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It is with great pleasure that I have been asked by Ian White to write this submission for the March newsletter with its specific focus and reflections for women. I have been personally using and professionally prescribing the Australian Bush Flower Essences (ABFE) for nearly 20 years and I am a passionate advocate and practitioner for women’s health and wellbeing.

My heart’s work is centred in a range of holistic pregnancy and birth support services. I consider myself a Spiritual Doula and Birth Lightworker so naturally the ABFE have formed a huge part of my practice.

Katie at the 2016 Level 3 workshop

Katie at the 2016 Level 3 workshop

The Essences first came into my awareness in my early twenties when I had a period of intense nightmares that involved being tormented at least 5 times a week by what I experienced as mounds of very dark funnel web like spiders crawling over my bed and waking me up in complete terror.  I was training as a natural therapist at a local health food store at the time and one of the staff there urged me to try a combination of Grey Spider Flower, Fringed Violet and Green Spider Orchid to assist with the nightmares.

The results were incredible. Over the course of taking the remedy, the number of spiders in the dreams got progressively smaller and smaller. At around the two week mark, I had the most lucid dream of all, where I saw what I knew to be my own hand clenched into a fist. My hand sprung open and there was one large spider there that scared me but no sooner had I seen it when it vanished into thin air. I received the telepathic message that this would be the last spider I would see in a dream state, then I promptly woke up and to this day I have never dreamt about spiders again!

My new awareness and incredible experience

I was so impressed with this outcome that it sparked a whole new awareness in me as to the metaphysical relationships that exist between physical, emotional and spiritual disharmonies and of the remarkable power of flower medicine to heal and transcend discordant emotional states and energies. I undertook the Level 1 and 2 training soon after and began regularly attracting women who were having difficulty in conceiving and so worked extensively with the She Oak essence as well as many other specific essences that would address any subconscious barriers to conception that the women and their partners were experiencing. I now work with mums during their pregnancies using energetic healing in combination with the Essences to facilitate communication between them and their incoming souls, and regularly prescribe Essences that can help to address and harmonise common pregnancy fears and concerns.

My husband and I consciously conceived our two boys and the ABFE played a huge role in the lead up to our conception, supporting my emotional ebbs and flows during pregnancy and most profoundly during both of my labours. My births were empowering and transformational and were a huge catalyst for activating my mission in supporting women during this divine rite of female passage.

I have supported many Hypnobirthing parents as well as my doula clients using the Australian Bush Flower Essences, with positive and inspiring results and I am pleased to share these here!

1. She Oak, Crowea, Dog Rose, Paw Paw, Macrocarpa, Red Lily, Bush Fuchsia and Green Spider Orchid.

The above Essences can be used for the first stage of labour and they include Essences that assist in calming, grounding and centering mothers and their birth partners. At the spiritual level, it has essences that assist mothers to communicate intuitively with their baby and to trust in their inherent body wisdom. They can be taken throughout labour, every twenty minutes if required by both mum and birthing companion. I usually recommend a dose every 1-2 hours during labour.

2. Waratah, Isopogon, Banksia Robur, Kapok Bush, Bauhinia, Bottlebrush.

The above Essences are designed to emotionally facilitate and support the second stage of labour and the shift in energy that is associated with this stage. It contains Essences that assist mothers to stay focused, “let go”, follow their body’s natural expulsive reflex to birth, and to access the blessings and wisdom of their foremothers. Mothers are honoured and supported in this blend with the strength, nurturance and fire emanating from the Shakti energy!

3. Boab, Angelsword, Fringed Violet, Sundew

The above are an exquisite blend of Essences designed for baby’s first breastfeed or bath and welcomes and holds them in a loving and protected space for those early weeks outside the womb. It contains Essences to clear negative ancestral ties as well as providing auric protection and assists the new children to anchor their lightbody into their physical bodies and also into Mother Earth’s heart chakra.  The Essences can be placed on the mother’s nipple at the first feed or can be used topically on the baby’s fontanels, it is then used for the first two weeks postpartum by placing seven drops in the baby’s nightly bath.

