Holistic Perspectives & Directory For Northern India


Awakened Birthing

India’s Maternity Mess

When it comes to health policy, India often strangely lunges at the mistakes of the US, ignoring insights and better approaches from Europe.

India has an irrational fear of midwives. To some, it is a reminder of the village dais of yore—who were untrained, unlike proper midwives—with their unhygienic practices and unscientific opinions. Understandably, therefore, many women are unsure of the quality of care they might receive from a midwife, compared to a doctor.

But there is growing evidence that trained midwives are as good as doctors in taking care of pregnant women and in overseeing uncomplicated births. In the United Kingdom, for instance, there is a recognition that “all women need a midwife, and some need a doctor too.”

Our singular focus on just the outcome (of reducing deaths) has sadly led to a gross neglect of the right methods to achieve it, with the health system forgetting that a pregnant woman is a human being (and “not a birthing machine”) who deserves to be treated respectfully and provided all information honestly. Midwives are an important part of the answer here as maternity systems with midwives tend to be more humanistic and personal, more respectful of women, and less interventional.

Midwifery might not be a comprehensive answer to India’s maternity mess, but it is an important and necessary part of the answer.

To continue reading the original article
“Shunned for years, can trained midwives fix India’s maternity mess?”
by Kirna Kumbhar, click:

The Umbilical Cord Blood Controversy

by Chinmayo Forro, CDM

When it comes to new research aimed at saving people’s life, none elicits more conflicting opinions than the stem cell controversy. More specifically, the use of umbilical cord blood has generated numerous heated debates: to cut or not to cut and when to cut? Conflicting information has added pressure on pregnant couples: who is right? Doctors favor cutting the cord within seconds of the baby’s birth, whereas midwives have always delayed cord clamping until it stops pulsating – an average of fifteen minutes – and some even advocate to wait a couple of hours after the delivery of the placenta. Cord blood banks have been growing like mushrooms in the past twenty years and advocate freezing the cord blood for possible later use. Some cultures even practice Lotus Birth – leaving the placenta attached to the baby until the cord falls off days later – as a meaningful spiritual practice. Thus, if we want to improve the health of future generations we absolutely must start at the beginning of life and seriously investigate the risks/benefits of early vs. delayed cord clamping.

So let’s first look at what proponents of immediate cord clamping have to say, since theirs is the most accepted practice today. French doctor Francois Mauriceau, a leading obstetrician in 17th century Europe, was the first to insist that the cord be cut immediately following the baby’s delivery. Although this was not an evidence-based decision it has become the gospel of truth in today’s obstetrics, which argues that polycythemia (too many red blood cells) and hyperbilirubinemia (clinical jaundice) could endanger the newborn’s health if the cord is left uncut for more than a few seconds after birth. Does research agree with this argument?

First, according to Dr. H. Rabe (2008), Neonatologist at Brighton and Sussex Hospitals, U.K., “the procedure of a delayed cord clamping time of at least 30 seconds is safe to use and does not compromise the preterm infant in the initial post-partum adaptation phase.” Furthermore, in an article published in Pediatrics (2006), Drs. Barclay and Murata present randomized trials and conclude that early cord clamping “…might deprive the newborn of some benefits such as an increase in iron storage…Iron deficiency early in life may have pronounced central nervous system effects such as cognitive impairment.” And that is not all: in the same article, they argue in favor of delayed cord clamping because “…the increase of hematopoietic stem cells transfused to the newborn might play a role on different blood disorders and immune conditions.” In addition, Dr. Andrew Week (2007), Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics at the University of Liverpool, has research of his own which supports Barclay and Murata’s argument:

Clamping and cutting the umbilical cord should be delayed for three minutes after the birth, particularly for pre-term infants…as the umbilical cord sends oxygen-rich blood to the lungs until breathing establishes…As long as the cord is unclamped, the average transfusion to the newborn is equivalent to 21% of the neonate’s final blood volume and three quarters of the transfusion occurs in the first minute after birth…There is now considerable evidence that early cord clamping does not benefit mothers or babies and may even be harmful…Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) have dropped the practice [of early cord clamping] from their guidelines.

