Sister Aisha, to begin with, what is Amani Birth?
Amani Birth is a medium to bring together expecting parents and AMANI certified childbirth educators and doulas.
What inspired you to create such an educative and benefiting program for the Ummah?
As a young mother from the States I felt fortunate to come from a place where childbirth education was the norm. When a women becomes pregnant she gets educated about what to expect, how to prepare, and she understands her options and rights in childbirth. When I moved to the Middle East I found that there was no concept of these types of classes, and women were going into their childbirth unprepared and terrified. What I found to be worse was that the routine practices which the mothers had to go through in the labor rooms were often times outdated and not evidence based, and in some cases caused more harm than good. It pained me that my Muslim sisters were missing out on the benefits of birthing naturally with trust in the best of all Creators. I truly feel that if anyone should be trusting the natural birth process it should be the Muslims who have faith in Allah as the best of all Creators. Of course we want medical observation and praise medical skills and interventions when there are complications, but many complications can be avoided by preparing mothers for a natural birth without pain meds or unnecessary routine interventions.
What is the basic foundation on which Amani Birth was found?
The foundation of AMANI is that Allah created us and thus He has designed a system for every stage of our lives, including conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. We believe that with the right mindset, proper mental physical and emotional preparation—most women can give birth naturally. The main premise is for parents to prepare for the birth of their child and be educated enough to be able to give consent or refusal of medical interventions so that they can make informed decisions if complications do arise. Any birth can be empowering, even a c-section—providing that the mother is fully prepared and aware of decisions being made and that she is the leader of her own birthing experience and is part of the decision making process—especially when interventions do become necessary.
How does Amani Birth work? Are your services limited to Dubai?
Amani Birth is a whole team of affiliates. We have presence in over 25 countries with hundreds of affiliates
Your website talks extensively about doula and doula training. Who is a doula and why do you think they’re essential for a mother to-be?
A doula is a non medical birth professional who supports expecting parents by educating them emotionally and physically through out the pregnancy, labor, birth, and new parenting experience. Research shows that the presence of a doula at labor results in better clinical outcomes and less medical interventions, even though doulas do nothing clinical. This is because doulas support and encourage the mom and provide a lot of tender loving care—which enhances the hormones that actually drive birth.
A doula is sort of like a knowledgeable tour guide through birth.
What is the procedure at Amani Birth for those who would like to train under your doula program?
Becoming an AMANI Birth teacher and/or doula is a ten step process.
First is to register online for the workshop at www.amanibirth.com on the Teacher/Doula training page.
Second is to confirm attendance at an upcoming workshop by payment of workshop fees.
Third is to attend the life changing AMANI workshop. It is a 21-hour workshop typically conducted over three days.
Fourth is to complete required reading assignments (which can be done prior to or after workshop attendance) and includes reading the AMANI Birth book, two other books of your choice about natural childbirth and one about breastfeeding.
Fifth is to complete written assignments about the four books (this and all academic work is online via AMANI’s online learning management system)
Sixth is to compile a list of references in your community for mothers.
Seventh is to teach your first class series (typically ten sessions) and upload your written feedback via the learning management system. Using the easy to follow AMANI curriculum that you will explore in the AMANI training workshop.
Eighth is to attend your first doula birth and submit written feedback via the learning management system.
Ninth is an open-book written exam via the online learning management system. Tenth is to pay the annual affiliation fees for certification.
We are always blessed to welcome new sisters (and sometimes brothers) to the AMANI Birth family and team. This is life changing and important work that is so beneficial and needed in every community around the world.
You have also published your book called “Amani birth book”. What was the feedback that you received from its readers?
Yes AMANI Birth book is the reading book upon which the curriculum is based. We have a lot of heartwarming feedback from mothers worldwide who have been positively affected by the content and whose lives have been changed. Some responses were related to the positive and empowering birth experiences, while others talked about the closeness to Allah that results from pondering upon the concepts of Islam and childbirth.
Lastly,how would you like the ummah, and especially the women of the ummah, to benefit from your website?
Well, first of all it isn’t about the “website”. It is about the people who have stepped up to learn and bring knowledge forward in their communities. Knowledge is power and mothers deserve an empowering birth experience. Classes like AMANI Birth wouldn’t happen if local community members didn’t step forward and put in their efforts and passion to serve the ummah this way. All praises are due to Allah first and foremost and may He bless each one for their efforts and may He continue to guide and support the efforts to improve the mothers and babies experiences and may He continue to open doors so that AMANI Birth can be a venue for that progress.
May Allah subhanawatala bless you in deen and dunya
May Allah subhanawata’ala reward you for your efforts towards the betterment of the ummah. May this be a platform for many other beneficial and enriching experiences. Jazak allah khairan.