So I went to the Houston Lamaze Workshop last week. Now time to study and prepare for the test and practice in the classroom! My test will be in October and I have to send my stuff in and reserve my spot by August. I had a lovely time learning under Debby Amis and Jeanne Greene. Interacting with the women in attendance was also a pleasure. I was blessed to sit by a nurse of 20 years and a childbirth educator of 16+ years. They were very educated in their fields. There were also an array of others that were doulas (like myself), experienced childbirth educators, lactation consultants, a yoga instructor / life coach, and childbirth education newbies 🙂
The group was very diverse in culture also. One young woman came all the way from Honduras. She recommended me to what she described “a paradise”, The Bay Islands Roatan. I will definitely be adding this to one of my places to go in my life!
I met a woman just 30 years old that had conquered breast cancer and had just gotten married last year; a mother at 17 that is now a second in command in an organization that provides doulas as a free service in San Antonio; and a woman studying to be a midwife so that she can serve homeless women and provide them with healthy, safe births. It was amazing to be around all of these women, hear their stories, and be inspired by their drive! Knowing that we all have a common goal of educating and empowering women during pregnancy and childbirth and motherhood was so refreshing and will continue to be.
During the conference we covered how to teach about the changing body, nutrition, exercise, labor stages, teaching aids, natural / touch-based birth process and medicated / technology-based birth process, massage and comfort measures, breastfeeding, postpartum and soooooo much more!
One fabulous relaxation technique we practiced was a visualization practice. Let’s all try now!…..
“Begin by relaxing the whole body, coming home to your breath, and breathing into your whole body, every cell…..
Now imagine finding yourself in an open field. Are you sitting there, lying there, or dancing? Are there wildflowers, simply grass, is it rainy or sunny. What do you see, smell, feel, and hear?
A butterfly comes to you and you decide to follow it. It takes you to a forest with a path. You begin walking on the path. You see someone in the distance. You are safe, you are curious. You feel that they are they to guide you. Do you recognize them or are they just coming to light for you? They greet you, take your hand, and walk some of the path with you. You come to a brook. Is the water still or flowing? High or low? Your guide suggests you be in the garden across the brook and gives you a parting message. Listen. You cross over.
You continue on your path and on your right you see a garden. What do you see? Rocks, flowers, herbs, sand? Is it Zen? Is it lush? Are there weeds? You look to the left and see another garden. What do you smell, hear, touch, taste? What do you do in your garden if anything?
The butterfly comes to you again and whispers, “there is more.” You continue on. You come to an old wooden shed. The door is ajar and you peer in. You realize this is your studio to create the life you desire. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, touch? Find a place to rest and just be in your work- room. Notice how you feel and what you think. Watch your dream unfold. Breathe.
When you feel satisfied, begin to exit. Peer in once more and then close the door. Move back through your garden, cross the brook, and come to your open field. Sit or lie down comfortably. Breathe. Let your journey wash over you and when you are ready, open your eyes and come back into this room.”
Hope you were able to enjoy that while reading!
My garden was more like in the middle of a forest and looked kind of like the pic above. After completing this exercise I felt this peace and calmness that covered all over. This is an excellent exercise to practice in pregnancy in prep for childbirth and to find peace in our busy, hustles in life.
I am getting very excited about starting the process of teaching. Being involved of assisting families to understand the process of birth and all their options is going to be a very fun and growing experience!