Tag Archives: Ina May Gaskin

Sheela Na Gig

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6×6 Digital “Mini Print”: $20

8×8 Digital print (100 in a series): $50

12×12 Giclee Print (50 in a series): $150

Original: SOLD

For more information about the types of printing please go here.

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Ina May talks about it in “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth”

“Historians and archaeologists have long been fascinated about the meaning of the sheela-na-gig figures of Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and other parts of Europe… My idea is that this figure was probably meant to reassure young women about the capabilities of their bodies in birth. Ellen Prendergast, in an article written for an Irish historical journal, remarked: After a lifetime’s awareness of such figures I am convinced their significance lies in the sphere of fertility, and that what is depicted… is the act of giving birth.

Whether Ms. Prendergast and I are right or not, I can testify that a sheela-na-gig figure can be a great help at birth. As you can see, the vulva of the crouching figure is open enough to accommodate her own head. Such a sight is quite encouraging to a woman in labor.”

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“I Will Always Love You”

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(Click image to enlarge)

12×12 inches
Watercolor, colored pencil, on illustration board

Purchase options:

6×6 Digital “Mini Print”: $20

8×8 Digital print (100 in a series):  $50
12×12 Giclee Print (50 in a series):  $150

Original (12×12 inches):  SOLD

20% of ALL proceeds from this image goes to the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

For more information about the types of printing please go here.

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This piece was done for Ina May Gaskin, creator of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, with Laura Gilkey and Birth Matters, VA.

It was done in honor of the women who have lost their lives during or around the time of childbirth, for the women who were dealt unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances, the women who do not have access to good maternity care, and the women who were a part of a maternity system that failed them.

On April 10 Ina May and supporters of the Quilt Project will be marching the quilt up the steps of the National Monument in Washington, DC.  This piece will be printed on the supporter’s t-shirts.

About the Safe Motherhood Quilt Prjoect:

The quilt is made up of individually designed squares; each one devoted to a woman in the U.S. who has died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982. One quilt square is designed and dedicated to each mother’s memory and may mention the date and place of death and the name of the woman. The Safe Motherhood Quilt is the voice for women who can no longer speak for themselves.

To be honored and remembered on The Safe Motherhood Quilt:

  • The woman died as a result of a complication of pregnancy or birth
  • The woman’s death occurred since 1982
  • The woman died within a calendar year after the end of her pregnancy (documented by an obituary, death certificate, relative’s or witness’ account).

Did you know…that the United States ranks behind at least 40 other nations in maternal mortality rates according to the World Health Organization. In 2005, the United States reported 15.1 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, up from 7.5 per 100,000 in 1982.

Did you know…that black women in the United States have 4 times the risk of dying from childbirth or childbirth related complications. Hispanic women in the United States, similarly, are 1.6 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to die from pregnancy-related causes.

Did you know…that the Centers for Disease Control estimated in 1998 that the US maternal death rate is actually 1.3 to three times that reported in vital statistics records because of underreporting of such deaths.

Did you know…that reporting of maternal deaths in the United States is done via an honor system. There are no statutes providing for penalties for misreporting or failing to report maternal deaths.

Did you know…that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than half of the reported maternal deaths in the United States could have been prevented by early diagnosis and treatment.

For more information see the below video:


“The Midwifery Legacy”

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(Click image to enlarge)

Purchase options:

6×6 Digital “Mini Print”: $20

8×8 Digital print (100 in a series):  $45
12×12 Giclee Print (50 in a series):  $150

Original:  Not Available

For more information about the types of printing please go here.

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I made this with Ina May Gaskin, the mother of midwifery in the US, in mind.  She has inspired thousands of midwives, doulas, childbirth advocates, and mothers.  I can’t wait to meet her in person at the CMA conference this weekend!  I was thinking about her work and how she has passed on her knowledge to everyone who comes into contact with her. I imagined a flow of water, passing from midwife to midwife, a collective consciousnessof mother-based nurturing that is the heart of the Midwifery Model of Care.

This consciousness has been passed from hand to hand, midwife to midwife, for generations, yet always (in its pure sense) starts with the mother herself.  The mother (and baby) is at the center and the midwife is there to care for and support her.  The lotus represents this pure maternal knowledge, the water that flows from it is the legacy of midwifery.

The water flows through the midwife’s hands, nourishing the trees, encouraging them to bear fruit.  These trees represents the practice of midwifery worldwide.  Many midwives draw from the knowledge of the earth as well, using herbs (like the red raspberry at the base of the trees) in their practice.  I also included the moon, as women (birthing or not) are often influenced and ruled by the moon’s cycles.

View how it was made!