Here at the Center for Sacred Window Studies, we share voices from many perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the sacred weeks post birth, and the experience of humanity is experienced in countless ways. We learn by listening to one another and honoring our stories. The views and opinions of our writers do not necessarily reflect the mission, viewpoints or opinions of the Center for Sacred Window Studies.
Meaghan Thompson-Moore is a clinical herbalist, birth & postpartum doula, and medicinal herb farmer. She is the maker behind Blooming Mountains Botanical Sanctuary and resides with her family in Capon Bridge, WV.
Blooming Mountains Botanical Sanctuary offers services and herbal products for mamas and babies. All herbs are grown by shop owner Meaghan on her medicinal herb farm in Capon Bridge, WV. Working with the plants is her passion and she loves to share it with the women and families she serves.
CSWS: Where did you grow up? What brought you to West Virginia?
MTM: I grew up in Smithsburg, MD, a small farming community. It’s about an hour from Capon Bridge.
I’ve lived here for 2 years. I knew some people in the herbal community out here, and I was looking to move and loved the area. I moved in the fall and the next spring, I approached a farm to see if they had space for me to grow and start my own Herbal CSA and they did! This was my first time farming on this land, but I had been herb farming for years before that.
CSWS: Tell us about your learning journey with herbalism.
MTM: I started studying herbalism in 2015.
I studied with Ashley Litecky of Sky House Herb School, completing two years of foundational learning. Then I had a clinical year and studied with Theresa Boardwine of Green Comfort Herb School. Overall I studied for three years nonstop while also seeing clients. During that time, I started living on an herbal farm in Shepherdstown, WV called Sacred Roots. I worked with Hilary there doing a whole lot of trial and error together. We had so much fun and we learned a ton about farming herbs.
CSWS: Who are some of your most meaningful teachers?
MTM: My plants are really my greatest teachers.
When you work with them every day – all the time from seeds to harvest – and even just being out in nature, they definitely teach you how they want to grow. By observing them you can see what actions they’ll have on the body and what they are useful for. Ideas start to pop in my head about what to do and not do, the plants talk to me. I’ve always been an outdoors person and in my 20s I read a lot of naturalist writing. Growing up, I was always playing outside and I learned folk traditions around plants, wildcrafting and harvesting wild medicines.
CSWS: What are some of your greatest herb allies right now?
MTM: I turn to Mugwort when I need guidance and clarity.
I don’t even have to drink it; I’ll make smudge sticks and burn it. During the growing season, I’ll just go sit with it.
This time of year, I love the Evergreen trees – White Pine and Cedar trees. I am also growing Oatstraw right now in my high tunnel. Oatstraw has many more minerals in it before it goes to seed and is much stronger medicine than if you harvested it in the summer. I love harvesting milky oats in the summer for pregnant or postpartum mamas. They are soothing, so full of minerals, and good for the nervous system.
CSWS: Tell us about your background with Ayurveda and postpartum care.
MTM: I’ve always loved Ayurveda. I was lucky in the way I was taught from an energetic model and Traditional Chinese Medicine uses its model in teaching herbs, diet and spiritual practices.
It’s all so crucial to finding healing and balance. I was at the point of feeling ready to become a mom myself and researching on the internet when I came across the Center for Sacred Windows website and it looked so amazing. I decided to learn for myself, but also to enhance my work using herbs to support women’s health.
I have always been a caretaker my whole life; volunteering at hospitals, working as a nanny, working with elderly clients and as a nursing assistant, and caretaking my grandmother with Alzheimers. I love the idea of working with women from conception through their Sacred Window. I feel strongly that if we can really commit to truly taking care of ourselves, diving deep and really forming some kind of spiritual practice (whatever it is for you), care about the food we put in our bodies, use herbs…that it can change the rest of a woman’s life. It can set a good foundation for a baby’s life too and even the rest of their family.
CSWS: Have you experienced your own Sacred Window?
MTM: I was thrown into an unplanned sacred window when I had an unexpected miscarriage.
It was so unexpected I thought, What do I do? This was after my Center for Sacred Window Studies training, so I utilized everything I learned and knew and used diet, herbs, and rest and recovered from it really well. Surprisingly well! I did experienced serious hemorrhaging and lost a lot of blood so my body had a lot healing to do afterwards. After about two months, I actually felt better in my body after I recovered than I did before. It was a very powerful experience for me and it has helped inform my practice and work with my clients. My body came into balance from that experience.
CSWS: Tell us about your Postpartum Tea!
MTM: My postpartum tea really helps to nourish new mothers with the minerals and vitamins, balance hormones, ease anxiety and stress, and provide natural energy.
It can be drunk every day at any time of the day. I grow all the herbs for this tea on my farm!
It’s similar to a pregnancy tea with Nettle, Oatstraw, Alfalfa and Oat tops, which are all really mineral rich plants and full of vitamins, too. Oat tops are good for pacifying Vata, relaxing the nervous system. I also added Motherwort, which can help balance hormones. Motherwort is like a mother’s hug, it helps to strengthen a mother, strengthening the heart. I added Red Clover for hormonal balance, Fennel for sweet taste, digestive support and for lactation. I also added Tulsi, which is a very gentle adaptogen and makes it warming.
CSWS: What’s your creative process like when creating a new product?
MTM: I spend a lot of time with the plants with an end goal in mind.
I use my A side of my brain and think about what herbs are helpful in this time, what plants do I know of that provide that. I am always thinking of the new product while going about my day or taking a walk. While I’m doing that, plants start coming to me and I get ideas from them of what to utilize. I go to my herb pantry and I pull out and lay out all the herbs. I use my intuition, go with the flow, tasting and tweaking it as needed. I also always like to light a candle which I put a prayer into beforehand, with my intentions and how I want my product to help people. I let it burn the whole time I’m formulating and creating, and then when I’m done I blow it out.
Along with deciding the right ratio to make it as strong as possible, working with high quality plant material is so key. Small herb farms are the way to go. Once you experience high quality herbs, the difference in quality is so drastic than what you get from bigger herb companies. There’s something about having the highest quality herbs that makes the end product really special and noticeably different.
CSWS: What is your vision for the future of postpartum care?
MTM: I would love for everyone to experience a Sacred Window and to be able to honor it and to have the knowledge of how to do it.
I know not everyone can afford a postpartum doula, but even if they have knowledge of little things they can do for themselves it would be amazing. I want everyone to be given the time they need and not be expected to go back to their normal right after giving birth.