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  • robindini

Empowerment Through Education

Updated: Jan 4


Happy September! It’s the season of new beginnings!


I love the start of a new school year! As a teacher, the excitement of getting my classroom in order for the first few weeks of school was invigorating! I loved the challenge of taking a blank space and creating something inviting and comfortable within it. Going back-to-school shopping and gathering supplies was the highlight of my summer as a child, a teacher, and now as a mother.


Just as the newness of a fresh school year filled my heart with giddy excitement, I felt that same feeling (on a much larger scale of course) preparing to become a mother for the first time. I am someone who likes to plan things and have lists and tasks assigned to any and all participants on the team. List making is my love language and brings me so much joy. It eases my anxiety and helps me to delegate tasks that I would otherwise take on solely as my own responsibilities.


Similar to a classroom supply list or a college syllabus, getting yourself and your home ready to welcome a baby has its own set of requirements. As mothers, we need to prepare ourselves physically and mentally for our babies both in utero and for birth. Expectant parents have so much information coming at them that is both solicited and unsolicited that it can become overwhelming. Take control of the information and educate yourself with guidance from the experts. Find yourself a doula, like me, and ask all the questions!


If you are a first time parent and you don’t know what to expect, then invest your time and energy into learning as much as you can so you can feel prepared and have realistic expectations. I have learned more about childbirth as a doula than I did as a pregnant woman (x3). My training gave me access to the education that is available to mothers now that was not available to us years ago. For example, child birth education through my OBGYN was more about how to be a good patient and touring the hospital than it was about the mechanics and the physical changes that happen throughout the labor and birth process. This knowledge is powerful and having access to it will help you achieve the birth you desire.


My advice to you is this, read books! And not just the books like, “the girlfriend’s guide to pregnancy” or “what to expect when you’re expecting”. Dive in and read books about different types of birth, the history of birth, and cultural traditions surrounding it. Learn about midwives and home births. Learn about placentas and breastfeeding. Take the time to educate yourself on the fourth trimester and preparing for postpartum in the same way that you prepare for labor and birth. Educate yourself for the role you are preparing to take on just as you would for a professional position in a new career. Immerse yourself in the excitement of learning everything you can about the experience you are about to take part in. Interview people. Research information. Become an expert on the subject!


As a doula, I help my clients create their birth plan. Most of the time, the answers to their requests are straight forward but there are times when couples do not know enough about a preference to make an informed decision. For example, anything regarding the placenta is tends to raise questions. I myself am someone who was clueless as to the role of the placenta. I truly thought that the placenta was the bag of waters that the baby lived within while I was pregnant and that was the “afterbirth” after they were born. I had no idea, until taking my doula courses, that the placenta is an organ that the mother’s body grows to support and nourish the baby in utero. Incredible! (More on placentas at another time because I could deep dive on all the amazing things I’ve learned about it) But I don’t think I am alone in that misconception or lack of understanding of the placenta and it’s role and evolution through pregnancy and birth. So taking the time to educate my clients will enable them to make more conscious decisions regarding their birth and labor care and support.


Becoming informed about what is happening to your body during pregnancy, labor, and birth is empowering. Being informed educates you on what to expect and what choices you can make during the various stages of pregnancy, labor, and birth. Being informed creates a stronger connection to your experience and strengthens your natural intuition. Being guided by birth workers and supportive professionals is the foundation to preparing yourself for a successful birthing experience. Take the time to invest your time and money in a private childbirth education class and a prenatal lactation consultation. Enroll in a prenatal yoga program that will not only teach you movements that will aid you in labor but will also teach you breathing techniques to help ground yourself during labor.


Pregnancy and childbirth is the greatest experience you can have as a woman. There are often no words to describe all of it: the moment you find out your pregnant, feeling your baby move inside of you, waddling through the last weeks of pregnancy leading up to labor and delivery, and the entire whirlwind of following your body through the stages of labor and delivery. It truly is a miracle to experience and witness. Take the time to know as much as you can about it so you can feel empowered and enjoy the experience more than fearing the unknown.


Peace and Love,

Robin


September 7, 2022 - Newsletter 007

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