solo labor. At one point I was dancing and singing my 11 pound boy through transition and the Heavens Opened up and I felt as if all of the mothers who had existed or who would ever exist were dancing with me.

    It was a pivot point in my life, an unforgettable touch with the Divine Feminine.

    So pathetic that some anonymous boobie has to diminish that leap of faith with the claim that we do this as ONLY a Faith Leap, without the years of research and study to back it up.

    As Mormon women, we learn by Study and by Faith.

    Jenny Hatch

  6. Great comments Jenny. Well said. I appreciate hearing your spiritual insights Rixa.


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