Workshop Presenter: Elizabeth Nau (CD) DTI, Natural Childbirth Guide
What is your Name, title and role in the birth community?
My name is Elizabeth Nau. I am a certified birth and postpartum Doula as well as True birth Childbirth Education Founder and Guide.
Why did you get into the field of birth?
The birth process interested me as a child, and that interest turned into a passion after my first child, Ezra, was born. I realize that this process connects us all together as a people, whether we have given birth or we were given birth to. I decided to devote my work to support women, babies, partners and families through holistic education and lifelong techniques and tools for relaxation and mindfulness for families.
Currently, what topic in birth are you most fascinated by?
The topic that I am most fascinated by currently is the fact that women innately and physically already have everything they need for birthing inside of them that can ensure a beautiful and positive birth experience, no matter how or where their birth takes place. Even women in comas can birth babies. Our bodies where given every tool we will ever need to successfully birth our babies in a low risk setting. I believe this interest and passion will always be with me!
Currently, what issue in birth are you most concerned with?
An issue in birth I am most concerned with is appropriate postpartum preparation during the prenatal period, as well as proper and thorough care in the newly postpartum period. This is geared more towards birthing in America, specifically. Most families birthing in-hospitalWill leave after a low risk birth anywhere between 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. At this time, they begin life with their newborn at home and there is a great chance that they are not fully prepared for the reality of caring for a newborn and the healing mother. For partners and fathers, this is also a time of bonding and very important connection. This is a very delicate stage of Will leave after a low risk birth anywhere between 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. At this time, they begin life with their newborn at home and there is a great chance that they are not fully prepared for the reality of caring for a newborn and the healing mother. For partners and fathers, this is also a time of bonding and very important connection. This is a very delicate stage of completing the birth process where are many factors such as healing, rest, emotional care and nutrition play a crucial role of integrating a new baby into a family. Preparing families by speaking and discussing thoroughly with them on the postpartum phase in the prenatal period can give them an honest look into how to prepare mentally and physically with time. Of course, the best case scenario is if our healthcare provided support by professionals in the home for One on one care with families as a standard postpartum practice. But because this is not a reality we can rely on, education in the prenatal period and proper communication in the postpartum period with their chosen providers is key to improving this time of healing and transition for mothers, babies and families. This is especially emphasized for high-risk pregnancies, NICU families, breast-feeding mothers, and premature babies. Education can be quite powerful in times that it can be used to alleviate and prepare emotional health and understanding of the postpartum period.
Why is having peace in birth so important?
Peace in birth is so very important because where there is peace there is happiness. Creating and allowing positive birth outcomes for mothers and babies means allowing everyone involved, including providers and staff, to fully experience the moment and be present. This basic component can be life-changing and empowering when honored and encouraged in the birthing room in any setting. It is easier to return towards the idea that birth is sacred when we can honor the stillness allow moments of calm and quiet. This can, in turn, provide a feeling of trust and safety and families to birth their babies in love, respect and peace. Even babies themselves can appreciate being born into a peaceful environment where their instincts can prevail and overstimulation can be minimized.
What books or resources has inspired you lately?
I have always appreciated the documentary film Orgasmic Birth, For shining evidence-based light on what they call “the best kept secret”, which is intimacy, romance and love in the birth setting. In my career, I have had so many moments where I get goosebumps from seeing mothers birth in an environment that made them feel completely comfortable connected and reassured with the process by feeling loved and secure. Whether that be from her partner, Doula, care provider or anyone who is completely present for her and aware of the process. Orgasmic birth, for me, captures perfectly a concept I wholeheartedly believe in, and is a great tool and resource for all.
What sparked your interest to speak at the BirthWorks Conference this year?
I am honored to have been invited this year to speak at the conference, and connect with many other passionate, like-minded professionals who can come together and speak on behalf of many, many truths on birth. I am extremely interested to experience this joint of forces, ideas and conversation to continue to pursue and expand “peace in birth“ awareness as a community and as a people.
What can attendees expect to hear about while attending your session(s)?
Attendees can expect to learn and participate in one of the most relaxing and empowering workshops. My session entitled Breath of Love discusses and proves that diaphragmatic breathing has a powerful affect and relaxing and allowing the natural processes of the body to function optimally – birth being one major process among them. Breathing this way, increases the amount of oxygen saturated in the body allowing all of the endorphins and especially oxytocin, the love hormone, to search through the body as the body relaxes and saves energy. We will learn and practice this technique ending with a powerful discussion on integrating and encouraging breathing and relaxation and labor generating positive birth outcomes for both the family and the provider. We will divulge and explore the concept of easier birthing when in an aware and relaxed state.
If you were given the power to change only one aspect of birth in American culture today… what would it be?
If I were given the power to change one thing in the birth industry today it would be that every family and provider in the birthing world always consider what feels absolutely true to them in moments of decision, moments of action, and moments of acknowledgment. We owe it to ourselves as a people to be present and listen to each other‘s concerns and opinions as well as discuss any areas of doubt. This includes conforming to either side as long as all is appropriately agreed to and within comfortable limits of said families and providers. This concept will minimize generalized care and hone in on a much more individualized and personalized approach leading to higher satisfaction for all parties involved and more positive birth outcomes for mothers and babies.
What is a funny or inspiring quote you’ve heard from one of your clients?
A quote from a client of mine: “the key to my beautiful birth was my provider. I realized I had the magic choice to choose who would be on my side to honor my wishes – and I did! Time and time again I would. You need to feel safe and comfortable with this decision. If you don’t, you should find someone else who supports you. It’s never too late.”
Finish this phrase: birth is… the most intimate, vulnerable and honest you can possibly be with someone you have yet to meet.