About Pam England
Pam England has a unique talent for inventing thought-provoking methods to guide women during their childbearing year by synthesizing mythology, philosophy, art, archetypal psych-ology, rituals, and research. Her writing, teaching, and paintings are inspired by her Muse, as well as her experiences as a midwife and as a mother giving birth once by cesarean and then at home, and her work as a birth story-listener.
The popularity of her groundbreaking first book, Birthing From Within (1998) created demand for a mentor and doula training and certification program which she founded in 1999. For many years Pam traveled across the United States and abroad teaching Birthing From Within phil-osophy and processes.
Formerly a certified nurse-midwife (trained at Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky), Pam worked in hospital, birth center, and home birth settings for eighteen years. Her interest in preventing and resolving emotional birth trauma led her to earn a master’s degree in psychology-counseling. Presently she is teaching courses on birth as a heroic journey, the healing power of telling Great Stories, and her Birth Story Medicine® process, which she is currently developing into a book. Pam lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Iread the ancient Sumerian story of "Inanna’s Descent" before giving birth over thirty years ago; at the time I didn’t fully appreciate the meaning. Nonetheless, the “map” of the heroic journey-myth was planted unwittingly in my unconscious mind. Soon after, my difficult first labor and cesarean birth would leave me utterly shattered and confused. “Disrobed” of everything I trusted and believed as an idealistic homebirth nurse-midwife, I fell deep into the underworld of postpartum depression. It was then I spontaneously began identifying with Inanna, the warrior-queen, who in her underworld, also lost everything she valued.
Pam's Inspiration for Writing Ancient Map
This was my first personal experience with the transformative power of Great Stories. Because humans are wired to follow the "ancient map" embedded in heroic myths, it is not surprising that I intuitively followed in Inanna's footsteps to find my way "home" after my Ordeal in Laborland. This healing experience awakened the storyteller in me and led me on a life-long study of mythology, symbols, archetypal psychology, and storytelling.
Storytellers teaching through stories is a timeless tradition in every culture. After completing my own journey "home" with Inanna, I envisioned an innovative model of holistic preparation for, and personal growth during the childbearing year organized around the heroic journey of Inanna’s Descent. I have been testing, revising, and teaching this model to parents and childbirth professionals ever since.
From excavating through the rubble of my own collapsed fantasies of birth, and listening to many women who have shared their stories with me, I knew that pregnant women needed two maps: one is a “modern map” to negotiate the maze of prenatal care and birth in our culture; and the other map, which is often missing, is about being mentored and shown the inner map which includes the Tasks of Preparation, Ordeal, and the Return.
Ancient Map for Modern Birth took seven years to research, write, illustrate, and professionally edit. Finally, my long time dream to share this model with you has been realized!
– Pam England