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Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity

The African Spirituality Of Childbirth

Ancient birthing practitioners perceived childbirth as a biological, cultural, and spiritual event that works in harmony with the body’s innate knowledge of birthing. By positioning birth as a physical and sacred phenomenon, the health of the mother and the baby was perceived to be inseparable from the health of the entire ecosystem.

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About The Course

Ancient birthing practitioners perceived childbirth as a biological, cultural, and spiritual event that works in harmony with the body’s innate knowledge of birthing. By positioning birth as a physical and sacred phenomenon, the health of the mother and the baby was perceived to be inseparable from the health of the entire ecosystem. Colonialism and western medicine positioned biomedical model of birth as superior and safe. In contrast, the Indigenous model of birth was labelled as primitive and unsafe.

Giving birth to a physically healthy baby in an environment that contributes to the killing of the knowledge of the baby’s ancestors is culturally unsafe. As one of the ancient proverbs puts it, it takes a village to raise a child. Similarly, it would take a spiritually healthy village to ensure physical and culturally safe birth outcomes. In this course, we define a healthy birth outcome as one that encompasses biological, psychological, cultural, and spiritual safety.

…the health of the mother and the baby was perceived to be inseparable from the health of the entire ecosystem…

Why this course?

The main objective of the course is to reclaim and restore Indigenous birthing practices as well as explore how this can be practiced in mutual collaboration with a biomedical model of birthing. Ultimately, a collaborative effort between the two models is essential to ensure that the woman receives care that does not only focus on biological safety whilst undermining cultural safety. Such a collaboration must question the prevailing hierarchy of knowledges.

Who is this for?

This course is for health care practitioners, healers, scholars, activists, parents (present and prospective) and anyone who is concerned with increasing levels of medicalisation and dehumanisation of childbirth in one hand, and the erasure of African birthing knowledges and practices on the other. For a midwife or doula, this course will deepen your practice by increasing your understanding of Indigenous midwifery and cultural safety as an essential birth outcome.

For present and prospective parents, the course will assist you to prepare for the spiritual welcoming of your baby. This includes knowledge about birth rituals. For birth advocates and/or social scientists, the course will assist you to understand some of the broader cultural reproductive health needs that are often not part of the western research agenda. For mothers who carry hidden wounds which were sustained in previous pregnancies and/or deliveries, the course will open spaces for revealing and healing birth traumas.

How will this online course work?

The course combines bi-weekly webinars and online facilitation. Other than video lectures, the course will use African literature (novels or proverbs), poetry, creative writing, and meditation as additional teaching, learning, and healing tools. Each webinar begins with a reflection of the previous one, including a questions and answer session. In total, you will be asked to participate in 14 two-hour webinars which are spread out in 7 months. The curriculum plus the recordings i.e. webinars and video lectures will be available from the time of commencement of the course (May 2024) up to three months after the end of the course (February 2025).

Host and Facilitator

Dr. Mmatshilo Motsei, is a healer, midwife, author, and Executive Director of Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity, an institution that specialises in personal and societal transformation that is founded on African spiritual principles. Her overall aim is to uncover the old truth that Africa is great and powerful and that, because of colonial poisoning of the mind, our soul is afflicted. Read more

Course Outline

  • Module 1: May 30th: The Spiritual Nature Of Birth
  • Module 2: June 13th: Healing The Womb As A Giver Of Life And Carrier Of Pain
  • Module 3: June 27th – History Of Biomedical Model Of Childbirth In Euro-American Countries
  • Module 4: July 11th – History Of Indigenous Model Of Childbirth In Africa.
  • Module 5: July 25th – Use Of Biomedical Model Of Childbirth As A Colonial Tool In Africa
  • Module 6: August 1st – Birth Space: Design And Architecture

View All Modules

Course Payment Packages

    $750Once Off

    FREE MONTHLY SPIRITUAL GROUP HEALING VALUED AT $199

    • 13 Modules
    • Bi-weekly Webinars
    • Access to webinar recordings
    • Quizzes
    • FREE Monthly Spiritual Group Healing
    $375
    • 13 Modules
    • Bi-weekly Webinars
    • Access to webinar recordings
    • Quizzes
    $190
    • 13 Modules
    • Bi-weekly Webinars
    • Access to webinar recordings
    • Quizzes

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Does this course train me to practice as a midwife or doula?

    No, this course does not equip you with the skills required to support a birthing woman. Instead, the course gives you a historical and socio-political contextual evolution of childbirth globally, with a specific emphasis on Africa and South Africa.

    I am already practicing as a midwife/doula. Why should I enroll in this course?

    This course will enrich your practice by increasing your understanding of Indigenous midwifery as well as cultural and spiritual safety as critical birth outcomes.

    How is this course relevant to me as a parent?

    The course will provide information on rituals and ceremonies which are essential for spiritual health of the baby, the mother and family.

    I do not have any children yet. Am I allowed to enroll?

    Definitely. This course will assist you to prepare for the spiritual welcoming of your baby. This means, you birth plan will not only focus on the physical aspects of birth, but it will also include the spiritual dimension.

    How is this course relevant to me as a scholar/researcher?

    The course will assist you to understand some of the broader political and cultural reproductive health needs that are often not part of the Western agenda.

    Are men allowed to enroll?

    Yes, the course will help you to understand some of the roles that are performed by grandfathers, fathers, uncles etc. In addition, your role as a man is necessary in healing the world, one birth at a time. In the end, it will take the masculine and feminine planetary energies to work together to heal the world.

    What if the course triggers some of my old birth traumas?

    If you are a parent who carry hidden wounds sustained from previous deliveries, it is possible that the course may trigger adverse emotions. If that happens, you can book an individual or couple counselling session Dr Mmatshilo Motsei at Afrika Ikalafe Virtual Clinic.

    Is registration open throughout the year?

    Registration will be open for 10 weeks, from 15 March to 28th May 2024.

    How long does the course take?

    This is a 6 months online course, from 30th of May to 15th November. You will have access to course material on our learning platform which you can go through at your own time. In addition, we meet virtually twice a month to dissect the content of each module.