Maria Chowdhury, Creatrix of Birth Song Botanicals Co.
I remember growing up in the mountains of northern California and playing outside as a child. We had a clearing on our property, a little ways away from our house. This was my favorite place to play. From this spot, I could see off into the distance in three different directions, and there was a cropping of rocks that had been ground down by the Native American women that lived there long before. In these stones is where they ground their nuts, herbs, food, and medicine.
I would play out there for hours, making "medicine" in those ancient stones. From a very early age, when people asked me, what I wanted to be when I grow up, my reply was: "I want to grow up to be an Indian woman." When they asked why, I said, "because they know how to make medicine."
Growing up, most of my peers were born at home. My mom was friends with a midwife. When I was 15 years old, we moved to Hot Spring, Arkansas, and we moved down the street from a midwife.
In 2000, I moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I immediately got a job at Ozark Natural Foods Coop and applied for midwifery school. I committed the next three years of my life to midwifery school and my apprenticeship. In my final year, I got married and gave birth. I loved my birth, and I gave birth outside in a pool of water in July 2004.
One month later, I took my 8-hour state midwifery exam with my baby breastfeeding in the sling. I passed at the top of my class. By October, I was back to births. Since then, I have attended hundreds of births as a Certified Professional Midwife and established an herbal company.
When I was pregnant, I worked in the health food store and was surrounded by midwives who knew a lot about herbs. But at that time, there were not many herbal products intended to support women through pregnancy and birth. The available products either did not taste good, look beautiful, nor were they easy to take.
My own herbal experience while being pregnant and breastfeeding motivated me to make custom remedies for my midwifery clients. It did not take long to see the pattern of remedies that clients needed again and again. Thus, Birth Song Botanicals was born in 2009.
- Arkansas State Licensed Massage Therapist, 1996
- Graduate of Arkansas Midwives School and Services, 2003
- Certified Professional Midwife--International Certification, 2004
- Licensed Midwife- Arkansas Department of Health, 2004
- International Certified Infant Massage Instructor, 2010
- Graduate of Global Institute for Alternative Medicine--Master Herbalist, 2011