Well, some doctors will argue, what will you do when presented with a nuchal cord (cord wrapped around the baby’s neck)? Cutting the cord then is especially detrimental to the fetus, as CNM’s Mercer et al (2005) have observed from their research: “Cutting the umbilical cord before birth is an intervention that has been associated with hypovolemia, anemia, shock, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy.” Mercer continues by suggesting the use of the Somersault maneuver (holding the infant’s head flexed and guiding it upward so that the baby does a somersault) to deliver these infants. And what about babies who suffer from hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) and need resuscitation, the skeptic will ask? Mercer has an answer for them, too:

Air pressure does not keep lungs open, because lungs have only atmospheric pressure. It is the hydrostatic exoskeleton generated by the capillary network that maintains alveolar expansion and prevents the alveoli from closing or collapsing on expiration…Adequate blood flow to the lung clears the lung fluid during the initial breaths because higher colloidal osmotic pressure of the blood in the capillaries draws the fluid from the alveoli (p.375)

Having established the importance of delayed cord clamping, how do we determine when to cut? As we have seen from the research mentioned above, the recommended time is at least three minutes after the birth of the baby. So why do most midwives wait until the cord stops pulsating, which averages fifteen minutes after birth? Common sense! If nature keeps it pulsating for so long there must be a reason, so why interfere with it? Also, midwives know that immediate cord clamping prolongs the delivery of the placenta and increases maternal blood loss. Yes, physiological jaundice sometimes occurs, but this is a natural process not to be mistaken with clinical jaundice, which has been associated with medications in labor.

Midwife and obstetrics researcher Anne Frye (1998) goes a step further by recommending not to cut the cord until it stops pulsating at the base of the umbilicus: “…typically, it takes one and half to three hours for pulsing at the umbilical base to completely disappear.” She adds:

Even after the placenta is born, equilibration continues by slight adjustments that occur via reflex action of the intra-abdominal portions of the vessels, eliminating the development of excessive central nervous pressure and thus allowing the baby’s system to gradually integrate the additional blood volume…Allowing physiologic equilibration to take place as it naturally occurs is the most gentle option as far as normal neonatal transition is concerned.(p.496)

In light of what we have learned from all this research, why on earth would doctors still want to cut the cord within seconds? Old habits are hard to die. Meanwhile, cord blood banks are pushing hard to store cord blood as a rich source of stem cells to treat more than 70 diseases. This is a multimillion dollar industry – Cryocell, established in 1989, has over 160,000 clients; Viacord, established in 1993, has over 110,000 clients; and Cord Blood Registry Inc., established in 1995, has over 200,000 clients – Here is how it works: as soon as the baby is born the cord is cut and cord blood must be collected within ten minutes; before delivery of the placenta, the mother’s blood must be collected as well, and everything is picked up immediately by a courier who sends it to the blood bank. The shipment must arrive within 24 hours in order to be processed and frozen. Having done this procedure for couples who paid the cord blood bank thousands of dollars I can testify that this process disrupts early bonding between mother and child and distracts the care provider who, instead of looking out for them, must focus on mixing the blood with a prepared Heparin syringe, place labels on all vials, and fill in the paperwork before the courier shows up.

What if, by cutting the cord too early, we created the exact conditions that stem cell research is trying to fix? And what if we just gave Mother Nature a chance, left the cord intact at least until it stops pulsating, and started gathering data on these newborns? As health care providers, “first do no harm” means little if we can’t acknowledge with humility that, yes, perhaps we got it wrong; we should be willing to learn from our mistakes and do our best to provide the next generation with what is its birthright: a cord full of rich blood.

This newborn is only minutes old and still attached to the umbilical cord when he starts nursing in his mother’s arms.

