Holistic Mama, an Interview With Leigh Anne

What first got you interested in a natural lifestyle or natural birth?
My journey to a natural lifestyle began in 2003. During that year I began learning natural family planning and began massage therapy school. Then a year later, when we started trying-to-conceive, thanks to NFP charting, we realized I had fertility issues, and I was having miscarriages. I had 3 miscarriages and severe fertility issues, before acupuncture and Chinese herbs helped my body heal. Then my husband and I started chiropractic school. We had been under chiropractic care for over 3 years prior to starting school, but we didn’t get the message of what chiropractic and wellness was all about till my fertility issues were recognized and we began chiropractic school. Then a year later, while in chiropractic school, we found out I was pregnant with our first child, a very welcome surprise. This began my passionate journey into natural living, health, wellness, birth, and parenting.

What subject would you say you are most passionate about (circumcision, birth, vaccines, etc) and why?
I cannot say I am more passionate about one of these than the other, as for me they are all a part of being a conscious and natural parent. I would say my real passion lies with truthful education, advocacy, and inspiration about all areas of natural living and parenting.

How do you incorporate your passions into your lifestyle through work or education? (ie doula work, childbirth education, blogging, or just talking to friends.)
I am very blessed in that, my passions are my life! I live my passions in my daily life, in my interactions with my family, in my work, and in both my continued education and the education of others. My work as a doula, childbirth educator, holistic parenting coach, nutritionist, and many other things, allows me to share my passions with other families, through all of these methods, and more.

What are some of your favorite resources for new mothers? (books, web sites,ect)
For expectant women my favorite resource is Pam England’s book, “Birthing from Within.” I feel this book addresses the emotional preparedness for birth that is most often ignored, as many parents in our society tend to focus on ‘what color is the nursery’, ‘what stroller do we have’, etc., etc.; instead of ‘am I ready to experience birth, to go through the hormonal and emotional process, and to be a parent’. In fact, ‘do I even know what it truly means to me to be a parent’ is often times very much overlooked, and it is all about techniques and logistics, not about the love and connection the child truly needs.
For new and/or expectant parents, as it is beneficial to read before becoming a parent, I HIGHLY recommend Jean Liedloff’s, “Continuum Concept” (http://www.continuum-concept.org/) and Pam Leo’s, “Connection Parenting.” (http://www.connectionparenting.com/) These books both address the psychological nurturing and connection our children need and are often deprived of the way our current culture raises children.
For parents wanting to learn natural whole food nutrition I LOVE Sally Fallon’s, “Nourishing Traditions” book. It challenges our culture’s standard, politically driven, diet; as well as, shows how traditional cultures nourished their families and maintained health in a very natural way, through diet and nutrition.
I encourage all parents, or parents-to-be, to explore chiropractic for pregnancy and children. The ICPA (http://www.icpa4kids.org/) has tons of research, resources, and a directory of providers.

What experiences have you had that made you think, changed you deeply, or made you more sensitive to the situations of others regarding. You know what I mean, those humbling, growth experiences.

I believe we are all meant to learn and become a stronger more humble person based on all of our experiences if we allow ourselves to be open to this growth. I feel that my experiences with infertility, miscarriages, a very traumatic birth with my first child, and a very healing vaginal birth with my second child has made me who I am and passionate about the things that I am. Without these experiences to drive my own passion to learn and educate myself, I may not be the woman and mother I am today. These experiences have made me feel able to connect with moms in a vast array of situations, and really support them on their own journey.

What do you see as the biggest challenge/problem in obstetrics today and how do you think it could/should change? How are you trying to bring about change.
I believe that the fear of birth is the biggest challenge and problem in the obstetrical community today. Obstetrics is a management based profession, and they are taught the things that may go wrong during birth and how to manage those things. They are not taught that birth is actually a normal, natural, and very safe process, and with a little faith and trust in the process the things they are taught that go wrong are actually very rare. I believe that the education of normal natural birth and how to trust the process needs to be a part of their education. However, it may be that the solution is for the profession, as well as, the public, to learn the role and place obstetrics has, and should remain, in high-risk and emergency situations only. The general public needs to be educated on the truth that birth is safe, normal, natural, and not to be feared. Once that happens then balance may possibly be obtained.

Share with us your blog or web site so everybody can get to know you better!
I am the Founder and President/CEO of VBAC Support International (http://www.VBACSupport.com)
My practice websites are Nourishing Origins (http://www.NourishingOrigins.com) and, along with my husband, Dr. Joseph DuChene, Jr., DuChene Natural Health Center (http://www.DuCheneNaturalHealth.com).
I am also the Founder and President of Holistic Family Heritage (http://www.HolisticFamilyHeritage.com) and the leader of DFW Holistic Families (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dfwholisticfamilies).
You are invited to follow me on Facebook at Holistic Mama (http://www.facebook.com/HolisticMama).