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, December 12, 2010

EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT! I'm in the News! :)

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim
Me, Aisha (Natural Mom)
Teaching Pregnancy Exercises
This has been an exciting month for me! 

Alhamdulealah, somebody pinch me!  I need to check if I'm dreaming before I post this!  It's not hard to tell that I have a passion for natural birth and it's my goal to spread it throughout the Middle East and Africa, insha'Allah.  But I was totally amazed when I came back to Egypt from a trip to the States this past June. 

I had just finished attending classes to become certified as a childbirth teacher and labor/birth doula.  I was seven months pregnant myself and was waiting until the end of my ninth month to join my husband in Saudi to have our baby there.  I didn't expect to accomplish much in those three months in terms of putting my training to work.

No one could have imagined the opportunites that I found in those three months in Egypt, let alone during the past month in Saudi! 

I hope you enjoy reading about the exciting opportunities in Egypt and Saudi.  I'd love your feedback and comments.  Now on to the story...EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!  I'm in the News!  :)...  

In those short three months, I partnered with the Suzanne Mubark Regional Centre for Women's Health and Development.  I participated in lectures and taught childbirth classes.  I was briefly mentioned in Arabic newspapers on more than one occassion.  You can view one such online article here:  Arabic article.  My lectures included "The Miracle of Natural Birth," "Natural Birth Leads to Breastfeeding," and "Natuarl Birth Techniques for Ethiopian Birth Workers."  I was invited to travel to Ethiopia, Algeria, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. to do on-site trainings.  I had to put that on the back burner considering my travel plans to Saudi and my own birth pending. 
I was so impressed with all the opportunities I found in Egypt that I feared Saudi would pale in comparison.  But what I'm finding (in less than three months here) is a whirlwind of opportunity that continues to amaze me at the power of Allah and opportunities HE is continuing to provide.

First, I was interviewed by American Bedu about life in Saudi, my marriage permission and iqama dilemmas, teaching/lecturing about natural birth, and my advice to other expats.  I respect her so much and being featured on her blog is such an honor and a blessing!  I'm grateful for the opportunity!  Please make dua for her as she is such a wonderful asset to those seeking information on life in Saudi.  She just posted the interview today and I hope you'll read it on her blog at American Bedu Blog.

Before that article even got posted I was approached by both The Saudi Gazzette and Arab News.  Each requesting to interview me!  I had to pick one though because they both wanted it exclusive.  It was a tough choice and I really liked both reporters but I ended up with Arab News (mostly because the editor was on board whereas the writer from The Gazzette had contacted me on her own and hadn't gotten her editor's approval yet).  The article, "The Miracle of Natural Birth," was well done and I was impressed with the journalist's final copy, masha'Allah (thanks, Lisa).  That article was posted a couple of days ago and I hope you'll read it at Arab News Interview.

Somewhere in between all that I was approached by a very popular news blog, Saudi Life.  They had come across this blog and were impressed enough to offer me a weekly column on their forum!  My articles will debut there in the near future, insha'Allah.  I don't have anything posted yet but you can visit their site at http://saudilife.netI will continue posting to my personal blog and will always welcome your birth stories, insha'Allah.  But with over one million hits per month, I'm so excited for this opportunity to reach a larger audience!


To top that off I was invited by the Saudi Ministry of Health to write an article about how natural birth leads to breastfeeding.  It will be published in their quarterly magazine (My Child), insha'allah.  The publication has a readership of 150,000!  It will be in Arabic (my dear, sweet, supportive husband is translating it for me now).  I will share the English version after the Arabic is published, insha'Allah.

Moving on with my excitement, just a couple of days ago I received my final exam from the academy that I trained with back in June to teach childbirth classes and provide doula services.  I've been teaching as a provisional teacher (in training so-to-speak) until I had taught enough classes to ensure them that I am competent.  The exam was over 80 essay questions with 88 vocabulary words.  It took me forty pages of type with 14,813 words to answer everything!  By the time I finished, I felt like I had written a novella!  :)  I'm so pleased to have submitted it and am awaiting the results.  I'm confident I did well and can't wait to be fully affiliated!  I've learned so much and am so grateful for their training and support!
Finally, I met with the General Manager of a new clinic in Riyadh.  I was totally impressed with him and the clinic's philosophy about patient health first and foremost (as opposed to the Riyal driven business practices of some other clinics).  His ethics and standards seem to be a great fit for natural birth classes and doula services!  He has just hired an obstetrician and wants me to work closely with her, insha'Allah.  Once we solidify the working relationship I will make an announcment and provide more details about the clinic, insha'Allah.

I'm so thankful for all of these wonderful opportunities.  It's hard to believe they have all come about in the first half of this month!  No matter how many times I say, "Alhamdulelah, Allahu Akhbar," it just doesn't seem enough! 


  1. Masha Allah :)
    Keep up the good work

  2. Alhamdulelah, Allahu Akhbar

    I am so proud of you! All are excellent articles...well done and educational.

    Readers will come away knowing you are compassionate and sincere in your goals to reach out to uninformed mothers-to be.

    It has been, and continues to be an incredible journey for you...you worked hard to get where you are today.

    A long haul for sure, but one mother/one baby at a time. As word gets out, more and more mothers-to-be will take control of their own bodies, pregnancies and delivery method of their precious babies with confident and knowledge what is best for not only for the baby but for the mother as well.

    Your dedication in something that you strongly believe in and so compassionate about, is heartwarming and clearly shines through your articles and blogs.

  3. Masha'Allah. May Allah continue to aid your efforts in bringing awareness of natural birth and breastfeeding to the middle east.
    Jazaki Allahu Khairan for all that you are doing!

  4. Good Job Aisha We love you and support you 100%.. Sabourah From Jersey :)

  5. mashaaAllah sister Aisha!! may Allah bless you and give you the energy and long life for more great work. I can't believe you're getting all of this done with your new baby and troupe of kids -- mashaaAllah la quwwata illa billah!! =D

  6. masha allah aisha altho I always knew allah loves you and believed when I met you for the first time that you would have a big role to play in this dunya of course I was never sure exactly what that role would be untill you came back from the states with that certificate then I knew you would be great alhamdulillah I had the oppertunity to know you "when" again masha allah you are always in my dua'a - nancy from canada

  7. Asalam Alaikum,

    @Feroz...aww...so happy you read it! That means a lot to me! You better tell me as soon as your new bride is expecitng! I'll be waiting for that news, insha'Allah!

    @Dusty Star (aka my mom)...Love you and it's because you always taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to that I do just that! :) Thanks for the loving support throughout the years and continuing now! I couldn't do it without you!

    @Umm Sayf, wa iyakum...thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Your kind words and support are greatly appreciated!

    @Sabourah, my Jersey Girl! JZK for always being supportive! You know I love and miss you! :)

    @Asma, JZK for your duas. Your support and prayers are greatly appreciated! :)

    @Nancy from Canada, JZK for your duas. I appreciate your support and pray Allah makes me as good as you think. HE is he ALL KNOWER and sees all! Dua for you too, Honey. :)

    Best regards,

    -Aisha, Natural Mom