We are thrilled to announce updates and new births from parents who have undertaken the calmbirth workshops
I enjoyed reading Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering, I enjoyed reading Birth Skills, I remained fit throughout my pregnancy through swimming, yoga, walking, gardening and attending Pregie Bellie classes…….. I lost the mucous plug on a monday afternoon….. it was the following friday that my waters broke…. just a small trickle….. despite being GBS pos we resisted being induced and took oral antibiotics and I started to labour within a few hours. I trusted my body, I felt the surges as friendly earth tremors!!!! The OB was happy for us to go for a walk when i was 5cms dilated so we went out into the glorious sunshine. We played a beautiful slide show on the Ipad to favourite music, lit a candle and Andrew gave me a massage. It was a very beautiful and intimate experience, being in the moment and being excited about meeting our daughter soon.
I suddenly “knew” it was time to go back to the hospital and I continued to breathe calmy through my “expansions”. The urge to push came only every 5 minutes so I rested inbetween, I knew there was no need to rush, I knew I could trust my body. I felt very calm but in an altered trance-like state. I never felt pain – only a slightly uncomfortable feeling as I felt my baby sit low in my vagina and pelvis. I felt joyful anticipation.
When our daughter was placed in my arms I felt an indescribable joy. My life has been transformed for the better through the journey of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. I have learnt to slow down and know myself in a far more profound way. The journey has healed myself of old wounds and grief. And in their place is a new found peace and deep seated happiness that cannot be shifted.
Thank you so much Gill for your important part in all of this.
The power of 3. My husband was amazing – and the 3 of us worked
together to ensure as natural birthing experience as possible. Even though I
was induced, I was not disempowered about this, I followed all the tips and
visualisations I learnt during CalmBirth. Gill was amazing, I met her the
day before I was about to be induced and she even came to visit me in
hospital the evening he was born. It is a very special life lesson we both
learnt doing this workshop, the techniques and power of meditation / breath
we still apply each day. Lenny was a big boy – 9lb 4 and people are amazed
to hear I delivered him naturally and always compliment on him being such a
placid little soul, which I credit to the methodolgies I learnt from
“The newborn baby and its mother (and father) are old and loving acquaintances at birth, who cannot wait to set eyes on each other” Thomas Verny (cited in Lipton 2005, pg 85)
Many thanks to all the parents who continue to send me emails/texts telling me of their wonderful birth experiences. It is such a joy to hear the pride, the confidence and the huge sense of achievement in your messages.
I also love how so many of you comment on how the experience brought you closer together. I am constantly in awe of what couples can achieve when they work together and focus on it being a positive expereince – regardless of how the birth unfolds.
There have been stories of short labours (1 hour) to long labours (38 hours!! on just 2 panadol!!!!) spontaneous labours/inductions/normal deliveries/ventouse/forceps and of course c/sections but what stands out more than anything is that it has been a positive experience for the vast majority of couples.
Thank you for taking the time to get back to me with your experiences – they inspire me with the passion to continue promoting this wonderful program. Enjoy every minute of these very important early days/weeks/months/years. Yes the days may sometimes seem long but believe me the years are short!
“Babies are exquisitively sensitive beings who are profoundly affected by their experiences in the womb, during birth, and in their early lives” Dr. Marion Badenoch Rose.
I want to share some of the lovely feedback I get: they are so full of the energy and joy of giving birth:
We can’t thank you enough for your help in the preparation of our drug-free, full of oxygen labour and birth of our son Charlie. We drew on our calmbirth techniques and Jez kept me breathing, focused and calm the whole way through, even though I hit the terrible “I can’t do it” phase in transition (Charlie was posterior and then he got shoulder dystocia – stuck!!) I felt intense sensations of birthing him and was just in awe of it all. I think Charlie thanks you too – he’s pretty happy with life
Love Kirsti and Jez
We are pleased to tell you that the arrival of little Evie was such a positive experience for all of us. Intense at times but always very positive and ‘under control’ calmbirth was the glue that held it all together. I found focusing on the breath, staying in the moment, visualising what my body was doing and staying positive all contributed to having the birth experience we had dreamed of with no drugs and not “losing it”. our first birth experience was so traumatic but this was just so wonderful in so many ways. Thank you so much – we are telling all our frineds “Go calmbirth”.
Thank you so much for the calmbirth classes – they made a huge difference to my mindset and gave me the strength to get through my labour with no drugs.
The birth of our baby was the happiest and proudest day of my life. The strength I feel now having had the experince is sometimes overwhelming. I did not feel my partner was really listening much in the classes but on the day he came through with flying colours – holding my hand to help me into deeper meditation, breathing with me, relived happy memories we had shared together and just telling me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me. I do believe this gave me the strength to labour without needing any pain releif.
In the second stage of labour he was reminding me of wonderful experinces we had shared and I was just smiling as I was pushing – it seemed the most natural thing in the world and resulted in the amazing birth of our daughter.
