During her 12 years working as an obstetrician in the NHS, Gowri Motha became increasingly convinced that many of her colleagues were missing the point. “Obstetricians need to look at a pregnant woman in a holistic way, not simply as a uterus and cervix in isolation,” she says. “Until then how can you help her to have a normal birth? A woman needs to be well, by which I mean needs a sense of wellness in her body: she isn’t stiff, she doesn’t have back problems, she isn’t bloated – a sign she isn’t digesting her food.”
Motha, 64, augments her conventional medical expertise with a wide range of complementary disciplines – including reflexology, ayurveda, hypnotherapy and an energetic practice called Creative Healing – to help her clients have the easiest births possible. “Reflexology is key, as most pregnant mothers feel anxiety. Deep reflexology helps the whole body to detox and relax, and aids lymphatic drainage.” Creative Healing also targets the lymphatic system, as well as “dealing with the flow of fluids distinct from blood and lymph”.
Motha uses Creative Healing not just during pregnancy but also for those trying to become pregnant. “It can treat the flow of the female system and correct most ovulation disturbances. It also supports the spine, which needs to be supple for birth.” (Indeed Motha has some clients who come to her with spinal issues alone.) She is strict on diet, too: no sugar, wheat or dairy. “If you don’t eat carefully, your birth passage can become swollen, which makes it difficult to give birth.” Her mission? To make birth a human experience, not a medical one.