4. She Oak, Bottlebrush, Paw Paw, Waratah, Mint Bush, Bush Fuchsia

These Essences can assist mothers to access and honour their intuition and instincts in caring for their new baby. They are also designed to help the new mum to adjust to the life change and sometimes the overwhelm in transitioning from maiden to mother and being caretaker for a new soul into the world. They can be taken twice daily from the first day of baby’s birth!

The very first birthing mother I supported as a doula had unfortunately begun her labour dealing with an acute reaction to the gel she had been administered to induce her baby. Reactions to such gels can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus, which translates to excessively strong contractions, which are futile in their actions, meaning they are not doing the work they are designed to do in thinning and opening the cervix. Mothers are naturally in pain and distress when this type of reaction occurs and therefore their babies are also at risk of distress and further interventions. I remember standing in the lift armed with my doula bag full of essences heading up to the maternity ward praying to my spiritual support team and all the goddesses and mothers who had birthed before to stand with me as I walked in to support this mother and father.

I walked in to a room full of shock fear and distress, I calmly gave the mother and father some Emergency Essence, also put it into the bath and begun to tune into the needs of the mother and baby. I also sprayed the Space Clearing mist profusely throughout the room. The midwife had communicated to us all that there was nothing they could do to reverse this reaction and that what she would need to see is the contraction pattern settle into a normal birthing rhythm for my client to even be considered in true labour.

Once the mother had begun to calm down a little after the Emergency Essence and some breathing techniques, I decided to give her a single dose of Crowea to calm and balance the energy and anxiety the mother was experiencing. Intermittent use of Crowea and Emergency Essence combined with some hypnotherapy fear-releasing miraculously restored the mother from a hysterical out of control state, to a state of coherence. She was then able to move into a normal laboring pattern where her surges became productive. I used Calm and Clear moisturiser with her too. After a traumatic start, the mother laboured well and progressed quickly to the birthing stage. As she approached transition, she needed support again to focus and centre. Most mothers at this stage under the influence of adrenaline express a desire to leave, stop or simply exclaim they are just not able to go on. I gave this mother the second stage combination containing Waratah, Isopogon, Banksia Robur, Kapok Bush, and Bauhinia. This was the first time I had used this Essence combination with a labouring mother. It was remarkable how in a few doses of this combination, combined with love and reassurance from the birth team, that the mother shifted into tiger mode, and birthed her baby boy strongly and calmly. The midwife after the birth told me that she felt sure that with the traumatic start, this mother’s birth would have ended in a C-section had she not been able to calm, centre, focus and turn the game around. The Essences played a huge role in emotionally helping this mother to achieve her goal of a drug free natural birth, and really opened my eyes to the value that these combinations can give to not only the mothers, but also their partners, as well as to harmonise the energy of the birth space.

Other specific Essences I have used with parents during their labour have included Paw Paw to assist them with decision making during labour, Slender Rice Flower where communications with caregivers has become difficult or strained and Macrocarpa to support in births of a long duration.

My experiences in birth with the ABFE

Katie with a new baby

Katie with a new baby

My experiences in birth with the ABFE have shown that they are a powerful and invaluable emotional healing tool for all mothers trying to conceive, ones who are pregnant and for those wanting some natural support at the time of their baby’s birthing day. I recently attended the Level 3 workshop in Sydney and at the first break after the opening circle a participant approached me to say hi. I had worked closely with her nearly 15 years earlier using the Essences to assist her in conceiving her first child. She reflected that her journey to conception with me and the Essences after some struggles in the allopathic world had been pivotal in igniting her own story of healing and empowerment. She has been using and prescribing the Essences ever since. This synchronicity felt like a full circle confirmation of my work with the essences in pregnancy and birth. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to share this experience in this special edition of The Essence newsletter focused on Women.

Katie Kempster is a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Doula, ABFE Practitioner, Conscious Birth advocate, Sacred Womb Keeper, Angelic Reiki Master and Energetic Healer supporting families on the Northern Beaches and Central Coast of NSW to create positive and sacred birthing experiences.