Maha Al Musa
Byron Bay Australia
Name of your business-
Bellydance For Birth
My role –
Founder Of Bellydance For Birth- The Al Musa method
Aminah just born in 2008 when I was 46 years of age – a home water lotus birth-
Why do you love all things pregnancy birth and baby?
Because it is the source of our Earthly existence! The point of entry for us all into this wild, interesting and crazy world! …I find it a fascinating subject to explore from a base level of survival …….to understand how our lives are impacted through the way we were conceived, gestated, birthed and parented ……how do our experiences as babies have an effect on and affect our life journey? These are the areas around pregnancy birth and baby I love …..the humble and the potent ……..human spiritual pathways …..
And of course nothing is as yummy as cradling my babies in arms devouring their dew like scent after birth……if I could bottle this dew as my own “go to” essence and sniff it every time I was overwhelmed , tired, unsure, struggling I would be forever in gratitude………
What brought you to this line of work?
My children!!! My soul path……..a mystery that I trusted!!
When I was finally pregnant with my first born Kailash in 1996 (he is 18 today!!) the experience that I had longed for opened doorways into my mothering experience that opened my eyes and heart.
The day I gave birth to him was a day that changed my life. I could not understand how the power of birthing I was initiated in to at his labour was hidden from the world. Where was the woman’s voice of birth? Why was it not being shouted from the rooftops of societies admired and respected acts !! The truth of birthing seemed silenced, missing in action! I was amazed at this kind of disregard for what I considered to be a prime mover experience, an acute awakener, a most profound experience that we as women had the gift of dancing in to. And the ridiculous can I even say stupid to unrealistic falling into insulting portrayal of birth in movies, television and in the wider mainstream.
I decided from that moment forward I wanted to be a voice for women to tell the truth about birth with grace and fire! 18 years later I am still honouring this commitment and I thank my son Kailash for this great gift.
What does your work involve and why do you feel it’s so important?
I started teaching Bellydance For Birth -Path To Sacred Birthing in 1997 when Kàilash was 6 months of age. It has expanded deeper and deeper in to teaching spiritual birth and mother/baby reverence.
His birth not only opened my heart space 100 fold it also flung open the floodgate to connecting with my Middle Eastern cultural roots (Palestinian/ Lebanese). I had grown up in Australia and always sensed I didn’t completely belong in the Anglo Saxon world. I was fascinated from a small child and attracted to Aboriginal indigenous culture..the connection to Land, Animals, Earth, Ocean, People and mystery………I felt a strong pull to my Palestinian roots, to my grandmother who had birthed 9 babies in our family home in Al Qubab Palestine pre 1948……now destroyed……..I felt the essence of these roots within my womb and woven together in and around my baby. This feeling is why I deeply sensed and resonated with birthing as a very important rite of passage……I never considered it to be medically managed. Of course if medical intervention is needed it is welcomed and I wanted to share birth from the possibility and probability that everything could go right, that mother and baby being at the centre, that birth is a healing modality, a place for a woman to excavate to her deepest core essence, an opportunity for spiritual evolution where she doesn’t need to be saved, she needs to be supported on her journey and the importance of the truthful voice of the feminine as an essential dynamic of balance for the expression of love, compassion, and forgiveness, one love one heart on the planet.
I strongly believe that once we start to view birth in the realm of a feminine rite of passage and not as a medical emergency where women’s bodies will open when they are loved and that her experience in birth and beyond is vital to human survival and most importantly that a babies arrival Earth side has a huge influence on a child’s life into adulthood. Simply put the opportunity we have to imprint Love in our nervous systems (as opposed to fear states) is available to us as a species both pre natally and defined in the journey after we are born. This knowledge is potentially huge …….it could change the whole course of human evolution in to a place where people loved, cared for, had compassion, empathy, insight, unity for one a other….that we would be a human race that actually is loving toward co-operation and co creation to thrive instead of to separate through greed and power that creates division and disharmony…….the time is now for women to rise up against birth abuses and say no!!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give a pregnant woman?
I have one piece of advice that covers it all in my 18 years of sharing and that is
The Living Book is within – Read Her!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give a new mum?
The same piece of advice applies to a new mum
The Living Book is within – Read Her!
And essentially as we walk this path the greatest gift we can give ourselves is compassion and patience. To know that you are always in the right place, at the right time for the right reason……dont be hard on yourself – this is a journey of awakening, transformation and new insights in to yourself and relationship with a human being – your baby – nothing has quite touched this place so be open to the mystery, surrender into the challenges and everything that comes your way – believe in your convictions don’t let society bully you out of heart knowing space – stay strong…….
Do you have any great tips for childbirth or a ‘must have?’
The must have that I advocate to pregnant women and have shared and am most passionate about this –
The mother with her baby is the expert …
Do not hand your power away……believe in the probability and possibility that everything will go right. If you are seeking advice, help, guidance it is your right to reach out and ask.
The blueprint of birth is within you …….your body wisdom knows how to give birth so open to trust in this knowing ………
What is your personal birth philosophy?
That a woman’s body knows how to birth……..is an essential piece of advice. Disempowering a mother moves her away from her essential knowledge as empowering a mother moves her closer. The feminine birthing mystical codes are always available to her in every moment…….a woman must find the thread of strength and empowerment that connects her to every woman that has come before her and will come after her …..connecting with this lineage give her strength with her baby as she dances in to this deep potent collective well of sisterhood – What personally frustrates and angers me is the way we as a society disempower women so they no longer connect to their body wisdom and rely on the outside to be helped……..I believe that when we disregard the voice of the feminine in the birthing experience this impacts upon the way we view Mother Earth that which also nourishes and sustains us. There is a direct correlation between birthing mothers, the way babies are born and raised and how we care for our environment.
