Attending Calmbirth® classes with my husband 5 years ago, pregnant with our first child, I was enthusiastic & ready to learn skills I could draw upon and use during my approaching labour and birth. Already a midwife and childbirth educator, I had in the back of my mind that if I found the classes informative, interesting, high-quality (and more importantly, if the techniques were beneficial during my birth experience), then I would likely follow through with becoming a Calmbirth® educator myself. After all, I felt I could only passionately teach something that I saw great value in.
Not only did I gain exactly what I needed to prepare for labour & birth (and go on to become a Calmbirth® educator) but seeds were planted during that weekend 5 years ago and they have continued to grow, becoming skills for life.
After the birth of my first child, I remember hand-on-heart saying it was the Calmbirth® breathing techniques that got me through my first labour. Giving birth and welcoming our baby within the privacy of our own home was incredibly empowering & life-changing, but there were also moments when it was physically and mentally challenging. I had practised the breath techniques over and over and over during pregnancy & on the big day they allowed me to stay calm, work with my body and truly ‘switch off’ to go within. My second birth was a very different experience but the same held true – the Calmbirth® breathing techniques proved invaluable.
The Calm Breath is now so ingrained it has become a wonderful life skill that I continue to use. It might be when I notice myself becoming stressed or anxious. If I’m having trouble falling asleep. During moments of overwhelm in the challenges that motherhood can bring. Admittedly…once before having blood taken!
It is so simple, to slow down & change the rhythm of my breath but it never fails to restore a sense of calm.
Prior to attending the Calmbirth® classes, I had never really tried meditation. In the later weeks of pregnancy I practised daily, using the guided meditation tracks given as part of the Calmbirth® course. Often I would look forward to popping my headphones in and really switching off, entering into deep relaxation.
As a Calmbirth® educator & through my own research I now understand more about how meditation works and it’s amazing benefits.
But life with two small children is busy and allowing myself the time and space to do meditation each day has become more of an idea than a reality. In becoming conscious of this, I am attempting to create a new habit of daily meditation each evening once both of my boys are asleep. As I’m sure many mothers will relate, my mind often feels like an overflowing to-do list! Meditation allows me to focus again on my breath and before long that busy mind quietens down, becoming clear and rested again. The process feels incredibly restorative.
In a world that is seemingly more busy and fast-paced than ever, it’s no surprise meditation has become more ‘mainstream’ in recent years.
Cultivating the practice of meditation can be a great tool to nourish our mental & emotional health.
The Calmbirth® program packs in an incredible amount of learning over those 12 or so hours. These two life skills – together with an understanding of the mind and what drives our behaviour, habits, thoughts and reactions – are just some of what couples are introduced to through Calmbirth®. For some people this will be entirely new and for others it builds upon knowledge they already have. On a personal level I gained much more than I ever anticipated when I attended those Calmbirth® classes five years ago.
As I wrap up each of my classes now as an educator, I tell couples that everyone will take away something different from Calmbirth®. I often wonder which parts have really resonated with individuals and how it may not only positively influence their birth experience, but perhaps even life beyond.