Society & Culture, Practice & Voice

Birth to Death: A discussion across the lifespan of women

The Women of All Souls hosted our first health panel, From Birth to Death. Nine female health practitioners ranging from birth doulas to hospice nurses, gathered together to impart professional advice, personal experience, and vulnerable insights.

The conversation covering Birth to Death was honest and important to have.

Together we learned from our panelists that more awareness and conversation is necessary about sensitive topics from birth to death such as the treatment of chronic pain, and the disparities women of color face throughout their lifetime.

We learned that not only do we need more information to deal with these issues in a healthier way, but also to normalize these conversations, freeing them from stigma.

Our speakers also touched on the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit. We heard how important self-care and breastfeeding is in our human development and sustainability and how the stories we tell ourselves can impact how much we suffer.

The Take Aways

Some ideas and food for thought from our panelists.

Reconcile your meds and reduce your doses. People are often taking too many medications. Evaluate your meds every year with your doctor.

With young children, especially before the age of two, limit screen time.
Act early at signs of delayed development with children.

Forget that the illusion that there is a separation between physical, mental, spiritual, community, relational health.

You’re entitled and you deserve providers that listen to you.

Hospice is more than just the patient, its every family member, friend, and loved one who is showing up with our hospice team.

Think about death. Talk about death. Do your crisis and end of life paperwork. Talk about your wishes. Get them on paper, no matter what age you are.

There are Child Specialist who can help kids get through a hospitalization or illness. You don’t have to go through those experiences alone.  

Birth is one of the most profound experiences for those with a uterus. Probably the most profound next to death. Birth is an initiation in which we are taken a part and put back together into something completely different.

Pain is a nerve telling your brain, “ouch.” Suffering comes from the stories and judgement we tell ourselves.

We were made to breast feed. Our society getting away from that has caused so many issues. It forms the jaws, sets up the gut health, your airway development, chewing and breathing properly, and has so much more to do with our development—it’s so incredibly important.

We need to get back to breastfeeding, the way we were intended to, and normalize what is a right for all humans to begin their lives with.

What you say to yourself matters. The stories we tell ourselves about the world, those around you, and yourself, can be really empowering or detrimental. As women, it’s so important that we are aware of the stories we tell ourselves.

We want to thank our generous panelists of professionals for sharing their expertise and experiences that cover the lifespan from birth to death. Thank you Shannan Williams, Michelle Lamb, Patsy Selman, Chris Blake, Sarah Hall, Sue Burk, Simi Burns, Montika Collins, and Janet Adams-Westcott.

Women of All Souls looks forward to continuing work with all of the speakers to bring health education and advocacy to All Souls members and the community.

Please join the Women of All Souls for several activities throughout the end of the year:

Hike at Redbud Valley (weather dependent)
Saturday, November 2  |  10 a.m.

Women in Business and Leadership Networking Event
Wednesday, November  |  6 p.m.

Crafty Women: Arts and Crafts Time with Your Ladies
Saturday, November 16  |  9:30 to Noon

It’s a (Gift) Wrap Potluck
Saturday, December 14  |  9:30 to Noon

Quanah Scoggins Women of All Souls

Quanah Scoggins serves as the chair for the Women of All Souls group. She is passionate about women connecting and learning from each other.

At All Souls, we are devoting a year-long series in 2019: The F Word: Perspectives on Feminism in the Year of the Woman. The intention is to talk about issues women and girls face, to hear women’s voices and ideas, to get to know each other through individual and collective experiences and storytelling, to hear from men and their roles in supporting women, and to create a space for women to support each other. The series is intended to be inclusive, honest, and intersectional.

Read more from Yadenee HailuSallie Godwin, and Bonita James.

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