The original text can be found here:


  • Barclay, L., Murata, P. Delayed cord clamping at birth may reduce neonatal anemia.
    Pediatrics, 2006: 117,779-786. Retrieved February 13, 2009 from
  • Frye, A. Holistic Midwifery 1998; 497-498. Portland: Labrys Press Publication.
  • Mercer, J., Skovgaard, R., Peareara-Eaves, J., Bowman, T. Nuchal cord management and nurse-midwifery practice. Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Heath 2005: 373-379. Copyrights 2005 by the American College of Nurse Midwives.
  • Rabe, H., Reynolls, G., Diaz-Rossello, J. A systematic review and meta-analysis of a brief delay in clamping the umbilical cord of preterm infants. Neonatology (2008) Vol.93 No2. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from
  • Week, A. (2007) – BMJ – British Medical Journal. Umbilical cord clamping should be delayed. Science Daily. Retrieved February 13, 2009 from

9 months in 4 minutes

An amazing journey we all made – in our mothers’ wombs.

And some of us will make it again (if they reincarnate).


Deciding factor: Limbic Imprinting

By Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova

Limbic imprinting is the inborn capacity of the nervous system to absorb and memorize, on a cellular level, all of the information from its surrounding environment during the early formative period– the moment of conception through 9 months of gestation, birth, and the first few years of life. Every fluctuation of the mother’s hormonal, physical, emotional experiences are registered by the fetus and non-cognitively recorded in its developing nervous system. These early impressions and sensations remain with this person throughout their entire lifespan. Good news: If the original limbic imprint, or ‘basic settings’, were undesirable and painful, it is possible to consciously create an alternative later on in life.  

To better understand the term “limbic imprint,” let’s look at the basic structure of our brain. At the tip of the spinal cord there is a segment called the reptilian brain, responsible purely for the physiological functions of the body. That’s the part of the brain that still remains functional when a person is in a coma, for example, in a “vegetable” state, – the basic physiology of the body is still going on, women even keep menstruating and can continue with gestation if they are pregnant.

Then there is the cortex, usually referred to as the “gray matter,” responsible for our mental activity. That’s what we routinely call “the brain”, – the part of the brain responsible for our cognitive functions: logic, calculating, planning…

And then we have the limbic system of the brain, responsible for our emotions, sensations and feelings.

Limbic imprinting happens in that part of the brain, which is not directly connected with the cortex, responsible for cognitive memory. During gestation, birth and early childhood, the limbic system registers all of our sensations and feelings, without translating it into the language of cortex, simply because it’s not developed yet. That memory lives in the body through out the rest of our life whether we know of it or not.

We come into this world wide-open to receive love. When we do receive it, as our first primal experience, our nervous system is limbically imprinted – “programmed” with the undeniable rightness of being. Being held in the mother’s loving arms, feeding from her breast and seeing the great joy in father’s eyes, provides us with the natural sense of bliss and security; it sets the world as the right place for us to be in.

If our first impressions of being in the body are anything less than loving (painful, frightening, lonely…), then that “anything” imprints as a valid experience of love. It is immediately coded into our nervous system as a “comfort zone,” acting as a surrogate for the love and nurturing, regardless of how painful, frustrating and undesirable it actually was.

And in the future, as adults, we will unconsciously, automatically re-create the conditions that were imprinted at birth and through our early childhood.

Research done by the pioneers of prenatal psychology, such as: dr.Thomas Verny, dr. David Chamberlain, dr. William Emerson shows that an overwhelming amount of physical conditions and behavioral disorders in are the direct result of traumatic gestation time and complications during delivery, including unnecessary mechanical interventions and an overdose of anesthesia.

Also, it turns out, on top of the devastating effect of trauma during the actual birth, what happens after it,- like routine impersonal postpartum care,- is also a source of trouble: lack of immediate warm, soft and nurturing contact with the mother, premature cutting of the cord, rude handling, circumcision, needles, bright lights, startling noises… all this sensory overload becomes instantly wired into the newborn’s nervous systems as the new “comfort zone”, against all logic. As logic resides in a different part of the brain, which is not quite developed yet. So that person will continue unconsciously recreate/attract the same repeated situation of abuse and/or become abusive. Even if later on in life his or hers rational mind/cortex will recognize this as pattern of “abuse,” the imprinting had already happened in a different part of the brain, which doesn’t have the skill to stop the pattern.

