Mothermouth

Steph Wehowski

Hi, I am Stephanie Wehowski, artist, herbalist, mother of an 8 year old and dreamer of possibilities.

Mothermouth offers a space to explore major life transitions & journeys to body connection, purpose & joy.

Journey with us as we explore and celebrate life's seasons and rites of passages, often overlooked, invisible, or unmarked in our modern societies.

At Mothermouth, we believe that reconnecting with life’s rhythms is key to reclaiming our connection to our bodies. Cultivating a sense of belonging is crucial, as it provides a safe space for navigating our inevitable growth, allowing us to return to our place in the world with a deep sense of purpose - a birthright we all deserve.

Mothermouth is dedicated to embarking on diverse and transformative journeys towards body connection, power, and pleasure. Our podcast series begins by delving into the realms of birth and its physiology - the profound act of bringing a child into the world. Giving birth signifies the embodiment of our existence, and becoming a mother marks a significant shift in our lives, both from a bodily and societal perspective. While the physical changes are noticeable and acknowledged, we also explore the subtle yet deeply transformative psychological changes of becoming a mother and the challenges we face.

But this is just the beginning. As we set sail from this starting point, our journey will traverse a multitude of subjects, guided by guest speakers and the ever-changing winds of our listeners. As the helmswoman of this ship, I am simultaneously navigating my own voyage towards the imminent rite of passage that is menopause, while still grieving the recent loss of my own mother.

I am passionate about all of us reclaiming sovereignty and standing in our power if that is in our health, purpose, or body connection. And experiencing the joy of sharing and witnessing this in community.

If you are enjoying the series, please support me in making these podcasts and hosting the website through buying me a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouth,

And visit my website: https://mothermouth.co.uk

Thank you so much for being here and on this journey together!

Music by 12Volt, with great thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.

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Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

