The Ancestral Biology of Birth - Dr. Sarah Buckley #153


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How can you create conditions that are private, safe and unobserved for yourself during childbirth? This question is a core message behind the work of Dr. Sarah Buckley — author of the best selling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering and mother of four home-born children. Dr. Buckley is a New-Zealand-trained GP/family physician with qualifications in GP-obstetrics and family planning and currently combines full-time motherhood with her work as a writer on pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Women were biologically designed to give birth in the wild, and oftentimes, the conventional maternity care system does not effectively support the ancestral and biological needs of a woman during childbirth. Dr. Buckley spent seven years researching and synthesizing the scientific evidence on the hormonal physiology of childbearing. She found that the science confirms the innate wisdom of a laboring woman — following your intuition can allow your hormones to guide you on the pathway to a healthy, gentle birth.

In this episode, we unpack how women can tune into their innate birthing wisdom as Dr. Buckley guides us through the hormonal physiology from pregnancy all the way through to the first days spent with their newborn baby. We discuss preparing for labor, hormonal gaps, choosing a healthcare provider, breastfeeding, bed sharing and so much more. Enjoy!

  • Show introduction:
    • Why Daniel's excited about Yaupon tea
    • Chewstick update
    • Hunt + gather updates: blueberries, mackerel fishing, clamming & upcoming Florida freediving trip
    • Q&A: Daniel's opinion on sustainably-harvested coffee
    • Q&A: Call to listeners for child-friendly resources with a "rewilding mindset"
  • Introducing Dr. Sarah Buckley
  • Sarah’s background
  • Modern medical research validating traditional birthing wisdom
  • Designed to give birth in the wild
  • Institutionalizing the birthing process
  • Pre-labor physiological preparations
  • Defining a hormonal gap
  • Setting yourself for the least amount of hormonal gap
  • Listening to your intuition when choosing a healthcare provider
  • What to do when hormonal gaps happen during birth
  • Is there an appropriate length of time to breastfeed?
  • Thoughts on bed sharing — a baby’s ancestral hardwiring
  • Sarah’s mission statement
  • What most excites Sarah in the field of birth care
  • Sarah’s prognosis for the future of the human species

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