Reclaiming Birth: Lovis

How refreshing it is to see an empowering representation of labor and childbirth in the media!

As I watch Ronja, the Robber’s Daughter with our 12 year-old daughter, I am at first shocked about and then ecstatic to share the story that unfolds. Hooray for Lovis (first-time mama in labor, above), for the rest of the robbers clan, and for us (the fortunate witnesses on this journey).

• • •

Lovis replenishes herself with a snack and a drink in early labor.

While her husband’s energy is high and frantic, Lovis’s quiet confidence permeates the birth space. “The baby will come when it’s ready to come and not a moment before,” she reassures Mattis, and then takes another bite of bread.

Lovis moves freely and positions her body in ways that feel good to her.

Lovis expresses her need for quiet, for the opportunity to sing a joyous and calming song to their baby as she labors.

Perplexed by this seemingly odd request, Mattis stands frozen.

Lovis’s calm demeanor is momentarily replaced by a mama bear roar, “Now, hush those harpies! Go on!”

As if the message isn’t already clear, Mattis gives her another quizzical look. To which she replies with a don’t-mess-with-me glare, and Mattis scrambles out of the room to take care of the cackling beasts circling the skies above their fort.

Mattis embodies the energy of a fierce papa bear and secures safety and quiet for his laboring wife.

Protected and bathed in quiet, Lovis sings a song of peace.

Mattis’s clan of robbers wait in the common area by the fire, placing bets on the sex of the baby. As excited voices echo throughout the hall, one of the robbers admonishes the others, “You need to be quiet (when a baby is born)”.

Lovis emerges from her birth space and introduces Ronja when she is ready to share the joy of her daughter’s arrival.

In that magical time immediately after birth, baby Ronja is alert yet calm, taking in the world around her.

Continuing to listen and to honor the sensations within, Lovis rests as Mattis cares for Ronja.

Ronja lets out a vigorous cry. Mattis doesn’t know what to do and looks to the other men for advice. Before any could be given, Lovis takes Ronja in her arms and offers her breast.

Mattis and his robbers envelop Lovis with reverence as she feeds her baby.


How might our feelings, concerns, and practices around childbirth shift if we witness more images like these?

To learn more about how to advocate for yourself, read the article I wrote for Pathways Magazine, entitled “Letter to a Labor and Delivery Nurse”.

To dive deeply into this topic and more, join me for prenatal yoga on Mondays at 6:30PM at The Mindful Body in San Francisco.

This birth story is an excerpt from my Spring 2018 newsletter
which also includes
• A Bountiful Breakfast Hack (I cook and eat almost daily)
• A Birth Guide (backed by the latest evidence)
• An invitation to care for Our Great Mother
• 3 inspiring books
• The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation

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