The contractions had been bearable, I had no need to cry out or wail or anything, the breathing got me through each wave and the pushing was exhausting but managable. i can remember standing in the shower some time after the birth thinking ‘you’ve just had a baby and here you are feeling on top of the world”. Not one person I know had shared such a positive birth story with me so I have made it my mission to let everyone know that birth does not have to be traumatic. I strongly believe I had this experience because of the calmbirth classes.
My wish is that every birth could be such a positive experience.
Australian calmbirth www.calmbirth.com.au
Michael and David Black Chiropractic group – Armadale and Templestowe. www.templestowe-lower.chiropractic-pregnancy.info
Maternity Coalition Australia national maternity consumer organization www.maternitycoalition.org.au
Midwives Naturally group practice of experienced midwives caring for women in pregnancy and birth, birth support, home birthing etc. www.midwivesnaturally.com.au
My birth www.mybirth.com.au
Sue Power – experienced Melbourne midwife and calmbirth practitioner www.naturallycalmbirth.com.au
Lactation consultant and early parenting advice – Ruth Berkowitz, phone (mobile) 0417 589 982
Nancy Mohrbacher – “How do natural breastfeeding positions compare with others” several you tube video clips showing very helpful instructions on laid back breastfeeding positions – fantastic to watch.
www.spinningbabies.com – check out this website if you have a breech or posterior position baby.
www.midwifethinking.com – great website for practical birthing advice.
Robin Grille – heart to heart parenting – wonderful advice on developing emotional intelligence in your child www.our-emotional-health.com
Jill Humann – cousellor/psychotherapist/midwife – help and guidance with stress/trauma associated with pregnancy and birth www.jillhumann.com.au
Newborn baby and Kangaroo care – how to really bond –www.themiracleofkangaroomothercare.com
www.pregnancy.com.au – everything you need to know about pregnancy in Australia
I’d love to share this article with you, written by Sarah Berry earlier in 2012.
Sarah Berry February 20, 2012
When Subhana Barzaghi was a midwife she taught breathing and meditation techniques to relieve the pain caused by contractions.
“Most of us have a habitual reaction to pain – an aversion that we react against,” Subhana, who is now a meditation teacher at North Sydney’s Bluegum Sangha, explains.
“Meditation teaches us to observe rather than get caught up in the strong sensations we are experiencing. We learn to stop labeling and therefore stop reacting. In this way, instead of tightening up against it and resisting, which causes further tension, we start to soften into it. As we do this, the pain can begin to soften and subside.”
Recently, the 5000 year old intuitive teachings of meditation were given the backing of science. A report from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center states that meditation can be more effective than morphine.
“This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” said Fadel Zeidan, PhD, lead author of the study and post-doctoral research fellow at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “We found a big effect – about a 40 per cent reduction in pain intensity and a 57 per cent reduction in pain unpleasantness. Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 per cent.”
In the study, 15 volunteers, who had never previously meditated, were taught mindfulness meditation techniques over four 20-minute sessions. Mindfulness meditation teaches the individual to focus the attention on an object, such as the breath.
“This concentration brings the awareness to the present moment, allowing the individual to experience what’s going on at a subtle level, ” Subhana explains. “As the mind stops jumping around like a 24-hour TV channel, we develop our sense of calm and begin to cultivate equanimity and serenity. In this way, we enhance our own natural relaxation response.”
During the study, participants had their brain activity measured, with an arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI), both before and after meditation, while they were subjected to a pain-inducing heating device – heated to 120 farenheit or almost 50 degrees celsius – over five-minute periods.
The scans found that after meditation, participant’s pain was reduced by as much as 93 per cent. They also showed that activity in the somatosensory cortex – the region of the brain associated with pain response – which was rapid prior to meditation, was significantly diminished afterwards. Movement in the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the orbito-frontal cortex however, was increased after meditation.
“These areas all shape how the brain builds an experience of pain from nerve signals that are coming in from the body,” says Robert C Coghill, PhD, senior author of the study and associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist. “Consistent with this function, the more that these areas were activated by meditation the more that pain was reduced. One of the reasons that meditation may have been so effective in blocking pain was that it did not work at just one place in the brain, but instead reduced pain at multiple levels of processing.”
As a result of the study, Wake Forest recommended meditation be used as standard clinical practice to deal with pain.
This scientific endorsement came as a welcome, but not unexpected result for those in the profession.
“With guidance from a trained practitioner, mindfulness meditation allows you to achieve a level of focus and concentration where you are deeply calm and even blissful,” Subhana says. “Certainly, this shifting of mind and body state at times of intense stress has the power to be stronger than drugs.”
Labouraide recipe – to keep you hydrated during your birth experience:
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 crushed calcium tablet
Mix and add water to taste (approx 1 litre) and use as a drink or freeze and use as ice cubes to suck on in labour.
If I had to I could do anything… I am strong! I am invincible… I am woman!!!