To commemorate World Book Day, we at IVF-Life Group are celebrating the unique bond between motherhood and Mother Earth by interviewing Sonia Serra, co-author of the book Mothers of Mother Earth.
This inspiring work captures, through text and the illustrations of Venezuelan artist Carola Vergara, a range of wonderful and inspiring traditions connected to motherhood and pregnancy from across the globe.
Within its pages, various cultural traditions related to pregnancy and the arrival of a new life are explored. The book takes an emotive and heart-warming tone, emphasising the importance of connecting with the positive and natural aspects of pregnancy.
Discovering "Mothers of Mother Earth": Ancestral Traditions Surrounding Birth
In Mothers of Mother Earth, Sonia Serra invites us to delve into customs and beliefs that have connected humans with nature and the cycle of life for centuries. Through her writing, the author immerses herself in the habits, traditions, and mysteries that have accompanied humanity since time immemorial.
Stories from every region of the world bring life to the book’s pages. Just as the Navajo people of North America danced and sang to honour nature and celebrate birth, Mothers of Mother Earth highlights some of the most beautiful traditions surrounding fertility.
In Africa, for example, some communities measure pregnancy duration in lunar cycles rather than months, associating the celestial body with femininity and childbirth. Meanwhile, in Hindu tradition, expectant mothers observe a ritual called Simantonnayana, invoking divine protection and blessings for their unborn child. Both instances demonstrate how humans have sought understanding in nature to comprehend life’s cycles, naturally grasping the workings of our own nature.
Connecting with Human Essence: The Importance of Earth and Spirituality in Pregnancy
Serra’s work underscores the need to reclaim the naturalness of pregnancy and the importance of connecting with our human nature. Sonia guides us through the stories of ancient cultures where the birth of a baby was a sacred event, celebrated in communion with the natural world.
Mothers of Mother Earth becomes a work filled with hope and positivity, offering a heart-warming perspective on the essence of humanity. Through simple and relatable poetry, Sonia conveys the importance of recognising the beauty of pregnancy, showcasing the wisdom of our ancestors that inspires us to live consciously and in harmony with our surroundings.
Another example from the book is the Hawaiian tradition of “pū’olo”, a bundle containing the newborn’s umbilical cord alongside personal items and gifts from nature. This bundle is placed in a sacred location or buried as a symbol of connection with ancestors and the Earth, bringing the spirit of indigenous Hawaiians closer to their roots. The Andean worldview holds Pachamama, Mother Earth, as a deity providing life, energy, and strength for pregnancy and birth to mothers.
A Message of Positivity and Hope: Embracing Motherhood in Harmony and Peace
Although modern life with its fast pace and demands often causes us to forget the importance of happiness in fostering pregnancy, it was once considered vital and remains so in other cultures. With this premise, Sonia introduces her book with a clear motivation: to help mothers connect with their roots and the naturalness of pregnancy.
Michel Odent, a renowned French obstetrician and pioneer of natural childbirth theories, asserted that the first three recommendations for a pregnant woman should be “Eat sardines, be happy, and don’t forget to sing!” This endearing sentiment is echoed throughout the book’s stories and reflections.
According to Sonia Serra herself, this book aims to provide a different perspective on motherhood than what is commonly experienced today. She believes that in our current fast-paced lives, we don’t fully enjoy the experiences that life offers. This book serves as a space to reflect and relax while focusing on the most beautiful aspects of life.
The book’s natural perspective, reminding us of the presence of plant life, cultural traditions, and sounds in our everyday lives, offers a different approach than what we usually experience in the modern world, especially for women who are planning to become or are already on their journey to motherhood.
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