I am a midwife, childbirth educator, lecturer, doula, and natural mother of eight children. This is not a medical reference; I do not proclaim to give medical advice. Anything stated here is from personal experience, research, study, and opinion. Each woman has the responsibility to do her own research, consult with her own medical team, and make her own decisions about pregnancy and birth.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Birth is Inherently Safe - 7 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last seven articles we explored the Mother's Role to maximize the many safety nets that Allah (SWT) has built into the childrearing year, including the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth of ten such safety nets we will discuss in this series. This time we'll talk about breastfeeding.

Birth is Inherently Safe - 6 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last six articles we explored the Mother's Role in maximizing the many safety nets that Allah (SWT) has built into the childbearing year, as well as the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth of ten that we will discuss in this series. This time we will take a look at the safety nets of second stage labor, which is the time when the mother is pushing the baby out into the world. 

Birth is Inherently Safe - 5 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last five articles we discussed the Mother's Role to maximize the infinite safety nets built into the childbearing year by Allah (SWT), as well as the First, Second, Third, and Fourth of ten of these safety nets that we will explore in this series. This time we'll take a look at Relaxin hormone, which was also mentioned for its effects of softening the lower segment of the uterus in the First of ten safety nets discussed. 

Birth is Inherently Safe - 4 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last four articles we discussed the Mother's Role to maximize the infinite safety nets that Allah (SWT) has built in the childbearing year, as well as the First, Second, and Third of ten of these safety nets that we will discuss in this series. In this article we will discuss the increased blood volume that mothers experience during pregnancy and how this is an important safety net for mother and baby.

Birth is Inherently Safe - 3 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
In the last three articles we discussed the Mother's Role to maximize the safety nets that Allah (SWT) has built into the childbearing year and we began exploring the First and Second of ten of these safety nets that will be uncovered in this series. Now we will move on to the third. This one is related to slowed digestion and circulation that occurs during pregnancy.

Birth is Inherently Safe - 2 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last two articles we explored the Mother's Role to maximize the safety nets Allah (SWT) has built into the childbearing yearn and the First of Ten of those safety nets. Now we will move on to the second of ten safety nets bing explored in this series, which is the layer of protection.

Birth is Inherently Safe - 1 of 10

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

In the last article we explored the The Mother's Role to maximize the safety nets Allah (SWT) has built into the childbearing year. Now we will begin to explore just a few of these infinite safety nets. We'll begin with the maternal cervix. This is the opening between the womb and the birth canal and is  best known as the anatomical structure that must dilate to 10 centimeters for the birth to proceed. I find it amazing that there are safety nets built into this structure to prevent it from opening too soon and therefore prevent preterm birth.

Birth is Inherently Safe - The Mother's Role

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

May people are quick to discuss all the things that may go wrong in childbirth. Although it is important to be aware of complications and be ready to deal with them, should they arise, it's equally important to acknowledge that in most cases birth goes just fine on its own. In fact. Allah (SWT) is the best of all Creators and has created the childbearing year to be inherently safe.

AMANI Birth Book

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

AMANI Birth is one of the first books to look at the childbearing year from an Islamic perspective. The book is a good choice for Muslim mothers and the care providers who serve them. At the end of the day, birth is birth, so even the non-Muslim mother will benefit from the lessons in this book.

The book is divided into five sections based on the AMANI acronym: Assisting, Mothers, Active, Natural, and Instinctive.

The First State's First Muslim Midwife

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

We are excited to announce that Aisha Al Hajjar is now a licensed home birth midwife in the State of Delaware! Delaware just recently legalized midwifery and she is proud to be amongst the first to receive her license. Even more exciting is that she is the first Muslim home birth midwife in the state! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Another not so Perfect Labor

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
One in three-hundred!

This is probably the most important story I’ve ever shared on this blog.  I am very grateful to the brave mother who submitted it.  There are many important topics, from postpartum depression to VBAC to homebirth and more.  I don’t want to give the story away, so I won’t say more, except take the time to read this one!

Now on to the story, Another Not so Perfect Labor...

Friday, October 19, 2012

Knowledge Heals Birth

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

It has been quite a while since I’ve posted a new birth story.  This post is actually three birth stories from one special mama.  She is an AMANI Birth trainee and her experiences really speak to the importance of childbirth education.  She will be a fabulous childbirth educator and doula and will work hard with her mamas to keep them informed and aware of what is happening during the most amazing times of their lives, insha’Allah.  

Her personal experience with grief and trauma will server her to be able to relate and assist to the few mothers who have such experiences themselves.  It’s no doubt that her journey will serve the Ummah well, insha’Allah.