9 - Mothermouth Musings 3: Who shouts the loudest - wisdom and 'abundance' in the age of capitalism and social media
08-02-2024
9 - Mothermouth Musings 3: Who shouts the loudest - wisdom and 'abundance' in the age of capitalism and social media
In this episode I will ponder about my worries and concerns about how wisdom is viewed these days and how the concept of abundance is experienced by people in the modern world. I am still trying to unpack this myself, and I would like to get to the bottom of it.Wisdom and abundance - Two seemingly very different subjects. I feel they are interlinked though and I wonder how.Who is seen as wise these days in our modern secular world? Who do people ‘follow’? Who do people chose for advice in spiritual, life and healing matters? How does the race for attention impact the depth and authenticity of the wisdom we encounter especially in social media platforms and the paths of engagement like ‘educational’ courses or communities we find online? Does this not foster egocentric or megalomaniac notion of people’s importance when most ancient spiritual traditions place great emphasis on the how not let the ego rule and on humility?To me, in the modern secular western world the sharing and proclamation of knowledge appears to be vastly influenced by the structure of our economic system, namely capitalism, or maybe we could say that the ecosystem of our economic system has seeped into our experience and sources of wisdom to form the basic structure of knowledge exchange. Where wisdom or knowledge become a product or commodity and the marketplace dictates who is being listened to, promoted, consulted and rewarded. All of these developments and structures seem to be standing in stark contrast of how most established spiritual traditions describe and practice the exchange of knowledge and the conduct of wisdom keepers.Hard to find our way through the jungle of offerings these days. Is it actually still possible for people brought up within these structures that are so pervasive to discern authentic sources of knowledge or ‘real’ wisdom out of all the marketplace shoutings with echoes of recycled insights, amalgamated systems, false gurus?And furthermore, the allure of limitless prosperity is a strong force but I believe we need to question the existence of this notion as a concept that comes from a deep seated profusion of a capitalistic endless growth mentality into all our thinking and feeling and spiritual pursuits.I feel we need to critically examine how far capitalistic economic structures have infiltrated and are informing our experience of ourselves, our relationships, philosophical concepts and understanding of the world.People, ideas, links and podcast mentioned in this episode are:Bayo Akomolafe https://www.bayoakomolafe.netMuch love, StephxMusic by 12Volt, thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.
8 - Mothermouth Musings 2: Pilgrimages & New Year's Greetings
13-01-2024
8 - Mothermouth Musings 2: Pilgrimages & New Year's Greetings
After having taken a long break over the winter solstice and Xmas holidays, I am slowly weaving my way back into the world with some ruminations and reflections that I have pondered about during that time.One subject that has been especially occupying my thoughts are the planning of a new 'pilgrimage' - I have already done two and they were both along the courses of rivers, one was the Thames which I walked with a friend and then my birth river called the Trave along which I canoed.As there are a lot of endings in my life right now - divorce of my marriage and long partnership, restructure of our family set up, moving from the home we have been in for the last 5 years, and my medical herbalist studies coming to a conclusion - and new beginnings in the air like stepping into menopause, new home, new life stage, I am starting to feel the urge to go.To mark this transition in a very conscious way. And take time out to connect with the land.However, this time I have not got a clear vision where this pilgrimage should take place.I also ponder about our disconnection in the modern world and in the UK of gathering for ritual and marking seasonal changes collectively after travelling to Stonehenge with my daughter at winter solstice this year.People, ideas, links and podcast mentioned in this episode are:Rupert Sheldrake and his book 'The Science Delusion' https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018nsjk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0l_DWjMXqUJoshua Schrei and The Emerald podcast, especially the episode about 'How trance shaped the world' (but they are all good :) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-trance-states-shape-the-world/id1465445746?i=1000512752303Astrologer Chani Nicholas and her book 'You were born for this' and her app that I use (she fuses social justice consciousness with internal family systems and other healing modalities with astrology, into wonderful grounded guidance with huge understanding or even wisdom one might say ;) https://chaninicholas.comAnd here the chronicle of my pilgrimages along the river courses of the Thames and Trave (on blogspot, long before square space and all the wonderfull internet tools now available ;)) http://honouryourriver.blogspot.com/p/walk.htmlA wonderful New Year to you!
7 - Mothermouth Musings 1: The power of language - coaches, guides and the old hierarchical structures
18-11-2023
7 - Mothermouth Musings 1: The power of language - coaches, guides and the old hierarchical structures
