Welcome to Empowered Birth Project, a place for community, support, and inspiration to empower women and their families through the journey of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and beyond.
The mission of Empowered Birth Project is:
To stimulate positive dialogue and change in birth culture
To guide individuals and their families to reclaim birth as a rite of passage
To reconnect society with postpartum practices
To advocate for women, children, and their families
To provide education, resources, and relevant tools for empowered birth, reproductive health, and social justice
My name is Katie, and I'm a Registered Nurse and mother of three boys. My experiences giving birth led me to create this platform-- first a hospital birth, then a home birth, and finally a planned unassisted home birth that ended with an emergency cesarean.
Our first son was born in a hospital in 2007. While I was able to experience an unmedicated, vaginal birth without complications, I felt unsupported by the staff and pressured to accept interventions I didn't need. I was fortunate to have my husband's constant, loving presence throughout the intense 22-hour labor; together we experienced a fiery initiation into parenthood just one year into our marriage. Determined to create a more comfortable, positive birth experience the second time around, I began researching and studying home birth. After attending the home birth of my niece and witnessing the midwifery model of care in action, I knew it was the experience I wanted.
My dream came true in 2010, when our second son was born into my arms in the comfort of our home. His birth rocked my world and it was everything I hoped for and more-- a spiritual awakening, a rite of passage, and a rebirth as a stronger and more powerful woman.
Empowered Birth Project was born a few hours later, after the midwives left and my husband and newborn son were asleep on either side of me. As the oxytocin surged through my postpartum body, I replayed the birth over and over in my mind. I felt an overwhelming desire to share my experience with others, and I envisioned lending my voice to help create a world wherein all women feel supported, empowered, and comfortable in their birth experiences.
When I became pregnant with our third child in 2013, I knew immediately I would plan an unassisted home birth, meaning without the presence of a trained medical professional. As my pregnancy progressed, my husband and I immersed ourselves deeply in preparation to receive our child at home together with a few close friends. I began sharing my journey on Instagram and making plans for a documentary film about the experience. Director and cinematographer Carlo Alberto Orecchia came on board to capture the footage and bring the story to life. We were prepared, informed, and inspired.
But nothing went as planned.
My due date came and went. Another week passed, and then another. As I approached 43 weeks of pregnancy, it became apparent that something was wrong. Labor never started, and instead my body and my baby gave clear signs of distress. In a dramatic turn of events, our third son was born via emergency cesarean in June 2014.
I felt broken and defeated. I felt my vision of empowerment through birth had failed. It was only by sharing the process of postpartum recovery with my incredible Instagram community that I began to reconcile the trauma and find healing. As more and more people began to follow my journey, I realized just how many women are hungry for support and encouragement through pregnancy, birth, and motherhood.
Empowered Birth Project then evolved to become the stories of the greater collective and a platform to share inspiration, education, and create community around the dialogue of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and beyond.
Thank you for being here.
Click here to support my indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the film project.