It’s really an honor and a privilege to welcome her to the AMANI family and to share her stories with the Saudi Birth Story readers.  I truly love her for the sake of Allah.  Now on to the story...Knowledge Heals Birth...  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Homebirth After TWO Cesareans!

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Baby Fatima
 8 lbs. 5oz., born 9/11/11

Masha’Allah, I absolutely love this story.  This is dedicated to all the mamas who have had a cesarean (or two) and dream of having a natural birth next time.  May Allah bless you with naturally born, healthy children who are pleasing to HIM and their parents.

I really enjoy sharing birth stories and would love to share yours, insha’allah.  Now on to the story...Homebirth After TWO Cesareans!...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birth Domination, Kuwaiti Style

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

No matter how many birth stories I read, I am still shocked at the way laboring women are sometimes treated in the hospital.  I can't say enough for the value of childbirth education and knowing what to expect during labor and birth.

Stories like this one touch my heart as I feel for this first-time mother.  Birth should be the most empowering experience of a woman's life, yet often times is full of confusion and dominance.

I truly appreciate this mother sharing her first birth story with me.  She has several other birth stories to tell, so watch coming posts for more, insha'Allah.  Now on to the story...Birth Domination, Kuwaiti Style...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Aisha Takes the Plunge! Midwifery College Enrollment

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

Narrated Abu Said:  Some people from the Ansar asked Allah's Apostle (to give them something) and he gave to everyone of them, who asked him, until all that he had was finished. When everything was finished and he had spent all that was in his hand, he said to them, '"(Know) that if I have any wealth, I will not withhold it from you (to keep for somebody else); And (know) that he who refrains from begging others (or doing prohibited deeds), Allah will make him contented and not in need of others; and he who remains patient, Allah will bestow patience upon him, and he who is satisfied with what he has, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And there is no gift better and vast (you may be given) than patience."  [Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 477]
Your Duas Will Help Me Obtain the Skills Needed 
to Make a Difference in the Births of Women, insha'Allah.
“Whoever relieves his brother [or sister] of a hardship from the hardships of this world, Allah shall relieve him of a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Judgment. And whoever makes things easy for a person in difficulty, Allah will ease for him in this world and the Next. And whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him in this world and the Next. Allah is forever aiding a slave so long as he is in the aid of his brother.” [Sahih Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and others]
What better way to relieve your sister of hardship than by helping to provide her with natural midwifery care during the labor and birth of her child?

It's with as much nervousness as excitement that I announce my application to Midwifery College of Utah!  I've been considering my role and my vision and mission in the birthing community of Saudi Arabia for quite a while.  I've come to the conclusion that I need to increase my professional skills if I really want to make a difference for women and children.

I've researched a myriad of midwifery schools and training programs.   I've chosen MCU for their academic training via distance learning as well as the degree programs that they offer.  It is my intention to earn a BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MIDWIFERY.  

There were many other programs that offered just general midwifery study without the bachelor degree.; however, because I do not already possess an underlying degree, I felt it prudent to pursue my studies at a bachelor level.  This will also give me the credentials needed to pursue my work in Saudi, insha'Allah, since the level of study is beyond just vocational certificates.

The cost of the program is roughly $24,000 USD.  Of course I haven't told my dear, supportive husband this number yet.  It also does not include shipping books and supplies, compensating local institutions and preceptors for clinical practice and observations, traveling for workshops/clinical training/exams, etc.  I'm sure by the time I factor in all these extras, that figure will at least double (especially if I have to do an internship overseas for clinical practice for the required out-of-hospital births that will not be available in Saudi).

I expect the program to take up the next four years of my life, insha'Allah.  Of course, I still plan to continue my writing for Saudi Birth Story, Saudi Life Motherhood and Parenting columns, and freelance articles for Arab News; as well as home schooling my children, completing the AMANI Birth project and training Childbirth Educators and Doulas, working with Al Bidayah Center to open their breastfeeding center in Riyadh, and whatever other life commitments are on my plate.  Please make dua for me!  

May Allah make it easy; give me strength, commitment, and stamina; provide the rizq (funds) to follow through; and make my efforts a blessing to the births of our Ummah...

Read on if you'd like to read my goals for my training and interest in midwifery, as submitted on my application to MCU... 

Comparing Birth Experiences: USA/KSA/MSR

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Amani Sitting in front of a symbol of Saudi in Belgium
I am honored to have been asked to participate in the Mummy in Provence blog series on birth stories from around the world.  I love her project to focus in the differences of birth around the globe.

I hope you enjoy reading this interview about my experiences with birthing.  It is from the perspective of comparison between birthing in the United States, Egypt, and Saudi.  I also hope you will visit the original blog post and browse the many different birthing cultures represented in the series.

