An Impromptu dialogue between Ina May Gaskin and BOLD founder Karen Brody

Some days are just meant to be…my grandmother called it ‘beshert.’ And so it was when I popped over to see Ina May Gaskin – the ‘Mother of Midwifery’ – interviewed at a national radio station blocks from my house. Lisa Reagan of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine was there with a cameraman. They asked us to sit down and just chat. And that’s what we did. Birthing Babies. The play. All of it. Enjoy.
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‘Just a mom’ birth activist?

I’m writing to you on a plane returning from the birth activist retreat in Utah. Not only am I high up in the air and high from spending three days at 9,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains…

I’m high from all the amazing activists who I met who are changing the culture of birth.
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There were so many gems I received from the birth activist retreat, but the one that stood out the most is this from Michal Klaus Stevens of BirthNetwork National.

She said that teaching community organizing skills to birth activists is crucial if we want to change the culture of birth.

YES!

Hearing this brought me right back to my community organizer roots and why after starting two birth networks and writing the play BIRTH I created the BOLD Method for Birth…

to give birth activists the community organizing tools they need to change the culture of birth…

and to FINALLY provide a way for amazing birth network leaders with no credentials (like being a doula or midwife) a way to monetize the empowerment work they do.

A BIG part of me wants to shy away from saying the word ‘monetizing.’

Nobody follows a calling like changing the culture of birth for the money.

But the reality is that especially leaders of birth networks who have no credentials behind them other than ‘mom’ work many unpaid hours. They head down to their local farmers market every week to set up a birth information booth. They manage social media pages to raise awareness. They counsel sometimes hundreds of pregnant women, many with birth trauma.

I know, I did this for years.

This model can work for a year or two for some families, but let’s face it: leading a birth network with no other paid income for decades is not sustainable unless you’re married to a person from the Gates family,.

And I don’t know about you but I’m not. :)

I’ve seen too many birth network leaders stop doing their work…some because they ran out of steam…but many because they ran out of cash.

It’s a serious issue.

Why? Because birth network leaders are a big reason pregnant moms find mother-friendly maternity care options, they’re the ones who get hundreds of consumers to rallies, among so many other reasons.

I’d love to tell you without birth certifications to go get business skills and you’ll be able to monetize what you do. Sure, if you have a really specific skill or a unique technique that you use with pregnant women it might work.

But what is crucial for so many birth activists without certifications is to gain formal skills for working with pregnant moms in addition to learning how to monetize it.

So…since I’m super-high from the birth activist retreat….and because I started doing birth work as a concerned mom with no credentials for many years….unpaid…with no avenues and clue for monetizing what I do…

I’ve decided to open up the BOLD Birth Facilitator Training Program from now until the American Labor Day (September 2nd) for birth activists who have no birth related certifications…..and to charge only half price at www.changethecultureofbirth.com.

Quite honestly, I’m never going to offer half off again. Any business person knows it’s a little nutty. But I was feeling nutty this weekend….and it wasn’t just the altitude.

I’m nutty for every woman working herself silly to be planting the seeds of empowerment with pregnant women….to be learning specific community organizing skills….and to have the skills to monetize empowerment.

birth activist 2Clearly I’ve got a touch of Rocky Mountain Birth Fever.

We need all the people who are passionate about changing the culture of birth, about improving women’s human rights, about seeing women step up and own their birth experiences….to stay on this journey.

One mom I met this weekend told me that she has been doing birth work with her local birth network for the past decade. And guess what? She’s broke.

“I’m ready to change that model.” She told me.

So many other women whispered this to me over this past weekend.

It’s possible to change the model. You can be a doer AND a receiver.

The bottom line is for you to reach down deep and ask yourself:

· How do I want to serve pregnant women?
· How can I monetize this?
· Who’s teaching skills I would love to teach?

If the BOLD Birth Facilitator Training Program feels right for you, the online training program opens on Labor Day so I’ll see you then.

In addition to the online training you’ll receive a one hour birth business 101 MP3 to help you start thinking about how to monetize your skills. Plus all students get access to month group coaching with me live for one year.

This is the final enrollment in the BOLD Method for Birth training for 2013.

For more info and to register for this huge HALF OFF discount just head over to www.changethecultureofbirth.com.

No matter what, keep pushing.

BOLD love,
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PS: Know someone who might want to take advantage of this offer? Please share this info with your birth activist networks. Offer ends midnight on Labor Day.

PPSS: Have you heard of BirthNetwork National? If not, you should! They have birth networks all over. If there’s not one in your area be BOLD and start one!

Watch Birth Activist Retreat Online

fearlessThis Friday I’m headed to Utah for the second annual birth activist retreat.

I can only imagine what it’s like to be in a room with birth activists for three days, dreaming and scheming about changing the culture of birth.

I’ll be talking about my journey from birthing my kids at home, not knowing a thing about the birthing climate, to starting the BOLD movement out of my living room (and bedroom!) with my play BIRTH and now the BOLD Method for Birth.

We’ll even perform Amanda’s “My Body Rocks” scene from the play!

And here’s some great news…

Now you can be there, at home, heck, even in your pajamas. :)

To find out more about watching the birth activist retreat via the web click here.

You don’t even have to watch live, when you sign up you’ll get the video footage forever.

I love being in a room of doers. It inspires me to keep going. To stand together. To be BOLD no matter what.

In addition to all the birth visioning, though, I’m thrilled to also be addressing a very real issue among doers like us: burnout. I’ve been there and learned the hard way what exhaustion can do to our bodies, minds, and spirit.

So, yes, there will be yoga nidra napping, that revolutionary ancient yogic sleep tool you’ve heard me love on!

I can’t stress how important it is for anyone who is a visionary and serves others with all their heart and soul…to also serve themselves.

Every day visionaries wake up saying: what can I achieve today? I know this song all too well. There’s so much work to be done to change the culture of birth…and add to that the fullness in our homes….whoa…it’s a BOLD bundle.

What if we also made a commitment to rest? To be? To make a difference to others AND ourselves.

I’m gonna be BOLD about that too at the retreat.

I know it’s tough to fly to Utah, but I hope you can join us at the retreat online no matter what. If you feel an inner calling to change the culture of birth this retreat will light your fire even brighter.

If you’re watching please do tweet with me during the retreat or follow me at BOLD Birth on Facebook.

Love, BOLDness, and visionary fist-bumps,
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