Today’s profile of Nadirah Adeye is part of our series profiling people who work with pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period (prenatal massage therapists, childbirth educators, OB/GYNs, doulas, midwives, lactation consultants, labor & delivery nurses, pediatricians, etc.) and are Pagan or work with a Pagan community. Check out the previous Birth Guardian profiles. If you would like to be a part of the series please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now here’s Nadirah’s profile.
I am a trained labor and delivery doula (for homebirths and/or hospital births) and a post partum doula. I’ve been fortunate to be able to witness and support families in my community as well as having my own initiation into motherhood in 2010. I believe that a large part of my work is supporting mothers/families in envisioning and planning for their ideal birthing/early parenting experiences (however that looks and feels) and then being a liaison between that vision and the reality that unfolds during the birth and the time immediately following.
In what ways does Paganism affect your work?
Being a doula and a priestess, I feel blessed to be able to approach birth from a perspective that is grounded in Nature, and honors Mystery. Most people are affected by the sight and presence of a pregnant woman. Many are not conscious of why. I appreciate that I am able to witness that magnetism with awareness- there is great magick in seeing someone standing and walking between the worlds and then being a gateway to bring another life (or lives) from beyond the veil.
How can we honor what is sacred in childbearing?
For the birthing mother, I’d say that this is a time to really embrace (and expand) your capacity to receive, to rest, to hibernate, and to be pampered. Carrying and bringing forth new life is Sacred Work. (So is motherhood, but, frankly, it’s a whole lot more work and significantly less pampering.)
For those in a birthing mother’s community, this is an opportunity to serve and revere the Goddess embodied before you. Do so impeccably- your contribution is a gift to the growing child and to the birth of a new mother.
If you could tell Pagans one thing about pregnancy or birth, what would it be?
A supportive community (and especially other experienced mothers) can make all of the difference to a new mommy’s experience. Without any disrespect to active and engaged fathers, no one can understand and support the process of a new mother like another mother. I’ve seen and heard this to be true time and time again.
That being said, pregnancy, birth, and parenting are initiated mysteries. Your story and experiences will be your own.