Empowering Wahine Before, During & After Birth

Muriwhenua Midwife

Seanie is a registered and qualified Maori Midwife, Rongoa Maori, Herbalist and Mirimiri Practitioner. Part of her soul’s mission is to provide clinically safe-care, and to provide services and products inspired by Matauranga Maori and Wairua (spiritual), in the pre-conception, pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum period. She empowers women through her products and services to achieve a natural but safe pregnancy and birthing experience. Here she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Muriwhenua Midwife, the challenges she has overcome along the way, and her hopes and dreams for the future.

The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?

My business is based on empowering wahine before, during and after birth. Being a midwife, I’ve seen so many beautiful moments, but I’ve also seen the flip side, where whanau and women feel they look to the health professional to make decisions that could ultimately be life threatening and/or saving. So, I want to empower women and their whanau to make decisions based on knowing all of the necessary facts. I also want to empower women knowing that they gave their all for the goals they wanted to achieve in their haputanga (pregnancy). Thus, providing alternative tools such as Mirimiri and Herbal Medicines and Rongoa Māori to help them achieve a natural but safe pregnancy and birthing experience.

The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?

Being a midwife was the driving factor for starting my business. As a midwife, we have an option to be a lead maternity carer, which means we govern over our own business and clients. It wasn’t until I was in the depths of being a self-employed midwife where I realised that it wasn’t sustainable for me to be on call 24/7. At the same time, I immersed myself into different hobbies, to help with self-care beyond my business and work. My creative brain got to thinking and I decided to create products and mirimiri techniques that would help with common aches and pains. I came to the realisation that pregnant wahine need to be massaged consistently and continuously throughout their pregnancy. So, I teach the birth partner and whanau these techniques, so that the pregnant woman doesn’t have to bear the load of pregnancy on her own. Therefore, my business is slowly morphing into this beautiful butterfly, although I feel I am only just at the beginning as a caterpillar. I have so many more ideas with new products, packages, online courses and in-person wananga (workshops) that I have installed for my business.

The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?

I feel my business is still at its conception like being in the 1st trimester haha, however the biggest deal that I feel I’ve managed to get from starting an online business is getting an order for 40 bundles of my mama oil and labour and birth oil. In addition, scoring a role with Te Hiku Hauora, where they will be contracting me as a consultant Māori midwife. My role is to help develop preconception, pregnancy, labour and birth and postpartum wananga (workshops). Another role with them is they will also pay me to Mirimiri clients, so that the community doesn’t have to pay for the sessions. This role will evolve as the year continues.

Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I do balance work and family really well, but I have to admit if it wasn’t for a stable and secure household, I don’t think I would have achieved so much in my life today. I do struggle with not knowing when to say no or when to stop taking on too much to the point where I’m burning out. Unfortunately, I’ve been through a few, but I feel if I hadn’t have gone through those burnouts, I wouldn’t have learnt about the importance of self-care and therefore being able to show my clients the importance of self-care too.

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