The first instalment of Mothermouth Musings! :)I have decided to intersperse Mothermouth's interviews with maybe to be considered more 'philosophical' musings and ponderings of mine, that have recently come up. These will be short recordings around topics that have recently caught my attention.Maybe I will publish these musings under a written blog, but for now time constraints are keeping them to audio recordings which I think works quite well.With the recent explosion of offerings in coaching and mentoring and online courses in knowledge sharing I ponder about how typical word usage in the field of health and spiritual development actually undermine the essence of what they are claiming to help people with.For me, the words 'coach' or 'guide' in themselves denote a power discrepancy or hierarchical set up, which might feel familiar and safe to many because we are used to authoritarian structures, however it contradicts the promise of helping you to 'step into your power'.Language is powerful!Naming something is a 'magical act'.Thus, I feel, we need to be very aware of words' tonality, context, and origins.How can we rename something that is a dynamic process between people? To come to its essence and to dismantle old disempowering structures at the same time? Maybe 'accompanying' somebody on a healing journey would be the right phrase?I mention a couple of thinkers in this episode who are very much working on the dismantling of hierarchical structures and are supporting collective co-creation.These are:Bayo Akomolafe and his Emergence Network - https://www.bayoakomolafe.net, https://www.emergencenetwork.org/bio/bayo-akomolafe/Phoebe Tickell and her Imagination Activism and participation in Liberating Structures: https://www.moralimaginations.com/imaginactivism, http://www.phoebetickell.com, https://www.liberatingstructures.comAs always, I am super interested in what your thoughts are on these subjects. :)Please be in touch StephIf you have enjoyed the podcast, please write a quick review on one of the podcast platforms you use. Especially on apple podcast, spotify and youtube it helps to bring the podcast to more listeners.Or support me on: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouthAnd come to the website: https://mothermouth.co.ukA transcript of the podcast episode is available here: https://rss.com/podcasts/mothermouth/1218610/#transcriptMusic by 12Volt, with great thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.
5 - Postnatal care & baby language in integrative baby therapy - Joy Horner as The Wise Woman On The Hill
09-10-2023
5 - Postnatal care & baby language in integrative baby therapy - Joy Horner as The Wise Woman On The Hill
In this episode I have the great pleasure of talking to Joy Horner, the Wise Woman on the Hill, who is based in Glastonbury, UK.Joy is a remarkable woman who has gone through the most challenging and difficult situations and tests on her journey from being a midwife to sacred birth keeper, and finally artist.We hear about her journey from working in very medicalised and active interventionist way to becoming a sacred birth keeper who mainly holds safe space for the birthing woman to do what she needs to do, sleeping a lot along the way. She talks about pivotal moments and describes her reflections on what was positive about the hospital birth care environment in the 1980s and what is lacking now.Although I had wanted to talk to Joy about challenges, medical emergencies and realistic expectations for women in pregnancy and birth, we conversed more about the importance of postnatal care and her new venture: listening to babies in integrative baby therapy.We hear about:· How and why Joy became a midwife.· 1980s and 90s hospital environments and what was great and also not so great about them.· Joy’s work in the birth centres in Hamphire, her taste of the ‘spiritual’ side of birth and her path to becoming an independent midwife and sacred birthkeeper.· Her experiences, challenges, and reflections on baby deaths, complications, and working in a trauma informed way.· Failures of the medical system and how that initiated her to become independent midwife and birth keeper.· Her work with Jane Hardwick-Collins from attending her ‘Shamanic Womancraft’ course.· ‘Integrative baby therapy’ which she also practices now and learnt form Matthew Appleton.· The importance of preparation and rest in the postnatal period.· How her practice is now and that she has given up the ‘doing’ as a birth keeper, but now holds the container for birthing women and often sleeps during labour.Links to people and courses mentioned in the podcast:· Joy’s website https://birthjoy.co.uk· Jane Hardwick-Collins https://janehardwickecollings.com· The School of Shamanic Womancraft https://schoolofshamanicwomancraft.com· Matthew Appleton http://matthew-appleton.co.uk, https://www.ourbirthjourney.com/matthew-appleton· Integrative baby therapy https://conscious-embodiment.co.uk/course/integrative-baby-therapy-training/· Podcast: Matthew Appleton with ‘Hearing the baby’s story’ https://www.craniosacralpodcast.com/episode-49/If you have enjoyed the podcast, please write a quick review on one of the podcast platforms you use. Especially on apple podcast, spotify and youtube it helps to bring the podcast to more listeners.Or support me on: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouth A transcript of the podcast episode is available here:https://rss.com/podcasts/mothermouth/1154506/#transcriptMusic by 12Volt, with great thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.
4 - My own home birth experience
06-09-2023
4 - My own home birth experience
In this episode I talk about my own and only home birth experience birthing my daughter about 7.5 years ago in our little flat in Hackney at the time.I didn't have a free birth but had a home birth with two NHS midwives from the Homerton homebirth team attached to Homerton present. I didn't have any interventions, drugs or pain relief.I am keen to share this experience not only because so far we have talked a lot in this series about freebirthing and the socialisation and medicalisation of birth but what is the reality for lots of women these days living in cities? What do we feel comfortable with?I am not only sharing what I remember from the birthing in detail but I also share· my bodily experience like intense and painful surges, primal screams, the crowning and tearing and my fear of my clitoris being damaged,· how the midwife helped me twice intervening in hyperventilation and stopping me pushing to hard,· the environment with fire and darkness and no birthing pool plus kneeling birthing position,· my partner's involvement with the tense machine,· not thinking a lot about the postnatal period and placenta birth in my birth plan and my regrets about it,· my breastfeeding difficulties,· how long it took me to heal and the realities of the postnatal time,· and my opinions about postnatal care and the benefits of a 40 day rest period afterwards.Hope you enjoy this episode and it is helpful some way.If you have enjoyed the podcast, please write a quick review on one of the podcast platforms you use. Especially on apple podcast, spotify and youtube it helps to bring the podcast to more listeners.Or support me on: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouthA transcript of the podcast episode is available here:https://rss.com/podcasts/mothermouth/1099423/Music by 12Volt, with great thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.
