Monday, February 22, 2010

calmbirth



When I was pregnant with L'il B, I was fortunate enough to meet Jenny, a lovely midwife, who was training as a CalmBirth practitioner and as part of her training offered the full course to Big B and I in our home on a weekly basis for a discounted rate (because she wasn't yet fully certified). We learned a lot about the birth process- physically, mentally and spiritually from her 10 years of experience as a midwife and through the tools the course gives you.

The website describes this method best-

The calmbirth® method of childbirth education was created by Peter Jackson in 2005.

As a midwife in a country hospital for 20 years, Peter witnessed mothers whose experience of childbirth was one of fear, pain and trauma. As a result he began to search for ways to help improve the experience of these mothers.

He consequently qualified as a Private Subconscious Mind Therapist and in 1997 traveled to the USA and there qualified as a HypnoBirthing® practitioner. Peter brought this programme to Australia in 1997 and until 2004, trained HypnoBirthing® practitioners in this country. Over 100 certified HypnoBirthing ® practitioners attended his training.

As a result of feedback he received from couples attending his classes and some of the practitioners he trained in the HypnoBirthing® method, Peter realized the need for a unique Australian childbirth education programme. calmbirth® is the result.

The calmbirth® technique was developed to reduce pain in labour by eliminating the fear and tension that many women experience during childbirth. calmbirth® draws on Dr Grantly Dick Read’s (1889–1959) theory of fear – tension – pain which revolutionized the way people perceived childbirth in the early half of this century. His model outlining the relationship between fear tension and pain in the body of the labouring woman is based on the way the sympathetic nervous system reacts to signals of distress or potential danger.

In his work as a Private Subconscious Mind Therapist Peter has experienced first hand the remarkable healing which takes place when a person is taught to accesses his or her subconscious resources. In the calmbirth® classes couples are taught skills such as relaxation, visualisation and breathing which help to tap into these resources. This in turn reduces fear and anxiety about birth. In his book “Timeless Healing “Herbert Benson (1996) explains that the bodily calm we call the “relaxation response” has the opposite effect to the well know “fight and flight” response. The relaxation response is a state in which blood pressure is lowered, heart rate, breathing rate metabolic rate brought on by simple “….mental focusing or meditation techniques”. Benson believes that when we encourage patients (mothers) to play an active role in their health care (birth process) we are utilizing a contemporary understanding of mind body medicine. All of the above can have a beneficial effect on a woman’s pregnancy, labour and post partum period as has been proven over and over again by pregnant couples who have used the calmbirth® techniques in childbirth.


Today I started listening to my calmbirth CDs and practicing some of the relaxation techniques. L'il B's birth story is one for another day, but I do really recommend this course if you are considering any kind of birth education as first time parents. Big B definitely learned as much, if not more than I did from this course. The lessons you learn continue through to birth and beyond, preparing you for the emotional upheaval that happens when the new one arrives and teach you how to reconnect with a calmer, more peaceful and stable side of yourself no matter what you are faced with.


xo

4 comments:

jodi said...

calmbirth is great but I think its inability to discuss the intensity of labour and how important the 'sound' of birth is leaves it in need of improvement. Not many labouring women use visualisation techniques during their birth and counting the breath is one of the most forceful ways of lengthening the breath. From my teaching experience most of my students use sound techniques during their births - sound and vibration to soothe the nervous system, lengthen the exhalation and create internal space. It also helps you understand the nueromuscular connection between the jaw/pelvicfloor, head/pelvis, throat/birth canal.

Meagan @ecoMILF said...

Thanks Jodi,

I totally agree- another invaluable resource to me was Ina May Gaskin’s book ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’. This dealt a lot with the relationship between your jaw/pelvicfloor and throat/birth canal. I can also definitely agree that calmbirth didn’t quite get it right with the words ‘surges’ or ‘waves’- a bit more warning of the intensity of contractions would have helped. I think a lot of any course has to do with the teacher, and my calmbirth teacher had already been a practicing midwife for 10 years and had also had her own child naturally. Her experience and insight were of most importance. As for sound- I wish I;d stayed at home longer because I was moaning like a wild animal (deep, prehistoric moans) and at times i felt the nurses in the public hospital were rolling their eyes at me, which definitely didn’t help me relax.

Meagan @ecoMILF said...

Thanks Jodi,

I totally agree- another invaluable resource to me was Ina May Gaskin’s book ‘Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth’. This dealt a lot with the relationship between your jaw/pelvicfloor and throat/birth canal. I can also definitely agree that calmbirth didn’t quite get it right with the words ‘surges’ or ‘waves’- a bit more warning of the intensity of contractions would have helped. I think a lot of any course has to do with the teacher, and my calmbirth teacher had already been a practicing midwife for 10 years and had also had her own child naturally. Her experience and insight were of most importance. As for sound- I wish I;d stayed at home longer because I was moaning like a wild animal (deep, prehistoric moans) and at times i felt the nurses in the public hospital were rolling their eyes at me, which definitely didn’t help me relax.

Gina said...

Sounds good Meagan. I used TENS for my first natural labour which went pretty well but HypnoBirthing with my second which was just excellent(and rather short!). I think it's along similar lines to calm birth, visualisation etc. Whatever you use, it's great to prepare actively and thoughtfully, isn't it?

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