Sign up soon for this upcoming 7 week prenatal class series! Hosted at The Kootenay Therapy Clinic in Cranbrook. Start May 10- June 21, perfect for summer and fall due dates! Come learn about labour and birth from an experienced doula and prenatal teacher! Meet other expecting couples and receive hands on practice supporting your birthing partner!
Another placenta discussion is coming up in Cranbrook next month. Come visit your local placenta specialist and learn more about the benefits of placenta encapsulation. The midwives from East Kootenay Midwifery are hosting the FREE evening once again, 6pm at the clinic, 1617 Baker St. Cranbrook, BC. Space is limited so rsvp to 250-427-8877 quick, to hold your spot!
This is very exciting news to finally share! Mandala Birth will begin offering prenatal classes in the new year! My Soulful & Holistic Prenatal class is a 7 week series covering all the major topics to prepare you for labour and birth. Being a holistic class I cover the physiological aspect of labour and birth, while also bringing in the emotions and soul through relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
The class will be hosted in the yoga studio of the Kootenay Therapy Center, their gorgeous space is perfect to come together as a group to learn, enjoy and make new connections with other expecting couples.
So a couple weeks ago I went on a little family road trip for Gena Kirby’s Rebozo workshop! It was fantastic, kind of life-changing. Wow! Just…wow! Gena really opened some doors for me as a doula, in how I can interact and support my clients! I’m so happy also to have brought a beautiful new LONG 9 ft rebozo back to Kimberley with me!
A rebozo is a woven shawl, they come in varying lengths and widths, and even have different names from country to country, in Laos they’re called Jias, there are African Kangas, Rebozo is the Mexican name. A rebozo is often worn by a women, used in labour by midwives and then used to carry baby by the new mama. It is not just a tool for birth, it is part of a lifestyle.
Here’s Gena, sharing a bit more about the rebozo:
What did I learn?
How to connect with my clients in new ways
Some awesome techniques for supporting labouring moms
How to get partners/dads more physically involved in comfort measures for birth
The Rebozo as a Gateway
As a doula I have mostly seen it as a tool in my doula bag until now. Now I see it as an extension of my hands and arms, and as an extension of the partners love, for a labouring mom.
I think over the years I’ve figured out ways to engage with clients to help get us up on our feet and trying out comfort techniques, but it can often feel awkward, especially if it’s the first meeting between the doula and the dad. Enter the rebozo, such a simple tool for helping open a gate way and between the birth team. It’s wonderful to have something I can hand to dad and say, you are going to be a pro at this by the time we’re done here. Giving dad something to do to feel engaged, connected and NEEDED is really important, because I never want dad to feel displaced because I was there, I want him to get all the glory.
Seeing the many uses of the rebozo now I will never leave home without it, it can be used to relieve pain and tension, used as a relaxation tool in labour, help relieve stress from partners, midwives, nurses and siblings. Create a quiet space for the couple to reconnect, it can be used to block out stimulating lights and sounds. Use it to help mom move in the case of an epidural and is a powerful tool toward effective pushing.
Here’s a couple examples of what we might do with a rebozo:
Gena demonstrating how to relieve tension in the mothers neck (or anyone who’s feeling stressed in the birth space)
Here seated is the partner or dad, then labouring mom is straddling them. She is being supported with the rebozo by her doula, standing behind dad. Shown is a demonstration of pushing so kneeling behind mom is the midwife helping to lower baby safely to the ground.
And here I am, supporting Gena through some intense contractions, this is an awesome postion for pushing!
The Partner is so important!
The workshop really lit a fire in my heart to addressing the role partners and dads play in the birth experience. I know that in each prenatal visit from now on I am going to be telling the partner how integral they are to helping mom relax. I’ve always been good at getting dads involved to their comfort level but now I will be acknowledging the importance of them being there, loving her, loving the experience and I’ll be creating space in prenatals for them to further their relationship in pregnancy and birth.
What does that really mean though?
When you close your eyes and imagine labouring, see yourself working hard, coping through an intense contraction. This image might create some stress in your body, now imagine labouring and your partner is right there next to you, skin to skin, their smell comforting you just by its presence, their arms holding you, supporting you, their heart beating in time with yours, love hormones flying between you as you open your eyes and see the pride beaming from him to you for the hard work you’re enduring. That’s what we want because if you notice, that time when you imagined your partner there by your side, everything was softer, more relaxed. That is the key to better births. And really that is what was driven home for me, how when I’m there supporting my couples I really want the partner to being doing it, because that is the where her comfort lies.
The rebozo techniques themselves weren’t all new to me but having a chance to practice them and see them in action rather then just on a hand out was so important for my learning experience. Having more hands on experience myself so that when I share these comfort techniques with my pregnant couples will be so beneficial to their learning and their birthing time. I love that I now have new ideas for situations that may arise in your birth!
If you’re pregnant in Cranbrook or Kimberley and think you could use some more labour support, please give me a shout!