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By Mali Schwartz
There are many prenatal programs that have been developed over the years to help women cope with childbirth.  The first childbirth education programs in America were conceived by men such as Dr. Fernand Lamaze, a French Obstetrician who introduced The Lamaze Method in 1951 through observing birthing techniques in Russia.  Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician, introduced the idea of childbirth as a natural process whose book “Childbirth without Fear,” was published in 1933.  Dick Read’s work helped spawn the natural childbirth movement in the 1960s.
As childbirth became influenced by more advanced medical technological advances and the cesarean section rate rose in the 1980s, a number of grassroots organizations were formed to help educate the public about their birth choices.  BirthWorks International was created to educate women about the viability of having a VBAC – a vaginal birth after a cesarean.  BirthWorks International is one of the most comprehensive prenatal education programs available today.  It offers a holistic approach that focuses on the whole person. 
The prenatal education a woman receives through BWI not only helps her to understand proper nutrition and learn about the physiology of birth, it also includes topics that more standard prenatal education programs don’t even touch upon.  For instance one area that BirthWorks focuses on is healing past emotional pain in preparation of birth.  If a woman can heal emotional scars from her past – which may go all the way back to childhood, she has an opportunity to clear out negative energy fields that can hold her back from having an optimal birth experience. 
One example of how deeply held feelings manifest in the body is when a woman may experience bad headaches, feelings of numbness and depression.  These symptoms are related to holding anger and resentment, but she hides these toxic feelings behind a smiling, cheerful demeanor that she shows to the outside world.  In order to understand why she holds such anger, she must first explore and look for hints that lead to an understanding of what is happening.
Emotions allowed to flow freely in the body invariably change.  Using anger as an example, anger that is held typically remains anger.  But anger that is felt and allowed to move typically changes into other emotions, often fear, sadness, or pain. 
As an integral part of her training to become a BirthWorks International educator, a trainee must enroll in a three day workshop where she is led through a series of exercises to help release any deeply held emotional pain she might hold.  This will help her to act as a facilitator for her students to help them clear their own emotional fields. 
For instance exercises that ground and bring energy down through the legs and feet as well as working with the breath, the body, and the energy fields, is a way to clear out dead energy.  This allows for a basic sensation of feeling and a sense of grounding.  Simple exercises that help to open the energy centers on the bottom of the feet by standing and rolling one foot and then the other on a small rubber ball, stretching the toes and soles of the feet, squatting and straightening out the legs until there is a strong sense of the legs, helps a woman to feel more connected to her lower torso and feet.  This in turn gives her a greater sense of solidity and balance. 
Even though some women may not even be aware that their bodies are holding negative energy patterns, a perfect time to clear out these stuck patterns is before they actually give birth.  By clearing emotional blocks, an expectant woman will have much more energy to birth her baby into this world. 
Enrolling in a BirthWorks International childbirth education class give women the latest cutting edge childbirth information as well as helping them to delve into the essence of their being.