Attending the BirthWorks childbirth education workshop in Mt Dora, Florida this May was way more than I bargained for! The place was absolutely stunning. A Victorian style historical hotel with sprawling grounds against a backdrop of the magnificent lake and quaint town. But even more than that was the content of this 3 day workshop given by Cathy Daub. The workshop was so comprehensive and included topics such as grieving, mother daughter relationships, optimal pelvic positioning as well as many others that are not usually included in typical childbirth preparation classes. They were all taught through hands on experimental learning and not through didactic teaching. It was the BirthWorks experience I came out with!
One of the really vital things was teaching and facilitating using open ended questions and letting the other party find their inner guide to direct them. That evening I had a chance to really practice this skill. Being a doula, I had a client in labor and sent a backup. Right before pushing, my backup called me asking if I could speak to the client as she was panicking about pushing. Instead of going into my long speech about why she shouldn’t be scared to push and how she’s done this in the past, I asked her what her fear was. She said she’s afraid she can’t do it. I asked her what she felt she needed to be able to move forward and she said she thought she needed help from the doctor. I said what kind of help. She said she remembered from her last birth that the doctor did supra pubic pressure because the baby’s shoulders got stuck. I gently reminded her that the only reason the doctor did that was to help the shoulders but the head was out already. So she said, “oh ok, but I’m still scared.” So I asked her, “What do u want?” She said she wanted her baby to come out without pushing. I said great. Imagine it. She said she can’t because she has no energy. So at that point I told her to visualize G-ds energy as she inhales coming into her uterus and as she exhales pushing out her baby. She said,”Ok you visualize it for me!” I said sure and she hung up empowered and pushed her 9 and half pound baby out with one push!!!
It was such a great lesson for me and I can’t thank Cathy and BirthWorks enough!
Earlier that day this same client was laboring pretty slow so I instructed my backup to do the rocking technique we had just learned that morning and she progressed very quickly to 10 cm!
Recently I had a prenatal meeting for a client who had 2 previous c sections and I used the grieving process we learned, asking her if she wanted to share anything that was hurting her and she ended up telling me about a few childhood moves her family made when she was in school and how she was afraid to get too close to anyone and then have to move again and she came up with the idea that she was scared to carry something through to the end, the finish line. Explaining to her how we birth the way we live, both her previous births she stalled at 3 cm and wasn’t able to progress further. That awareness was amazing for her and it’s all due to the skills I learned in the grieving session.
Thanks a lot!