Through my own experience of how to learn to live well with a chronic pain condition I have had the opportunity to reflect on how Mindfulness can be of great benefit to women and their partners during pregnancy, the birth of their baby and their transition into parenthood.
Mindfulness permiates through all my practice as a midwife, lactation consultant or hypnobirthing practitioner. In many ways it is an affirmation of the way I have conducted my midwifery practice throughout my career.
During nearly 30 years of midwifery practice I have seen many women feel they have failed, filled wth regret and guilt because they did not have the birth experience they had hoped for. Mindfulness draws on your own inner ability to find a way to be confident, less anxious and better able to cope with the realty of birth and new parenthood. It brings calmness and acceptence.
Mindfulness is a purposeful way of paying attention to the here and now. It allows you to respond to your experiences in a non-judgemental manner rather than reacting in a habitual way.
It helps to make you more resilient in the face of change. It allows a birthing couple to gain the skills to enable them to deal with the unexpected. Mindfulness helps you to learn how to be content with whatever happens during the birthing process.
At present I offer one to one birth preparation and hypnobirthing sessions as well as breastfeeding and postnatal support.
I am in the process of developing a programme of Mindfulness birthing sessions which I hope to be able to offer to larger groups in the near future.
For those who perhaps haven't heard too much about Mindfulness - this is a useful link that shows the many evidence based uses of Mindfulness in all spheres of NHS medical practice, as sanctioned by NICE:
Breastfeeding and birthing support from a practising midwife
with 30 years experience