Let me know if you'd like to share your birth story on Saudi Birth Story.  It's always an honor and a pleasure to share my readers' birth stories.  Now on to the interview..Comparing Birth Experiences:  USA/KSA/MSR...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Repeat Cesareans

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

As I read a sister’s blog I came across a sweet post listing the top ten reasons she loves her husband.  It was number ten that struck me most:

10. He gets sad when he thinks about children whose mothers work, are not breastfed, do not co-sleep, are left to cry it out, and who go to kafir schools.

Masha’Allah, he sounds like a really caring man.  I began to wonder about her birth experiences.  Of course I expected to find gushing stories about the compassion of her husband during her labors.  But what I read was fitting for a different topic.

Instead of finding a story about the husband’s role in her birth, I found one of pregnancy complications and repeat Cesareans. 

I am always honored to share birth stories from around the globe.  Please let me know if you’d like to share yours.  Now on to the story…Repeat Cesareans…

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Natural Pregnancy Spacing

 Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

A sister recently asked me about my own experiences with natural spacing of pregnancies.  I thought this might make a good post for others as well.  As a mother of eight, it is probably easy to guess that I don't employ the use of pharmaceutical birth controls.  But that wasn't always the case.

Insha'Allah, I will have a guest writer (either here or on Saudi Life Motherhood) in the coming weeks who will discuss contraceptives in more depth.  I always enjoy sharing the work of guest writers.  Please let me know if you are interested in contributing.  Now on to my post...Natural Pregnancy Spacing...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Unassisted, Unplanned, Surprise Water Birth!

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Photo Credit:  Dr. Fernando Molina, Venezuela

What a blessing and and honor to share this story.  Not only is it an unassisted, unplanned, home water birth, but it's a story of the love and intuition of a husband at birth.  May Allah bless this family.

Note:  The photo is not related to this particular story, it comes from a new friend, Dr. Fernando Molina in Venezuela.  He is a male midwife who attends home water births with his wife as doula.  I find their story inspiring and intriguing.  I hope to find out more about them and share their story soon, insha'Allah.  Now on to the post...Unassisted, Unplanned, Surprise Water Birth!...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Just Say No to Interventions!

 Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim

I always enjoy reading birth stories and am especially pleased when I know the family personally.  This particular story comes from such a dear and sweet sister whom I am particularly fond of, masha'Allah.

While reading through her story, the thing that kept festering inside me was the medical staff's repeated push for interventions.  I am proud of this mama and baba for sticking to Allah's design for birth as best they could and achieving an unmedicated, natural birth, masha'Allah!

I'd love to read your story too!  Please contact me if you'd like to share.  Now on to the story...Just Say No to Interventions!...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Shock and Lessons of Losing a Child

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
 Photo Credit: Ben Earwicker www.garrisonphoto.org/sxc

My last post, Seek Allah in Pregnancy Loss touched many readers who have experienced the loss of their unborn child  May Allah grant them ease and provide peace and may their children who have gone before them meet them at the gates of Jannah.  

I am honored to share this story from one such mother who also shared some excellent reminders on my Saudi Life Motherhood column this week, The Blessings of a Lost Child.

It's a blessing to remember the mercy of Allah and the divinity of HIS plan.  May we all be as strong in our remembrance during times of emotional and physical pain and loss...Ammen.

Please contact me if you'd like to share your story...may you find peace and blessings in the words below...The Shock and Lessons of Losing a Child... 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seek Allah in Pregnancy Loss

 Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Photo Credit: Ben Earwicker www.garrisonphoto.org/sxc

In recent months I have featured stories of pregnancy loss.  This topic is emotional for everyone involved.  Such stories even go beyond the families and affect anyone who reads or hears of them. 

I have found the sharing of these stories to be a blessing.  That is they bring us back to the reality that Allah (SWT) is all powerful and in command of all things.  As we rush around in our busy, we lives we become forgetful and guilty of being caught up in the things of this life, dunya.  The loss of a life not yet lived is a solid reminder of the uncertainty of our tomorrows on Earth.

I find it an honor to share stories of birth, whether the start of life or story of loss.  I pray you find peace from this post and invite you to share your own stories here.  Now on to the article...Seek Allah in Pregnancy Loss...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Place for Naivety in Birth

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
 Baby Charlie

Too often we take for granted that our doctor or birth attendant will take care of everything.  We sometimes go into labor blindly and find that being "taken care of" may not be what we had wanted.

The story here is an excellent example of the importance of quality childbirth education, coupled with mother's own involvement in her preparations, labor, and birth.  Thanks so much to this mama for sharing her story!  

I'm always looking for new birth stories to post.  Please consider sharing yours.  Now on to the story...  No Place for Naivety in Birth...