Holistic Perspectives & Directory For Northern India


Birthing Professionals

Upfront & Straight forward


In view of the current situation in North India – lack of awareness amongst pregnant parents and medical professionals as well as a lack of facilities –  we have decided to move forward with a hands-on-approach: we ask for donations. The money that reaches us will be immediately used for awareness campaigns, networking & research, website maintenance AND eventually for funding the implementation of a holistic birthing sanctuary near Dehradun (Uttarakhand). 

Thank you very much in advance for your support. 

Conscious Birthing Northern India

Contribution for: Site Maintenance, Awareness Campaign & Vision Implementation


Conscious Birthing Northern India

Contribution for: Site Maintenance, Awareness Campaign & Vision Implementation


Conscious Birthing Northern India

Contribution for: Site Maintenance, Awareness Campaign & Vision Implementation


Conscious Birthing Northern India

Contribution for: Site Maintenance, Awareness Campaign & Vision Implementation


Conscious Birthing Northern India

Contribution for: Site Maintenance, Awareness Campaign & Vision Implementation


Note: Crowdfunding is a new type of fundraising where you can raise funds for your own personal cause, even if you’re not a registered charity. The project leader is responsible for the distribution of funds raised.

Confidentiality: You can donate / contribute knowing your donation will be handled discreetly and securely by us.

Birthing Dilemma in Dehradun

Here we go, once again, a pregnant lady from Rishikesh contacted us, asking for a place and a doctor that would allow her a natural birthing experience. And once again, I have no one to recommend in this region! Once again I directed a pregnant woman towards South India: Kerala and Hyderabad.

It is exasperating, infuriating even, that women cannot get any holistic support for their birth planning in Uttarakhand. Forget homebirths and waterbirths. There are just no midwives / doulas around, and even if one can be found, there are no doctors / ob-gyns as back up, who have the necessary holistic view, the commitment and integrity. Because even if doctors say they support zero/minimal intervention, they tend to change their minds last minute. Usually, money is the reason, as they can charge much more for c -sections etc. Standardised clinical birthing is also time efficient (‘cookie cutter principle’) and fairly foreseeable in terms of risks. And although women might be able to get the natural birth with no epidural, they still get episiotomy and made to stay in the bed in one position… 

The ob-gyns in Rishikesh really are a disaster, and this is not only a conclusion from my own research and experience but that of various local and foreign women, pregnant or not. Gynaecologists are rude and condescending. Not listening, not interested, not resourceful. At times not properly informed / up to date either. Ok-ish, if you just need a quick ultrasound, otherwise to be avoided. 

Women have the right to individual maternity care, but do not receive it. Instead they have no other option than to submit to standardised, rushed procedures, rough, superficial examinations and a ‘programmed conveyer-belt birthing’ with lack of choice and loss of control.

Lack of consent and direct violations of rights, occur on a daily basis in childbirth: women forced into medical interventions without consent and without plausible benefit to their baby – including forced internal vaginal examinations, verbal coercion and lack of information / explanations. This has nothing to do with ‘care’. This is plain disrespect and abuse. And it happens in both developed and developing nations.

I repeat the following although it has been said many times before. Short and longterm implications for mums and children after stressful, hurried, medicated and invasive births are well documented: 

Physical consequences (pains, reduced lactation, unhealed episiotomy etc) as well as psychological issues (e.g. on mum’s side postnatal depression, self-doubts and affected self-worth (disconnect to own body), rejecting neonate, reduced / dysfunctional bonding with baby, sexual avoidance / fear of future births, relationship disruption with partner / broken-down relationships  and on the child’s side (especially as adult): lack of confidence, relationship issues, permanent latent anger / rage, unexplained infertility, soul split / dissociation).

While these might seem to be negligible in the context of an overall physically healthy mother and child, there are significant long-term familial and social implications, e.g. inter-generational trauma, no subsequent children after traumatic labour, spreading of further horror stories, shrinking of families and troubling demographics (aging population and lack of children / youth – which is not an issue in India currently, but in Western countries such as Germany).

The maternity care system in trouble. And looking away is NOT the solution. At least women notice and begin to listen to their inner voice, demand information and facilities. Expectant parents begin to question the ‘take over’ by doctors/ nurses/ gadgets/ medication. And we can only encourage woman and mums to listen to what they know deep within, inform themselves and take heed: confidently demand what they need.

Also human right organisations are beginning to notice that high level clinical competence and technologies are NOT ENOUGH. Required are time, silence, trust and above all heartfelt care (empathy) and respect. 

Birthing is not a disease or drama, but a natural event, and the bodies of mum and baby know what to do, if given space and reassurance.

If there are any Indian ob gyn doctors, midwives / doulas, maternity care professionals and even sponsors (!) who resonate with our approach and vision, please get in touch. With joined efforts, we should be able to create the much needed birthing sanctuary in Uttarakhand. Similar to the Birth Village in Kochin / Kerala, and Fernandez Hospital / Storck Home in Hyderabad. 

white ribbon alliance.png

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 ancient times 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:

WHO Recommends Doulas Attend Births

“WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist” has been developed to support the delivery of essential maternal and perinatal care practices. The Checklist addresses the major causes of maternal death (haemorrhage, infection, obstructed labour and hypertensive disorders), intrapartum-related stillbirths (inadequate intrapartum care), and neonatal deaths (birth asphyxia, infection and complications related to prematurity). It was developed following a rigorous methodology and tested for usability in ten countries across Africa and Asia.

An implementation guide for health facilities has been developed to help birth attendants and health-care leaders successfully launch and sustain use of the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist. The simple document lists basic interventions. Amongst the six instructions: “Encourage birth companion to be present at birth”.

Birth companions provide support to the mother during birthing and in the postpartum period. They can also recognise danger signs, alert health care workers in case of emergency and care for the baby. Possible birth companions are the spouse, a family member, friend, health worker or doula. 

Evidence shows that birth companions can help to improve health outcomes. The emotional and psychological benefit cannot be emphasised enough. The presence of birth companions increases the likelihood that the mother will have a spontaneous vaginal delivery instead of caesarian, vacuum or forceps birth. Mothers with birth companions have also been shown to need fewer pain medication, to have shorter birthing process and be better satisfied with their delivery experience.

This is great news for doulas as they receive validation from the most influential health organisation in the world. 


benefits doula


Of the more than 130 million births occurring each year, an estimated 303 000 result in the mother’s death, 2.6 million in stillbirth, and another 2.7 million in a newborn death within the first 28 days of birth. The majority of these deaths occur in low-resource settings and most could be prevented.

BetterBirth study

Since 2012, WHO has been supporting a multi-centred randomized controlled trial in more than 100 hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, India, to test whether adoption of the Checklist improves health outcomes for mothers and newborns.

The trial is being conducted by the Ariadne Labs, a joint centre of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



Become a Doula!

Learn about doulas, how labor works and how our ideas about birth can shape our experience of birthing in this awesome talk by Ginny Phang:

Ginny Phang is passionate about enriching a woman’s child birth experience, supporting couples through their choices and helping them to achieve the best possible birth experience. As a Doula, she has supported over 300 births and taught antenatal classes to hundreds of couples.

She’s been speaking all over the world in front of audiences ranging from small groups of single pregnant women to the Singapore International Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecol­ogy. She’s been trained by pioneers in childbirth education and labor support. She’s been quoted all over the place, including TIME magazine and other publications.

Information on Doula training:


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