November 01, 2020



Putana (which is a tribal name) shown here is suckling the Krishna babe. As the story goes he sucks all the poison from her breast...and she dies. However it is important to note that she is a rakshasa and they, as a group, are often meant to signify Adivasi  people who so-called Hindu texts meant to denigrate or portray as evil. The both/and nature of Indian religions was misunderstood and Putana was understood as a symbolic bad mother. She is included in a group of malevolent Hindu mother goddesses called the Matrikas and also in the group of Yoginis and Grahinis (Seizers).

October 13, 2020

Birth Traditions

Birth Traditions

Before we had mentioned how dais often use almost religious, or magical invocations. Below we present other countries perceptions of birth time in a similar almost magical manner. 

                                                 Aztec Goddess of Fertility and Birth

                                        This is an Aztec Goddess associated with numerous meanings, including birth, fertility, midwives, purification and also filth.  As a purification goddess, she was seen in Aztec culture as a cleanser of filth and disease.  However, as is shown in this sculpture, the goddess is associated with birth.  Furthermore, her symbolic and iconographic connections to birth appear to have grown over time, as one today finds replica Mexican sculptures of the birthing goddess, some of which are used by pregnant women in preparation for birth.


Ancient Egyptians envisioned the One who helped them during pregnancy, birth and postpartum as Taweret, a hippopotamus. Often called "Lady of Heaven", "Mistress of the Horizon", "She Who Removes Water", "Mistress of Pure Water", and "Lady of the Birth House".

August 13, 2020


One of the questions my birth buddies asked is "What do the dais do if there is meconium staining?"

One Jeeva researcher mentioned that dais often don't even see the blotch of meconium because they often accompany women in huts, where there is not much light.

What is Meconium?

Meconium is a mixture of mostly water (70-80%)and a number of other things like amniotic fluid, intestinal epithelial cells, lanugo, etc.

It is the earliest stool of an infant.

Approximately 15-20% of babies are born with meconium stained liquor.

  • Most babies who are born in a poor condition do not have meconium stained liquor.

  • Most babies with meconium stained liquor are born in good condition.

When meconium is noticed in amniotic fluid during labour, it often initiates a cascade of intervention.

A CTG machine will often be strapped onto the woman reducing her ability to move, labour in water, and increasing her chance of having a c-section or instrumental delivery.

Time limits for labour may be tightened, and could lead to induction or augmentation, which increases the chance of fetal distress and for first time mothers, c-section.

As the baby is being born it may be subjected to airway suctioning which can cause a vagal response (heart rate deceleration) and difficulties with breastfeeding. Once born, the baby is likely to have its umbilical cord cut prematurely and be given to a paediatrician who may also suction the baby’s airways.

In the first 24 hours after birth the baby will be disturbed regularly to have its body temperature, breathing and heart rate assessed. In some hospitals the baby will be taken away from the mother to be observed in a nursery.

This is a lot of fuss for a bit of poo which in the vast majority of cases is not a problem. Indeed many of the interventions implemented because of the meconium are more likely to cause complications than the meconium itself.


July 23, 2020

A Dai/Shaman

A Dai/Shaman

Traditionally Dais had strong belief systems. They often called upon gods/goddesses or exorcised demons that were blocking births—as you see in the quote below.