Saturday, August 10, 2013

calm birth course

I'm so excited to be able to start on Baby's nursery today, but I'm waiting for the hubs to get up and ready to start putting together in between washing snuggly blankets, pretty wraps and little clothes, I thought I would do a brief recap of last weekend - our Calmbirth Course.

Many of you may not be too interested in this post, particularly since I don't want to use it to explain in a lot of detail what Calmbirth is, but our birthing course over the weekend is part of our journey towards becoming parents and I really wanted to record our thoughts and feelings on it, before it all fades away a little...

For those who haven't heard of Calmbirth, it's a course created by an Australian, Peter Jackson (the hubs was giggling about this when we first arrived at the course and it took me the majority of the day to click why - doh!), who had a background in Hypnobirthing (which American readers might be more familiar with?). The website describes the course as "a simple yet effective childbirth education programme which acknowledges the amazing ability of a mother’s body to work as one with her unborn child to give birth. Calmbirth empowers the mother and her partner to experience birth with wonder and joy."

Now, that might sound a little wishy washy and you might be thinking, "Well, that's all wonderful and all, but giving birth isn't always sunshine and rainbows". Well no, it's not. But not only does the course provide you with knowledge around WHY it's so important to relax, breath, and work with your body (there was a lot of scientific/medical background information to back up any theories presented) the idea of the course, and what I liked most about it, was that it was designed to provide you with tools to try and keep your body calm and relaxed, and to allow you to trust in your body - no matter what course your birth may take. The tools provided should be able to help you to deal with any situation that may arise. While of course it is encouraged to attempt a natural, vaginal birth, the course readily acknowledges that many people require pain relief, intervention and sometimes caesareans. And that you will need to be able to relax and yes, enjoy your baby's birth story, no matter what it is.

The approach that the breathing and relaxation tools learnt throughout the course can be used to keep you as calm and relaxed about your birthing process as possible, no matter what the outcome, is what appealed to me the most - I have a phobia of medical intervention, in any part of my life, let alone birth! So I really felt like I needed something in my court to try and help me remain calm and focused on my baby, should the need arise for any kind of medical intervention. And I actually walked away from the course feeling positive about our birthing experience, instead of apprehensive and fearful of what *might* go wrong. Having known a number of friends with quite traumatic birth experiences, I have also seen first hand that your attitude towards the experience, good or bad, definitely shapes your ability to deal with and accept what is out of your control. I have friends who had a terribly traumatic birth, who still acknowledge how beautiful it was, and others who simply find it difficult to move past the way their baby entered into the world. I'd really like to be in the former group, so anything to help me get in the right mindset is welcomed with open arms!!

We participated in the course with another 4 couples, all of whom were also first time parents, and the practitioner we choose to go through runs her course up in the beautiful Blue Mountains. We got to go for a drive both days, just to the end of the road, and sit and have lunch at an amazing lookout.

seriously, this was our view for lunch each day! and this picture doesn't do the view justice!
The course involved a lot of relaxation exercises, to  help us learn the breathing techniques used in the course, and I must say - for relaxation you really end up tired by the end of the day! The first day very much focused on the medical/scientific background of the theory, as well as learning the breathing and relaxation techniques, and the second day focused on the actual birth, what to expect (while acknowledging that things will go as they will - not to a laid out plan!) and what we might want out of our experience (birth *intentions*, not plan).

I loved how much the hubs got involved in the course, and how much he is willing to help me work on exercises, etc. now - he is extremely calm about the birth of our baby and feels that everything will go the way it should, so he was definitely doing the course to help me put my mind at ease, however we both loved the techniques that we were shown that actually gave him practical ways to assist me during the birth...and just how bonded we felt after the weekend. It truly was an amazing experience for us and we definitely walked away feeling closer...and like Little Bean's birth is only going to bond us even more.

For anyone in Australia looking for a great birthing course - I'd highly recommend Calmbirth. In fact, if you are in a different country and interested, do some research! Because as far as I'm aware, it is starting to be practiced overseas as well and there just might be a registered practitioner in your area.

If anyone would like any more information, the Calmbirth Australia website has some birth stories, etc. from people who have used Calmbirth, although it's not the same reading it vs. experiencing the course.

I'd love to hear though - what courses have people used or plan to use to prepare for the birth of your little ones?

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree that your attitude has a major impact on how you view your birth experience! You can still have an empowering birth, even if it isn't exactly how you hoped or what you planned.


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