Equality between midwives & doctors in Luxembourg, a radical idea?

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Cover image: photo credits – F&G Photography. Cover Model: Emmy McNiece – Luxmama Volunteer & Calla Lily Breastfeeding Support

As a maternity care services consumer, after knowing what evidence based care is as Step 1, Step 2 in obtaining such care according to the highly reputable evidencebasedbirth.com is to decide if you want the medical or midwifery model of care. In Luxembourg, consumers have no such choice as there is mainly the medical model of care. That is – all birthing families, healthy or otherwise go to an obstetrician for primary care. Step 3 is to carefully choose the birth setting as the main 3 options have very different ways of approaching birth and impact your experience and outcomes greatly. Again, families in Luxembourg basically have hospital birth to choose from. Step 4 is to gather your team and consider to hire a continuous and exclusive labour companion for non-medical support as in-hospital midwives/nurses are seeing to multiple patients at once. Again, this choice is not respected in maternity care facilities and families are faced with great resistance if they want to bring in such support at their own cost. (See all 6 steps here.)

freedom in birth

There’s a reason why these choices are included in the steps to obtain evidence based care. And that is that they increase your chances of having a positive and empowering experience in which your own values, goals and preferences play a key role. This concept of having choice in your care is a central theme in Human Rights in Childbirth, 1 of the 3 Awareness Pillars here at the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl. It is well evidenced (Sandall et al. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013) that the continuity midwifery model of care is the gold standard for healthy birthing persons (the vast majority of the population) and has vastly different philosophy and outcomes on how birth is approached. We’re talking fewer medical interventions, fewer preterm births, fewer pregnancy losses, more spontaneous births and no increase in risk to the newborn.

what is midwifery

In maternity care we are talking about creating new humans, new parents and ultimately a new society and as such there is no excuse in such a prosperous country as Luxembourg to not strive towards excellence. It is well known that Luxembourg’s rate of medical interventions in birth (carrying further short AND longterm risks) is concerningly higher than recommended by the World Health Organisation and therefore many believe there is room for improvement. Luxembourg is also 1 of only 7 other countries in the EU with a C-section rate higher than 30%. (WHO 5-15% is acceptable, above is overuse). And when you look closer, maternal choice is responsible for only 2.6% (2010 from Conseil Scientifique Domaine de la Santé) so it’s not that the majority of consumers want it.

Below is a brilliant snippet illustrating the dilemma for those not needing these routine medical interventions (the vast majority) and those specifically seeking undisturbed care based on the latest evidence to maximise their chances of physiological birth. We should be making it easier for families to achieve this as the creators of the award-winning documentary Microbirth explains: “the single most important thing we can do for a healthy baby across a life course is to ensure that microbial seeding occurs completely at birth through vaginal delivery when possible, that skin-to-skin contact occurs and that the microbes are supported through breastfeeding of a significant duration. This should be on every birth plan.”

What would happen if sex was interfered with as birth is interfered with? Click here to watch the comical 7min video “The Performance”

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Extract from “The Performance” video CLICK TO VIEW

And as concerned citizen, mother and filmmaker Carole Hauck asks:

1. What makes birth safe?

2. How can it be disturbed?

3. What are the consequences of unnecessary medical interventions for the motherbaby and event society?

4. Can we as a human race survive this?

Click here to watch her film “Die sichere Geburt. Wozo Hebammen?” in German or here for the trailer in English of “The safe Birth. Do we need midwives?” featuring Dr Michelle Odent and Ina May Gaskin.

As part of our Birth Rights Awareness Campaign, #choice2haveamidwife at the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, we are interviewing Midwives, other professionals and concerned citizens to help shed light on the long-standing inequality the midwifery profession face in the current maternity care system in Luxembourg. Let us know if you’d like to be interviewed (anonymously is also possible due to the sensitive nature) or know of someone that is interested!

Join the discussion also in Birth Culture Luxembourg!

Bashi Kumar-Hazard (Human Rights Lawyer), Hermine Hayes-Klein (American Lawyer and director of Bynkershoek Research Center for Reproductive rights in the Netherlands explains in the article “Equality for Midwives” published in the Midwifery Today:

“The fact that the idea of equality between doctors and midwives seems radical is a testament to how entrenched are the systems that have established medicine’s dominance over midwifery.”

“The current status of midwives and the relationships between medicine and midwifery that underlie integration, cannot be understood without recognizing the systemic inequality between obstetric medicine and midwifery, awareness of its historical roots and a commitment to dismantling that inequality.”

“Since time immemorial, women have attended each other in childbirth.. Up to the late 14th century midwives were entitled to practice without regulation. From this time onward they were downgraded from qualified and independent female healers to mere assistants of the physician.”

“The relationship between the female profession of midwifery and the male profession of obstetric medicine reflected the entrenched sex inequality of the time. Just as the state enforced men’s economic and legal dominance over women, the state enforced medicine’s dominance over midwifery and ultimately its control over maternity care.”

“In the last few generations, midwifery has risen up again as a profession in places where it was eradicated. Regardless of how they are trained and where they work, midwives face powerful structural and systemic barriers.  Doctors decide if midwives are allowed to practice in the hospital and if so how they practice. The state decides if midwives are allowed to practice outside the hospital, often regulating midwifery practices in a way that imposes medical standards on them and prevents them form providing genuine midwifery care that upholds their client’s human rights.”

“Midwifery and medicine have overlapping but distinct visions of pregnancy & childbirth. Midwifery frames pregnancy and childbirth as normal physiological life events, with the potential to become a pathological medical event. Medicine frames pregnancy and childbirth as medical events that by definition can only be safely managed through medical treatment. The integration of these two paradigms requires understanding of their differences and a willingness to work together despite them.  The differences between the professions should not prevent the recognition of both as necessary (and equal) partners in the care of the pregnant population.  Equality doesn’t require that two groups be exactly the same in order to be treated equally. Equality means that the differences between two groups do not make one group superior or give it the right to dominate the other.

The recognition of doctors and midwives as equal and complementary partners in reproductive health care requires respect for their relative fields of expertise.  Midwives are the experts in physiological birth. They know how to work with the female body to help women give birth to their babies. Doctors are the experts at using medical treatment to fight pathologies and manage medical crises.”

“Inequality exists in law, when the laws themselves and the administration of those laws, reflect the cultural attitude that doctors are superior to midwives and treat midwives differently to medical professionals.”

“It is time to put an end to the hierarchical, monopolistic care systems that were constructed on socially and economically discriminatory systems of sex. These systems and today’s c-section assembly lines do not optimise maternal and newborn health.

“Integrated systems with strong midwifery professions as the first line for maternity care, in partnership with and with reliable backup from medical professionals, are the most effective and most efficient strategy for optimising the health of mothers, babies and communities.”

“Health care systems are shifting from the old hierarchical models toward team-based, patient-centered care, which is often called “woman-centered care” in the maternity context.  This shift reflects a movement away from the vertical model of care, in which doctors were at the top and everybody else (incl the patient) was below them, to a model in which the patient is at the center of a team of care providers, who are working on a horizontal plane, as equal and complementary partners, to provide care as needed for each individual.  This transformation is achievable but only with recognition of the role of power and entrenched inequality in the construction and dynamics of the current system. It is ultimately the responsibility of the democratically elected governments to impose justice and equality for its childbearing constituents.”

Let’s make it happen Luxembourg!

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More about the Author

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Mother of 2 children born in Luxembourg, Holistic Maternity Coach/Educator, Marise Hyman supports families holistically towards an empowered pregnancy, birth & parenthood journey through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for heart-centered connection, so they can move from confusion to confidence. She is also teaches Dancing for Birth™ classes and understands that we need to “heal birth to heal the earth” and is therefore also a passionate Birth Advocate and founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, an NGO raising awareness for birth rights, perinatal mental health and green parenting. She’s a highly sensitive person (HSP), personal development junkie and sucker for slapstick comedy.

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What is a Birth Doula?

what is a doula wordpress cover

Cover image: photo credits – F&G Photography

Firstly, it is very important to say – WE LOVE LOVE LOVE MIDWIVES!

As part of our Birth Rights Awareness Campaign, Have a Choice 2 Have a Doula” at the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, we are interviewing Birth Doulas and other birth workers in our community to help illustrate the very well-studied benefits that continuous, known, exclusive, non-medical labour companions bring to the birth experience AS COMPLEMENT TO THE VERY IMPORTANT MEDICAL TEAM (MIDWIFE AND OBSTETRICIAN IN LUXEMBOURG).

Our approach is to raise awareness at the level of the strongest voice collectively, the consumers. It is key that consumers understand their Human Rights in Childbirth which underlines their right to “choose the circumstances of birth” according to their individual wishes, regardless of what care providers may claim – e.g. “ you will only be ‘allowed’ 1 support person (e.g. the birthing person’s partner ) in the birth room”.

Read more here about our campaign, your rights, how to hire a Doula and more! Let’s make it happen Luxembourg!

IMPORTANT: We want to emphasise that WE LOVE MIDWIVES and the work they do but families (just like in more than 50 countries worldwide already) deserve to choose the evidence-based benefits from continuous, uninterrupted 1-on-1 labour-support from a person pre-chosen by them aka a continuous labour companion as complement to the important medical team. Likewise, families ALSO deserve the choice to be cared for by an autonomous, traditionally trained midwife in pregnancy & birth (versus only obstetric-led in Luxembourg) as midwives trained according to international standards are THE experts in natural birth for healthy low-risk women. Please refer to another one of our birth rights awareness campaigns #choice2haveamidwife

Click the image below for the 44 min video:

Youtube Thumbnail updated Meet Doula Erin

Why would I need a Birth Doula if my partner is there?
Please refer to a previous article here where we address this common question.
What is the difference between a midwife and Birth Doula, why would I need both?
Please refer to our main webpage here for #choice2haveadoula, under the section “What doulas don’t do” (scroll down)

 

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More about the Author

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Mother of 2 children born in Luxembourg, Holistic Maternity Coach/Educator, Marise Hyman supports families holistically towards an empowered pregnancy, birth & parenthood journey through Marise Hyman Maternity Coaching – setting them up for heart-centered connection, so they can move from confusion to confidence. She understands that we need to “heal birth to heal the earth” and is therefore also a passionate Birth Advocate and founder of the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl, an NGO raising awareness for birth rights, perinatal mental health and green parenting. She’s a highly sensitive person (HSP), personal development junkie and sucker for slapstick comedy.

Baby massage: A love story and fight for survival

& Why you already have one of the most important gifts you can give your baby

This is a love story. And it’s not mine, it can be as much about you and your forthcoming baby or existing child. Baby massage: A love story which is as much an ancient practice in many Eastern cultures, passed down from generation to generation, as it is increasingly relevant – I believe – to our modern and Western lifestyle and parenting approaches.

I fell in love with this practice when I was expecting our second baby daughter. I stumbled across baby massage as something I wanted to learn in my search for ways to ensure “cocooning” moments and connection with my new baby while otherwise running around with the rest of the family.

And so, it was, my love for this practice was ignited and this is what I found: Baby massage is so much more than what first meets the eye (or fingertips!).

Yes, it offers us cocooning time and relaxation with our baby – thanks to stimulating the “love hormone” oxytocin via skin-to-skin contact. And it brings us all the necessary elements for bonding with our baby: Eye contact, physical proximity and imparting your scent, touch, tuning in to baby’s cues, mutual observation and language communication if you sing or talk as part of your practice. Relaxation and bonding are wonderful benefits and so important to the wellbeing of our baby and our own motherhood or parenthood.

But the skin-to-skin contact we give through massage also brings a host of health and developmental benefits to support our baby.

Actually, “baby massage” is a label for the skin-to-skin contact and stimulation that has developed in a natural way over centuries, in response to intuitively nurturing our babies, stimulating their physiological systems and giving our babies some of the “vital touch” needed to survive and thrive.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It is absolutely a sensory organ – covered in tiny senses, searching for contact and stimulation from the moment we are born.

Have you ever observed a mammal lick its young? Perhaps on a wildlife program, or perhaps you have seen a cat or dog do this. Particularly after birth, we can note a mammal mother licking their young – this is to stimulate their baby’s skin and is critical to their young’s recognition of their mother (imparting scent) as part of a survival instinct so that their baby develops familiarity with their parent to stay close to them. Their licking also stimulates their baby’s digestive system and other physiological systems.

It’s the same for us humans – we have an instinct to hold our baby close to us when they are a newborn; to pick up our baby when they cry as an automatic reflex to soothe them since our touch is the ultimate pacifier.

We are designed to hold our baby as much as possible. A mother’s chest has an inbuilt thermal system which matches her newborn’s temperature to heat up their baby or cool them according to their baby’s body temperature.

Our touch is the first expression of our love; it communicates security and belonging to our baby.

But what if a baby’s skin is not stimulated; they are not held; they are not sufficiently touched in a nurturing way?

The effect of insufficient contact can have detrimental consequences on an infant’s development – both physiological and emotional.

It is often cited that the reason why almost 100% of orphan babies did not survive in the U.S. in the beginning of the twentieth century, is because they did not receive sufficient touch and caressing – they died due to “marasmus” (wasting away for no apparent medical cause).

Research studies of more recent infants from Romanian orphanages found that babies suffering from touch deprivation achieved only half the normal height for their age. These orphans also found it more difficult later in life to form close attachments to other people.

In particular, the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami continues research into the impact of touch on human health and development. Its conclusions include that massaged babies often showing fewer postnatal complications, greater weight gain and decreased cortisol (stress) levels, which in turn can help aid sleep (“The Vital Touch”, Sharron Heller, PH.D.)

And so, this is a story of love…

…Of falling in love with this practice as a way to relax and bond with our baby.

…Of falling in love over and over again with our baby through this practice because massage gets our love hormones flowing. It can connect us in ways we cannot really explain in words, other than “true love”.

…Of falling in love with shared cultures where, for example, East meets West. Of Western life and motherhood meeting with ancient and still existing practices, including tribal practices, where mothers carry their baby constantly on their back, continually stimulating their baby via their movement and bodily warmth. Baby massage can help us stay true to our nurturing touch, from our baby’s first weeks and months and for years to come (a foot or hand massage to a toddler before bedtime can go down a treat!)

…This is also a story of falling in love with yourself as a mother (or father): Realising that you already have what it takes to give your baby one of the most important gifts possible – your caring touch.

…Of falling in love with your natural healing powers (massage strokes to help with teething, colicky issues, blocked sinuses or colds) and feeling empowered to be able to try these out first before heading to the local pharmacy.

And, finally, this is a story about the fight for survival: We need “touch” to survive. We always did and we always will, even when our modern lifestyles can make it increasingly difficult to take time together, to stay connected to one another, to even hold our baby as much as we may like throughout the day.

A little baby massage after work, or in between running errands and keeping on top of domestic tasks at home, can work wonders for both parent and baby!

Further benefits of baby massage

Beyond relaxation and bonding benefits, (mentioned above), here are some interesting specific health and development benefits that tend to be less commonly known.

Stimulation & development

Baby massage can encourage circulation of blood to the bones to support ossification/their growth, as well as joint mobility. Babies are born with about 100 more bones than adults; this is to help keep them malleable for passage through the birth canal. Massage can stimulate and support the process by which the skeleton takes full shape and strength.

Massage can help a baby’s immune system to mature: It can boost the flow of white blood cells/ “lymphatic flow” around the body, helping to fight off any toxins and waste products that might otherwise cause illness.

Massage can help keep the baby’s skin free from infection by removing dead cells. Stimulation of the skin glands (the sebaceous glands) gives off a waxy or oily substance, called sebum, which lubricates and makes the skin (and our skin hairs) more water resistant and helps to protect it. Massage also helps keep the skin’s pores open to enable it to expel waste and toxin products (the skin expels around a third of the body’s toxins).

Massage can help the development of a baby’s muscular system by increasing the flexibility of muscles. This is via the gentle stretching and relaxing of the muscle tissue in response to massage stimulation. This can help the baby in its continual learning and development of a wide range of physical movement and mobility.

Massage can support a baby’s digestive system. It can help to move wind through the bowel system. This is helpful because a baby’s digestive system is not yet fully developed at birth – the digestive tract for example may not be fully developed, which can cause wind to be trapped in the bowel.

Massage is good for their little brains! Stimulation of the skin through massage can aid the process of myelination of nerve cells, which facilitates the protective covering needed around our nerves to help to keep body and brain coordinated. Our touch also helps our baby be aware of their body and helps the messaging for brain/body coordination.

Baby massage in Luxembourg

Luxmama is happy to offer you baby massage workshops and courses.  Come and start your own baby massage love story with our Parent Prep Baby Massage Teacher Jessica Sicre! More details here: www.luxmamaclub.com/babymassage


About the author:

Jessica, originally from the UK, lives in Luxembourg with her husband and two daughters (both born in Luxembourg, now 1 and 4 years). By setting up her own Serenity Cocoon Baby Massage practice, Jessica aims to inspire others to discover, learn and benefit from baby massage. Follow Jessica’s baby massage tips, insights and ideas for “serenity rituals” here: www.facebook.com/serenitycocoon

Jessica loves being a mama of two and reaching out to others to help support one another in their parenthood journeys. This has led to her monthly “Serenity Café” meetups for mamas/2B via our Luxmama meetup group: Come join for their next meetup to exchange tips and experiences about staying serene as mamas/2B: Next date: Friday 18 January, Purple Sage, Bonnevoie

Christmas traditions

 

Living in Luxembourg is such a rich experience, especially when it come to discovering different cultures and costumes. In many families Christmas comes with many traditions and this month on the blog, we are sharing some traditions from the volunteers. We would love to hear your traditions and welcome you to share them with us in the comments below.

 

Marise Hyman:

We like to build a little altar beginning December and then each family member will add little objects they find that remind them of the true meaning of Xmas pertaining to our family’s beliefs.
We’re also quite fond of the alternative types of non-sugar-laden advent calendars where we share a different cup of organic tea each day. Various tea brands stock these (e.g. Pukka, English Tea Shop etc we usually find them at Naturata).
On Christmas eve or Christmas day, we cook together as a family, these past years something vegetarian and yummy.
We also have a family ritual as we’re often away from our South African family during this time. Each of us get a chance to light a candle in front of each family member (we are 4: mom, dad and 2 girls born in 2011 and 2013). Then each get a chance to say what they appreciate about each family member as they light the candle and embrace/sing them something as they feel comfortable/inspired. Then each also get a chance to light a candle for all the family members back home that are not here with us and we enjoy the rest of the day together while the little candles warm our hearts.
Of course, there’s also some Skype sessions with our family back home and we also exchange small gifts with each other but try to keep these not the main focus as well as minimal and eco-friendly.

Erin Plum:

Growing up in Canada, each year as a family we would to go to the local Christmas tree farm to choose and cut down our own tree. They would have a wagon ride through the farm explaining all the different types of trees (blue spruce, winter pine etc…). After we would drink hot chocolate at home and decorate the tree. Each year my sister and I would fight about who got to put the star on top of the tree, so eventually my mom wrote the year and either of our names on the box so there could be no more arguments! 😂 Now Stephan and I will decide together what we enjoy. It will be our first year (probably only year) without any family around to celebrate with. We are looking forward to making our own new traditions together.

 

Liza Ras:

Growing up in South Africa, Christmas is all about summer, sun and family. We would gather at a family members house, the people who lived far would sleep over and it would be a week long celebration of lots of food, family and big ‘Christmas beds’ (bed made up on the floor usually in front of the TV, where all the cousins would sleep). The night before Christmas we would have a big BBQ with lots and lots of salads. We would gather around the Christmas tree and exchange presents afterward the kids would be running around outside playing games or swimming. The night would always end with the younger kids falling asleep wherever they find a soft comfortable space (usually on an adults lap). Christmas morning everyone would be slow getting up and after breakfast there would be some singing and family games.

 

Emmy McNiece:

Growing up tradition – we ate Christmas dinner at lunchtime, so by 3/4pm we were all done, nice and full and sleepy feeling. So to help beat that lull (and give the adults some quiet time from excited kids!) one of the kids would find a clue left behind by a pirate, explaining that he had hidden some treasure and if we could find it, we could keep it!…dressed in full pirate attire, we would follow the clue around the corner to my grandparents house, and all around their house were little messages to help us find the hidden treasure. Slightly less conventional but we LOVED finding clues and extra presents hidden for everyone in the family and would victory march back to our house to distribute pirate gifts to everyone. My uncle still buys us all pirate themed presents to this day and we’re just waiting for the next generation to be old enough for the pirates to come back!

 

Veronika Meindl:

In Germany we have the tradition of the “Advent wreath”. Advent is indeed a very important time for us. It starts 4 weeks before Christmas and it is the religious tradition of the preparation to the arrival of the Christ. Today for most people the religious factor is less present but it still is a time to reflect, slow down, meditate and prepare yourself to Christmas the way you choose. On each of the 4 Sundays before Christmas we light a candle on the wreath. In my family, as long as I can think, this tradition has always been present and on each Sunday we accompanied the lightning of the candle with special Christmas songs. There are quite a lot of them (not speaking of the ones you hear all day long on the radio) and also special ones for the Advent. When I was a child, I remember that we even gathered on some evenings during the week, lit the candle, sang our songs and read Christmas stories. This was a way to finish the day in a slow and cosy way. It is something that marked me very much (in a positive way) and a tradition I want to keep up with my own family now.

