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179: Sacred Birth/Sacred Death: Holistic Fertility & Hospice Care with Dr. Nathan Riley

How we enter this world and leave this world makes a huge difference. 

For most of the western world, we all experience a similar allopathic birth protocol in a sterile environment we call the hospital. 

Likewise, when we die, we often leave this world in an allopathic environment, like a hospital. Or an allopathic arrangement we call “hospice.” 

Unfortunately, there are many shortcomings and mistakes to be found in both the westernized practice of birthing babies and caring for people with terminal illnesses. 

Do you know what these shortcomings are? Many do not – as our western hospital system, and Big Pharma dominate the landscape so profoundly that most of us do not realize there are other ways to go about birthing and dying. 

Meet our guest today – Dr. Nathan Riley – a medical doctor specializing in OBGYN and hospice medicine. 

Dr. Nathan is also a holistic health practitioner with extensive training, including the Chek Institute. 

Through his holistic OBGYN practice – Beloved Holistics – Dr. Nathan offers a path of collaboration between himself, midwives, and health coaches. 

Dr. Nathan’s generous heart thrives as a holistic OBGYN who brings to the table not only allopathic medicine but also functional medicine, Chinese medicine, herbalism, and Ayurveda. 

Based in Louisville, Kentucky – Dr. Nathan meets with patients locally and remotely to care for common OBGYN issues like pelvic pain, fertility issues, and abnormal periods. 

He is one of the most diverse, exciting guests to ever appear on the Awesome Health Podcast. His fascinating spiritual approach to death is worth a listen alone. However, you will be blown away by his OBGYN insights as well. 

But sure to hit that play button! 

In this podcast, we cover:

  • How Dr. Nathan ended up an OBGYN & hospice care physician together
  • A profound experience Dr. Nathan had with birth and death in the same hour
  • How a traumatic death affected Wade as a teenager
  • Some wisdom on death from Dr. David Hawkins
  • What is “informed consent,” and is the medical establishment still upholding this today?
  • How patients and doctors can communicate better
  • Why you need to ask your doctor questions 
  • Why many couples deal with infertility and how Dr. Nathan treats this issue
  • How eating this one thing can boost fertility

How we face (or not face) mortality in our modern age:

At one point in the conversation, Dr. Nathan shared this about his father:

“If you’ve lost anybody close to you, you realize that there’s this transition – this transformation of spirit. Getting older and having to face our mortality is something that we all have to do.”

“If we treat death as a medical process – that’s a failure of the modern medical model because we’re not forced to contemplate our death.”

“What happens is we’re not forced to face mortality because we have this presumption that somebody’s going to save us from this necessary transformation that happens at the end.”

“For example, my dad – who died when I was in medical school from something called multiple myeloma – he was one of those rough and tough guys that didn’t want to talk about emotions. He wasn’t open to telling people he loved them…it was that generation of men that is emotionally unavailable.”

“I worked with a palliative care group and he joined a palliative care group in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they got him to open up about things and to really kind of reconcile like hey – this is something that’s going to happen, and it’s not something to be afraid of.”

“And so the sacred nature of death started to emerge, for me, and then I ended up in medical school and then into residency experiencing birth and realizing – wow – there’s something magical here.”

1000 Births & 1000 Deaths

Dr. Nathan says he has experienced at least one thousand births and one thousand deaths through his medical practice. 

Here is one big takeaway Dr. Nathan has found from this: “I’ve been to so many births and deaths – 1000 of each is what I tell people at least. I came to realize there’s a spiritual component to this, and what a person needs from you during these scary times that are sacred rites of passage.”

“These times can be blissful depending on how you approach it. As a doctor, what they need from you is somebody to see them and witness them. And then to acknowledge that we don’t have a way of fixing this.” 

“We can’t fix your pregnancy or your birth. Your birth is going to unfold whether you like it or not. And your death is going to unfold, whether you like it or not.”

So what I’m trying to illustrate is that [birth and death] are two sides of the same coin. [Birth and death] are both equally transformative in spirit.”

Dr. Nathan’s unconventional medical practice is making waves in a good way. His unique perspective bringing birth (OBGYN) and death (hospice) together into one holistic medical approach offers many insights you rarely find in the specialist-obsessed allopathic healthcare model. 

Hit that play button and check out this dynamic doctor who offers spirituality and a refreshing level of respect to his patients.

Episode Resources: 

Get 10% off of a consultation package of 10 hours or more using promo code WADE10 HERE

Check out more about Dr. Nathan Riley at Beloved Holistics

The Holistic OBGYN Podcast

Nathan Riley OBGYN on Instagram




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