Today’s profile of Leslie Stager, RN, LMT 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 Leslie’s profile.
What kind of work do you do with pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period?
I am a perinatal massage specialist (instructor and author), doula, Holistic Pelvic Care practitioner, former labor & delivery nurse and childbirth educator. I teach a maternity massage certification program and developed MotherTouch classes and DVD’s.
In what ways does Paganism affect your work?
My entire life has spiraled around earth-spirit-relationship, and wild and holy ways of honoring that. I lived alone in a cabin in the woods for a year in my youth. At that time, the Earth laid claim to my education, and has been my teacher ever since. That physical and spirit connection underlies all my work and awareness as I support women through the rites of passage of birth, death (as hospice nurse), and earth-living (wilderness guide for spirit renewal journeys). It’s what informs my understanding of how to be human, and how to stay rooted between earth and sky. This is vitally important in the birth process.
How can we honor what is sacred in childbearing?
By being present with whatever it is that is arising in the process, and present with how each woman perceives and experiences her birth. In the midst of highly technologized birthing, I bring a reminder of the original Source of energy through touch, through presence, through breath. These basics are what abide beyond the technological hospital birth realities; these basics bring us back to the miracle of life and breath moving through a woman’s body, and the rite of passage of becoming Mother and a child growing into being more and more human.
If you could tell Pagans one thing about pregnancy or birth, what would it be?
Holding and building life in the womb-pelvis can remind women that they are part of the most potent creative force possible–Women make humans! Pagans can recognize and honor the sacred temple (called the pelvis & womb) throughout the perinatal cycle for its life-generating and transformative processes.
Find Leslie on the web at: