What is a Birthkeeper? How Doulas end up as Peacemakers

What is a birthkeeper? A birthkeeper is someone who is reclaiming birth from the medical industrial complex.

Birthkeepers may or may not be doulas or midwives, and may or may not be officially credentialed.

However, birthkeepers are women (yes, women) who recognize that the current system is deeply damaging.

Instead of continuing to work within the system, and witness the re-traumatization of mothers while “holding space” – birthkeepers are calling bullshit and teaching women how to take back their power.

A doula working within scope is always walking a thin line between what her clients need and want, and what she knows the medical system expects from her (i.e. cooperation and compliance, to stay out of their way).

Doulas are often relegated to the role of peacemaker.

For a long time, I’ve reckoned with the peacemaker version of mySelf…the ‘me’ I conjured up in order to survive in a world where I was just too much. Continue reading

Claire’s Rainbow Bridge Birthday Story

Telling a Rainbow Bridge birthday story is a Waldorf tradition that can be really fun and special as your child grows. It’s sort of like a birth story, but told in fantasy or myth-form. The Rainbow Bridge is the passage to Earth from the ether, spirit world, heaven, or whatever your beliefs may call it. These stories can be written to include any religious tradition, or none at all. 

This is the story I wrote for Claire, my precious middle child, sometime before she turned five years old.

Once upon a time, in a land of time unchanging, there lived a spirit child. She lived with the moon and sun, amidst the stars, with many spirit-beings–and she was peaceful and happy. One day, she happened to notice a beautiful blue orb, far away–yet somehow, not so far.

The orb seemed to call to her, and so she asked the spirits about it.

“That orb is the world, our Mother Earth,” they replied.

“May I go there?” the child asked.

“In time,” the spirits replied. “The world is not yet ready for you.”

So the child waited. Continue reading

Freebirth, Trauma, and Doulas

I think it’s worth noting that every time I gave birth, I had the feeling that I’d dodged a bullet.

Victorious? Sure.

High on pure oxytocin-fueled joy and love, and so amazed and delighted at this new perfect being and what my body was just capable of? Absolutely!!

But also…blessed, sweet relief.

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doTERRA’s testing on foreskin?? Here’s the deal.

It’s time to make something clear about doTERRA’s testing practices. I’m seeing half a story being passed around, and people are jumping to vilify doTERRA before they consider all the facts.

Recently, this study on Frankincense essential oil and this one on Lemongrass essential oil were released, and the ‘crunchy’ part of the internet got outraged.

They say doTERRA’s testing their essential oils on discarded foreskins from infant circumcisions! GROSS, right?

People are up in arms, saying doTERRA’s in the pocket of big pharma, and that they’re profiting off circumcision.

They’re even saying doTERRA is a pro-circumcision corporation.

To all of that, I call bullshit.

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Inspiring the Peaceful Mother – An Interview

This interview was originally published in March 2014 as part of the lovely Olga Dossa’s “Inspiring Peace” series on being an empowered, joyful and peaceful mother. 

Olga Dossa:  What was the catalyst that inspired you into mothering the way that you do?

Krystal Trammell:  I became a mother when I was just 18, and my parenting style has really gone through many shifts and evolutions since that time, when I was so overwhelmed and terrified of messing everything up.

I suppose, when I really think back to just one thing – it was my desire to succeed in breastfeeding my second child, which led me to La Leche League’s work – that was truly the first step in the journey towards Now.

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The Rainbow Bridge – A Birthday Story for my Boys

A Rainbow Bridge story is sometimes written to welcome a child Earthside. It tells a tale of pre-birth consciousness. This is the cosmic story of my 4th and 5th children, adapted from our Knowing and my Imagination.

Once upon a time, in a land of time unchanging, beyond the Rainbow Bridge and the River of Forgetfulness…there lived two spirit children.

They lived with the moon and sun, amidst the stars, with many spirit-beings–and they were peaceful and happy.

One day, they happened to notice a beautiful blue orb, far away–yet somehow, not so far. The orb seemed to call to them, and so they asked the spirits about it.

“That orb is the world, our Mother Earth.”

“May we go there?” the children asked.

“Perhaps,” the spirits replied. “But you cannot go at the same time. The world is not yet ready for both of you at once.” So the children waited. Continue reading

The Exhaustive List of Homebirth Supplies

If you’re having a homebirth with a midwife, she’s probably provided you with a list of supplies–or a pre-made birth kit–that you should have on hand.  However, if you’re birthing at home without assistance, you may wonder what supplies and items would be worth having on hand to maximize your comfort and peace-of-mind as your labor time nears.  Of course, birth can and does happen without any special equipment at all, and things work just fine.

Nothing on this list is essential, really–and it’s good to keep that in mind.  You shouldn’t be stressing out in week 39 because you’ve run out of honey and can’t find a local source for red raspberry leaf tea!  Sometimes less is more. Continue reading

Should “Modesty” Apply to Breastfeeding? Nursing tops and more…

Some folks still insist that covering up is important and encourage the use of nursing covers and other tools for “modesty”. They feel that breastfeeding should be done away from public view (especially if boys or men are around!)–even if that means retreating from social functions. 

I’m not going to tell you the “right” way to breastfeed in public, because the only “right” way is whatever works for your baby and honors your own feelings.

Not the feelings of your husband or grandma, or of the strangers who might witness you feeding your baby.  

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