We can make an effort to heal our own birth trauma and embrace the opportunity of creating a masterpiece of our lives. We can recognize that however rude our beginning was, we do have a choice as adults to change our basic settings, to reprogram our limbic imprint and transmute our suffering and helplessness during birth into the love and joy of being born on this planet. We can regain our authentic power, clear the pain of our ancestors from our system, and set the stage for our children to step into their lives as peaceful, empowered guardians of Earth. I invite you to envision the possibilities that would open up for humankind if women fully claimed their original capacity that all mammals have – to give birth and raise our young without trauma.

Call me naïve, but I truly believe that we can improve the quality of our species in just one generation by allowing our kind to enter into this world without being ‘programmed’ on suffering and pain. I envision the new generation coming into the world of safety, compassion and common sense. Please, join me in this vision.” 

Birth, Baby, Chiropractice

See baby being pulled out by the neck? That’s a typical c-section, with the doctor pulling baby through an incision in mom’s abdomen. Those pulling forces are experienced by baby in most births, vaginal or cesarean, and cause a subtle shift in the top bone of the neck. And this can cause a variety of issues for the child. Since the nervous system controls and coordinates everything in the body, including development and healing, we have to make sure that a child’s nervous system is working properly. And the spine is the most common place in the body that can interfere with the nervous system, disrupting the amazing power that made the body.

Example: Despite being seen by neonatologists, pediatricians, lactation consultants, and a pediatric dentist who released 4 tongue/lip ties, no one could explain why Owen struggled to breastfeed. Mom thought nothing would change…then she tried chiropractic. After one gentle adjustment, which Owen melted into a relaxed bliss, things changed. He latched, and nursed. Mom sent a text soon after: “I just wanted to say thank you. We just got home and Owen nursed for 30 minutes…I can’t hardly believe it. I’ve cried for a week unable to provide for my babe, I’m so thankful! Whatever we are doing to him, it’s working.“

baby chiropractic

It is so important that every provider who works with pregnant women and children – OB/GYNs, midwives, perinatologists, pediatricians, neonatologists, lactation consultants, dentists, and others – understands that birth is physically stressful, and chiropractic offers a safe, gentle, and effective approach to helping Mom and baby navigate the transition from pregnancy to birth and beyond.

Source: Shtulman Family Chiropractic, USA,

Midwifery in India

Disgruntled with the way the hospital machinery functions, more and more couples in India are looking at other (happier) ways of bringing their babies into this world… And more certified independent midwives for one-on-one care are needed!

Article in The Hindu, 18. June 2018:

As pdf:

The midwifery model of childbirth – The Hindu

Healing powers of Spiraling

Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova speaks about ‘Spiraling’:

“When asked directly about why the Birth Into Being Method has such a staggering display of efficiency, I would always limit myself by saying something like ‘one of the main factors is that all of our processes are experienced by participants in a slightly altered states, achieved by a few very specific types of movement alternating with a few very specific types of breathing’. That was the most revealing statement about my work that I was open to sharing publically, feeling that I can’t properly introduce this deeply mystical experience in a brief intro and do it justice by giving out only a fraction of information. But at this point, it feels right to start sharing more openly. So, in this interview, you can see a short version of the First type of movement, necessary to gently ascend the group of people into that proverbial slightly altered state, up into the vortex of the Birthing Field, the very source of our creativity and sexuality, into the pre-cognitive space ‘beyond the Story’, in which they can easily access and activate their Free Will.  Done properly, it goes with very deep breathing in the rhythm of waves rolling on a seashore.  Do try this at home. It feels incredibly healing, recharging, rejuvenating. Let your body flow like a piece of seaweed on a bottom of a shallow lagoon, completely at the mercy of the pulse of Life Force that charges and moves the water around it! Allow yourself to experience in real time that level of surrender, support, and mercy, all at the same time… Sending you so much sweet longing for more of THAT in your Life, that will inevitably bring you more… It all starts with us knowing what we want and what we don’t want. Lots of Love and Blessings, Elena”


Birthing & Bonding

Joseph Chilton Pearce (January 14, 1926 – August 23, 2016) was an American author of a number of books on human development and child development.

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