Bates hosts a talk on societal perceptions of infertility

The Bates College psychology department welcomes Anne Belden for the public presentation Aphrodite, Shame and the Wandering Womb: Understanding the Legacy of Anguish, Shame and Silence Surrounding Infertility at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in Room 301, Pettigrew Hall, 305 College St.

The event is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-8297.

The Wandering Womb project is a product of Belden’s ongoing mission to illuminate issues and stigmas surrounding infertility in society. Reproductive authority has been appropriated and attributed broadly across human history. Belden believes that when society distances women from the power of giving birth, a sense of secrecy and shame develops around the female body.

Through visual presentations, coloring books, a blog radio show, and other resources, Belden seeks to explore and revive ancient fertility icons and image-concepts that empower women.

Belden holds a bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s in human development and family relations from the University of Nebraska. Her work in Maine includes filling the role of board president for Hardy Girls, Healthy Women; co-founding a multicultural girls’ chorus (Pihcintu); founding The Toy Library; and serving on the boards of Maine Families with Children from China and the Portland Chinese Language and Cultural School.

Based in Portland, Belden offers fertility, adoptions and transitions coaching through a holistic perspective.

Belden’s professional background and depth of understanding has allowed her to approach coaching as a co-creative, solutions-focused practice that differs in significant ways from adoption-infertility counseling, which aims to diagnose and treat conditions based on medical models.

Belden facilitates free monthly support groups including the RESOLVE Infertility support group, the Pregnancy and Infant Loss group, and Pregnancy After Infertility and Loss group.

A bio-adoptive parent herself with a biological son and a daughter from China, Belden promotes Co-Active coaching, which seeks to open alternative routes to parenthood based on the assumption of a client’s fundamental well-being. In addition to her Gestalt training in the power of the present, Belden is also accredited with Mind/Body training via the Ali Domar Mind Body Institute in Boston.

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