S01 E05 Postnatal care & listening to baby language in integrative baby therapy – Joy Horner, The Wise Woman On The Hill

Oct 9, 2023 | baby therapy, birth, motherhood, postnatal, pregnancy

Podcast description and links

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 and resources

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A transcript of the podcast episode is available here:

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

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