3 - Can humanity survive socialised birth? & the science of birth physiology - Michel Odent
01-08-2023
3 - Can humanity survive socialised birth? & the science of birth physiology - Michel Odent
In our 3rd episode I have the great pleasure of talking to Michel Odent, a remarkable writer and pioneer in the field of childbirth who at 93 years old is still challenging current cultural beliefs and the structures of the medical system. He is the author of 16 books including ‘Birth Reborn: What Childbirth Should Be’, ‘Childbirth & the Future of Homo Sapiens’, ‘Do We Need Midwives?’, ‘Birth and Breastfeeding: Rediscovering the Needs of Women During Pregnancy and Childbirth’. His latest book is ‘Can humanity survive socialized birth?’ was published a month ago shortly after the recording of this interview. Michel has been tirelessly active for over 45 years (and still is at 93!) writing books, publishing scientific articles, giving hundreds of talks, workshops, and also running courses. He founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London and has been a member of the Professional Advisory Board of the La Leche League International. I attended his paramanadoula course in 2013 with his co-conspirator Liliana Lammers prior to the birth of my daughter in 2015 and I credit that I wasn’t afraid of the birthing process and that I had a first homebirth at age 39 to their wonderful generosity in sharing their knowledge and experience with a lot of humour. In this episode we hear about his journey from surgeon to obstetrician revamping the birthing unit in a French hospital in 1962 and ultimately his way to pioneering and rediscovering what childbirth could be. Furthermore he talks about:· The history of childbirth and how childbirth became socialised when humanity entered the neolithic from the paleolithic period and we are now reaching the limits of the domination of nature.· The role of neocortical inhibition in human childbirth and how important it is to avoid neocortical stimulation through language, bright lights, attention and fear during labour.· How we play ‘apprentice sorcerers’ by cutting labour short (or out completely by pre-labour c-section) and how there is currently a ‘pandemic’ of labour induction.· The interplay between melatonin and oxytocin.· The placenta participating in labour releasing allopregnanolone which act on GABA receptors to inhibit the neocortex.· The foetus participating in the birthing process by releasing surfactant into the amniotic fluid when it is ready to be born.· How the vernix caseosa is also found in sea mammals and how scientist are now finding that, by the foetus swallowing the vernix, it plays and important role for establishing the baby’s new gut flora. Hope you enjoy and the conversation gives you as much new food for thought as it has given me. If you have enjoyed the podcast, please support me on: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouthMichel’s resume via his publishers and list of books: https://pinterandmartin.com/michel-odent/Article in the Guardian about the subject of Michel’s latest book ‘Can humanity survive socialised birth?’: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/07/michel-odent-how-long-can-humanity-survive-now Paramanadoula: https://www.paramanadoula.com/about.php Michel on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Odent
1 - Freebirthing, breech birth & birth story integration - Gauri Algar from the Yoni Tree
15-05-2023
1 - Freebirthing, breech birth & birth story integration - Gauri Algar from the Yoni Tree
In this first episode, I have the pleasure of conversing with Gauri, a remarkable individual who serves as a freebirthing doula and facilitates a birth story circle right here in Frome, a town nestled in the west country of the UK.Gauri shares insights from her background in psychology and trauma-focused healing, revealing how her spiritual journey and tantric healing work intertwined with her experiences giving birth to her two sons, ultimately guiding her towards becoming a freebirthing doula. Her stories illuminate the transformative power of birth, including a vaginal breech birth.We talk about elements and practices that nurture a conducive birthing process, exploring ways to prepare for and honour this rite of passage. Gauri also addresses the topic of birth trauma and the importance of integrating birth stories, acknowledging their impact on our well-being.With her work with the Yoni Tree, Gauri offers full support throughout the prenatal, birthing, and postnatal periods, with a focus on empowering women to activate their full power and authority in relation to their bodies and their transition into motherhood.I feel immensely grateful to have Gauri as a friend and to have her presence within our immediate community. Her wisdom, compassion, and commitment to empowering individuals during this transformative journey are truly beautiful.Links to the people, organisations, books mentioned in the podcast:Gauri Algar and The Yoni Tree https://www.theyonitree.com, on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_yoni_tree/, email: theyonitree@gmail.comIna May Gasken https://birthworks.org/our_team_members/ina-may-gaskin/Freebirth Society https://www.freebirthsociety.comFreebirth Society https://www.freebirthsociety.com and their podcast https://soundcloud.com/freebirthsocietyYolande Norris-Clark and Orgasmic Birth https://www.yolandenorris-clark.com, https://www.instagram.com/bauhauswife/?hl=enKalindi Jordan and tantric body connection https://www.kalindijordan.comMichel Odent https://www.midwiferytoday.com/speakers/michel-odent/If you have enjoyed the podcast, please support me on: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/mothermouthMusic by 12Volt, with great thanks to my friend Sascha Usison.