About Mama Lee
Meet Lee Standeven, the
"Seeing how transformational birth can be is amazing, and helping people learn in a balanced and practical way, that nurtures is what makes me excited. Knowledge is important for all women and families, no matter how or where they chose to birth their babies."
I appreciate that having a baby can be a varied experience for women, and may come with a range of emotions,
I support women to choose what is right for them and their
How Mama Lee came to be.
When I was 27, I was in a truck traveling from England to Ghana. I met an old woman in a village in Morocco who told me that being the eldest in the village gave her the privilege to welcome in new life, and there sparked a passion in me (that led to moving to New Zealand and training to be a midwife for three years), in the hope of growing old and putting my two hands to good use.
After meeting the old woman and weeks of travel, I finally arrived in the village in Ghana and met a little four year old boy whom I instantly loved and still do, he called me 'Mama Lee' and it stuck to the point that shop keepers, taxi drivers, birth attendants, and all that hear of me, call "Mama Lee!"
I made a promise to myself that I would return to Ghana and have made the trip too many times to count. The traditional birth attendants there care for the women in their villages with love and kindness and with very little resources. I have worked alongside 72 traditional birth attendants, sharing techniques for safe birth practices, and cared for over 400 village women for whom I raise funds with the aim to help those in need, to provide supplies for a safe, clean birth and reduce infection rates and complications.
I have had the pleasure to: work with women and their families birthing at home, in hospital or in birth centres in Australia, New Zealand, Ghana and Vanuatu; teach midwifery and medical students; work alongside traditional birth attendants; be awarded a fellowship to work towards the World Health Organisation Millennium Goals; be contracted by the Health Department to review and write reports on student midwives clinical placements, endorsed midwives, and was project lead for maternity services in regional Australia which saw ‘continuity of care’ introduced to three regional hospitals which were on the verge of closure; was a founding member of the Holistic Health Practitioner Network; work in Midwifery Group Practice; become one of the first midwives in Western Australia to set up my own private practice for home and hospital birth; teach antenatal classes around the world; train with healers and advanced midwives globally; and independently volunteer in developing countries.
For the women I have provided birth care for, no matter in what setting, the vaginal birth rate over my 11 years of practice was 98% (in comparison with current national data which is only 66%). I am not opposed to C-section, in fact I know that they can be used wisely and beautifully, and we are fortunate to have them as an option.
It really has been a wonderful, amazing and diverse fourteen+ years (11 years of practice, and over 3 years of midwifery training) being with women and birthing babies. Which is great, because it means that as I have learned from women, their amazing families, and some truly remarkable practitioners from different health and healing modalities, as well as midwives in retreats and workshops around the world. I have been able to add more, grow more and craft my classes into something special that I believe in and that I know works. I love teaching, and sharing knowledge and appreciate the difference it can make in people’s lives, I’m really looking forward to this next chapter online.
Over the past twenty years I have learnt and practiced Reiki level 1 and 2, massage, pranic healing and lived in Israel to train in the art of the Spalter technique of healing, all of which has come in handy when working with women and their families. Fortunately, I will return to Israel this year to learn more and then travel on to make a documentary, which will tell the story of some of the kind birth workers around the world, and I hope to call it ‘kindness: the art of caring’.
I have loved caring for women in my local community, and I look forward to sharing and growing with you all in my global community.