In a recent episode of her “Orgasmic Enlightenment,” Kim Anami spoke with Rachelle Garcia Seliga, midwife and founder of Innate Traditions, about the power of intuitive birthing. The episode delves into the five pillars of restorative postpartum, challenging the understanding of depression felt by new mothers and putting forward explanations for why many women struggle in the postpartum phase.
Anami is a holistic sex and relationship coach who draws her knowledge from a blend of neuroscience, Tantra, and Taoism and her own experiences. In this episode, she talks about how the roots of postpartum depression aren’t often discussed because the phenomenon has become so normalized, through social media and other forums. One of the roots she sees is a severe lack of community support. “Most mothers [are] in isolation,” Anami said. “Their partners are working, they don’t have people around them. They are alone with their babies.”
Anami argues modern birth is damaging for women who experience a total disconnect from the natural birthing process. She believes the postpartum time is something women need to move into the new phase of motherhood. “That ability to rest really gives us that opportunity to go inward and to intuitively connect to the eons of wisdom that we have within our lineage of how to be a mother,” Anami said. “Birth was meant to be a transcendent, pleasurable, even orgasmic experience. Postpartum is meant to be a euphoric, psychedelic even, transcendent experience. And if it’s not, that’s because we’ve stumbled and gotten lost along the way.”
In this episode, Seliga charts her journey as a midwife, speaking about how it pushed her to start Innate Traditions to bring midwives back to the core of the birthing experience. This included encouraging a deeper understanding of the postpartum experience for new mothers by training practitioners on physiologic postpartum care. Seliga used postpartum traditions around the world as her teaching guide. “It’s based upon this physiologic map that we have in our bodies in the postpartum period as women,” she said. “When we follow this map, we have a clear road towards health and wellness and regeneration in the postpartum time.”
Anami and Seliga talked about the importance of rest during this postpartum period to allow the pelvic tissues and pelvic ligaments, along with the rest of the body, to heal. Part of this healing process, Seliga said, is eating warm, nutrient-rich foods that are easy for the postpartum body to digest. Physical warmth and community during this phase help new mothers recover. “A postpartum mother can’t do any of these things in the postpartum time without a social network of support,” Seliga said. “We’re human beings and we co-regulate and that’s how we stay healthy and well.”
Seliga sees the postpartum period as a crucial time for the future of a woman and a family. “It’s preventative medicine for relationships, for pelvic health, for immune health,” she said. Anami’s work as a holistic health and relationship coach also shows the importance of emotional support in warding off future physical and relationship traumas. “The long-term damage of not receiving that is huge and filters out into the marriage, into her body for decades to come,” Anami said.
Seliga said postpartum depression is also a time when many women become aware of their lack of community for the first time, which causes an intense emotional reaction. “Grief is a really massive thing that comes up,” she said. This also holds true for partners during the postpartum period, since many men have not been equipped to deal with the intensity of these feelings. “We have friends. We have more communities. We have groups to tend to. We have these things. And the men don’t have a lot of that,” Seliga said.
In her Sexual Mastery for Men Salon, Anami said she has observed this phenomenon among her students. “Many of them have commented, it’s the first experience they’ve had of this, they have never been in a group of men where they’re all in that energy together and that purpose together,” she said. In becoming more aware of how community and wellness can come from the postpartum period, couples can be better equipped to support each other through it.
In addition to her Sexual Mastery for men salon, Anami also offers online courses including How To Be a Well-F–ked Woman, Coming Together Couples Salon, Sexy Mama Salon, and G-Spot Ecstacy, which will open late next year. Her Kung Fu Vagina class opens up in January 2023.