I am adamant that we must stop this birth numbing of a woman’s story and begin to revere and accept her journey before rushing in with interventions and drugs. Women don’t need saving they need support and respect.
What are your thoughts on preparing for childbirth?
Well as I have taught a beauty full holistic birth practice Bellydance For Birth for 18 years I advocate and encourage as the number 1 preparation that a mother with her baby turn inward and connect with herself – the emotional, spiritual, physical and energetic self – as a daily practise. This does not mean that we will step in to birth completely absolved and clear with no challenges or surprises. This can never be the case. If we also accept birth as a mystery then we are always open within our 4 bodies to whatever may arise.
Preparing for childbirth in this modern day we have an exhaustive list of must haves and to be’s and to do’s- it seems that the moment of now is lost in translation, submerged beneath an overload of information “out there” designed to disorientate away from the Living Book within.
Women don’t need to heavily rely on lists of things in order to give birth, she needs to rely on simple preparations – nourish her body through food, exercise, sleep, be in a safe and supportive environment, feel a connection to Nature, love from partner or support network, natural body postures and a trust in the journey…..the less stress and worry the better the outcome. These are the organic kinds of preparation we need to implement so a woman takes self-responsibility and is guided by her inner wisdom.
Your top tips for getting back to work after birth and working around your family?
I feel it essential that women are supported for at the very least 40 days or 6 weeks after giving birth. That is a minimal requirement. The Chinese medicine philosophy is that it actually takes a woman’s body two years to recover and rejuvenate and build up chi after giving birth. I agree. Unfortunately in general, our modern society is not very compassionate toward postpartum recovery. Women are expected to get up and on with it days after giving birth! This can interfere with milk supply, bonding with her baby and mothers energy levels.
So my tip is that if you can, before giving birth, create a sisterhood/brotherhood of support that you can rely upon after you have had your baby. This can go a long way in ensuring a mother has the space and time to indulge, immerse, fall in love and know she is being cared for with her baby by without undue stresses and worries.
My final words ……….
How we treat mothers (and fathers / parents) and provide space, safety, care for birthing and parenting has relevance in terms of our attitudes toward our whole human race and impact whether we are guided by peace and love or division on a local and global scale. Once we can understand that our capacity to love is the keystone of our future as human beings and the mantra “peace on earth starts at birth” is not some way out philosophy but relevant and truly a necessary consideration then perhaps we can positively make respectful and meaningful changes that uphold a united stand for compassion, generosity, unity for one and for all.
I declare that we unite to consciously see birthing women and babies as sacred beings on a sacred path. We must take a stand toward eliminating birth violence by revering, respecting and elevating the standard of truth in childbirth placing birth back in to the hands, hearts, minds and spirit of mothers and babies.
Maha Al Musa
SOME EXTRA PIECES FROM ME
“Back to basics birthing ……….
Bellydancebirth is an ancient art that brings birth back into the heart womb and body of a woman. When a woman dances throughout pregnancy she has an opportunity to tune in to where her baby is positioned and which positions she needs to move her body. It is an empowering tool because it directs the mothers intuitive knowing so she becomes the expert in this her rite of passage journey. The circle spiral and figure 8 movements practised as mindful movements in pregnancy can be modified and adapted in labour.
For eg in pregnancy when a mother dances by rotating her hips in circular form this helps to loosen ligaments and release pelvic joints as well as encourage baby into an optimal position. The mother can also connect with her baby to intuit where and how it is lying within her womb and pelvis.
Then in labour itself she can modify these circular movements as she welcomes and dances into the rhythms and expansions of labour. Her intuitive awareness will be activated and she will know how to move her pelvis and whole body releasing tension and surrendering into labour expansions. She may for eg choose to lift up one foot placing it on to a small step or chair and rotate her pelvis on one side to re position baby and create space on one side of her pelvis. She may move in expanded larger hip circles with breath and sound, perhaps leaning against a partner or on a ball or leaning against a wall or chair and deeply circling and spiralling being guided by her baby and inner wisdom. The mantra that I share that supports mother as expert is that the
“living book is within – read her.”
Maha Al Musa
“BellydanceBirth is more than just mindful mystical movement for birth – it is centered around birth as a rite of passage for mother and the potency of the love entry in to the world for a baby…..my emphasis is on birth truth and mother/baby advocacy – spiritual sacred birth and freeing the feminine voice through birth – and respecting, upholding and revering this knowledge xx”
Maha Al Musa
I have been an advocate of letting a woman Be in birth -exactly where her emotional and energetic body with her baby asks of her in every moment…..if she need help or guidance she is a light that shines on her own needs……whether she is in fear, joy, ecstasy, confusion, grace, elated, anger, rage, happiness, contentedness and the list goes on…I have argued till the cows come home to stop numbing and anesthetizing women by modifying and changing the course of her birth experience because we “know better”..let her excavate to the depths of her story, plunge deeply into her experience and FEEL everything….birth is a rite of passage not a right of outside interference……mother is at center stage with her baby…let her have this moment in the limelight xxxx
Maha Al Musa