By MAMAMIA TEAM
She’s been called the ‘mummy messiah’. A saviour and liberator of mothers everywhere. A (non-medical) expert on childbirth.
And she wants YOU to have an ecstatic birth.
What is an ecstatic birth you ask? Well, for a start, it involves a lot of pregnant shagging and sex toys in place of epidurals.
Let’s learn a little more shall we?
33-year-old Latham Thomas is a self described “tree-hugging, shoe-loving, vegan vixen and holistic wellness maven”. Fairfax introduced her to the Australian masses last week and she’s got a lot of us awfully confused.
Thomas is a graduate of Columbia University and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and previously worked as an environmental sciences teacher.
But when she had her own child 9 years ago, she found her true calling: providing advice for mums and mums-to-be, encouraging them to embrace a holistic and natural approach to motherhood.
One of these natural approaches is the so-called “ecstatic birth” – which might sound like an oxymoron to, well, most people. But more on that later…
To achieve this ecstatic birth – and generally bombastic wellness before and after labour – is a manifold process. Thomas recommends a combination of diet (raw foods), exercise (yoga), and a calm mindset (hello, meditation).
Her website and book Mama Glow is all about, well, the glow that comes from being a mama. A ‘holistic hub’ that helps women explore their creativity, and embrace wellbeing.
Thomas herself had an easy pregnancy and labour – and says other women can achieve the same. Thomas says part of this process involves women cleansing their “wombiverse”, which involves eating mostly vegetables and plants through pregnancy, as well as a whole bunch of superfoods (or “glow foods”) like goji berries and maca root.
Thomas also recommends avoiding the “eating for two” sensibility (advice that has been backed-up by some doctors, who recommend that pregnant women may only need between 200-300 extra calories each day).
Further, women should become accustomed to practicing the “love gaze”, which involves staring at yourself in the mirror, and thinking loving, positive thoughts about your pregnant self.
One of the tenants of Thomas’ modern, motherhood bible – that has been much discussed by the media – is that mums-to-be should be having sex. A lot of sex.
So much sex, actually, that Thomas recommends sex toys in place of epidurals – because the power of the orgasm is the most effective pain relief. Couples are encouraged to engage in a lot of kissing, talk in sultry voices, and even light aromatherapy candles, while a woman is in labour.
It might all sound rather hokey but there is clearly a well-intentioned message at the heart of Thomas’ handbook.
It is a good idea for women to attempt to eat well throughout pregnancy (as long as their growing children are receiving all the essential nutrients, such as zinc, iron and B12).
Loving your changing body – and embracing the change birth will bring – encourages self-acceptance and self-confidence.
And, you know, relaxing during childbirth – while almost impossible – is still a worthy aim.
Orgasming during labour? That’s admittedly, a tougher ask.
Thomas doesn’t just provide advice through her book and website – she also works as a childbirth coach. But such expert advice comes at a price. In fact, her fees soar up to $12,000.
She has worked with clients such as Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes, and fashion designers Stacey Bendet Eisner and Rebecca Minkoff.
Minkoff has said of Thomas, “’This woman is an angel, She empowers you so that you are free to focus on welcoming your baby into the world.”
Some medical experts have been critical of Thomas’ advice. But she insists that she is trying to unite different child birthing processes holistically. This from Daily Mail:
To critics who believe doulas [labour coach] can be obstructive and contradictory to the advice of doctors and nurses, Ms Thomas says her goal is to unite the holistic and the medical specialists.
‘I felt there was this polarity in Manhattan where you had the hippie natural birth [movement] on one side and [doctors] who were into ultra-medical, hospitalized birth on the other,’ she said.
‘I thought: “How come there is no interaction?” I wanted to bring those two sides together.
Another criticism of Thomas’ advice is that, well, it’s a lot to live up to.
During the aches and pains and pregnancy, mood swings, and trying to prepare for the fact that soon a whole other person will be pushing their way out of your vagina, most women aren’t thinking about activated almonds.
But one thing Thomas stresses is that women can pick and choose from her advice – they don’t need to be totalitarian about the health regime. And while cleansing the “wombiverse”, “glow foods” and “ecstatic birth” might not be for everyone, it seems to be working for Thomas. So good luck to her.
Do you think her approach to childbirth sounds like it would work for you?