Another tradition is the baking of small Christmas cookies. There are LOTS of different recipes and I love to try out new ones, even if there are some classics without which Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas! I remember my parent’s house full of the scent of baking cookies in the oven and myself helping my mother with the preparation.
Definitively my two favorite traditions 🙂

 

Christina Anyfanti:

Tradition in Greece was originally to decorate a boat with lights etc. instead of a tree (as Greece has a lot of sea and a nautical heritage). However, nowadays people decorate a Christmas tree as everywhere else.

The Greek tradition added has to do with food (of course)😉 We make delicious nut and almond cookies called ‘Kourabies’ and cookies dipped in honey syrup called ‘melomakarona’ . Both are delicious and usually they don’t make it to New Years Eve😁😁 We eat with the family on Christmas day which is special for me as it’s also my name day (in Greece its equal to birthday!). Usually in Greece presents are exchanged in New Years Eve not Christmas and Santa Claus come on the night of 31st Dec as well.
I must say that for Greek Orthodox Easter is more important than Christmas so I have adopted some foreign traditions in our household such as the Advent wreath that Veronika mentioned 😉 and of course the Advent Calendar that the kids love!!

 

Anne Louise Littlejohn:

Danish Christmas comes with many traditions and is the most important holiday in most families. Even if we grew up in Luxembourg, my parents tried to keep as many traditions alive as possible. Celebrations start with the Wreath (the Krans) to celebrate the 4 Sundays before Christmas eve with lighting the candles and being together. My sisters birthday is on 21st of December and in order to not deprive her of her celebrations, my mother made sure to only get a tree and decorate it after her birthday. On the night before Christmas eve, we eat Risengrød (rice porridge with sugar and cinnamon) and all children can already open one present. This was to calm the anticipation of waiting for father Christmas. What you would refer to as Elves or Santa’s little helpers in our traditions is Nisser. They are small elf-looking creatures that help father Christmas, but they are also really naughty. They live in the attic and it is important to put out some Risengrød for them so they behave. On Christmas eve we have a huge dinner, followed by singing and dancing around the Christmas tree. Only thereafter can we open presents!! I have fond memories of dancing and singing around the house with my grandpa. I hope I can give the same loving memories to my children.

 

Merry Christmas everyone!!

 

What is sophrology?

Sophrology is a combination of techniques which aims to re-balance the body and mind: breathing, relaxation techniques, simple physical movements, mental imagery and meditation techniques.

Practicing sophrology will help you restoring or reinforcing the state of harmony between what you feel, what you think and what you do in your everyday life.

And it will also help you to develop new capacities, especially for well-being, stress-management and self-development.

How can sophrology help me during my pregnancy ?

Sophrology is widely used by midwives in France, Switzerland, Spain and more recently in other countries like UK.

It is a valuable component of pregnancy well-being and antenatal preparation for birth:

  • It helps relieving your anxieties around pregnancy.
  • It can ease many of the physiological discomforts of pregnancy, by enhancing your coping mechanisms, or by altering pain perception.
  • It helps increasing your inner confidence, strength and calmness for birth.

After the birth, sophrology can accompany you as you adjust to motherhood, enhance your relationship with your baby and partner.

When can I start sophrology ?

It depends on your needs and objectives. The techniques are adapted to each woman and each moment of pregnancy and motherhood. Sophrology can be started early in pregnancy, as repetition and practice are increasing its efficiency.

For birth preparation, it is highly recommended to learn and train with a midwife who is also a certified sophrology practitioner.

After baby is born, sophrology is recommended if you feel stressed, overwhelmed or exhausted. Becoming a mum is a major identity change and transition period, sophrology can help you during the different phases of motherhood to develop self-confidence, self-awareness and capacity to feel well both as a woman and a mother.

And more concretely, how can I practice sophrology?

You can learn the basic principles and techniques either in a one-to-one setting or in groups.

  • In groups, a program of six to eight one-hour sessions is recommended to develop new capacities and you are always encouraged to practice at home.
  • In individual sessions, the support is more personal. The first session is mainly dedicated to understanding your specific needs and defining your objective.

Discovering and practicing sophrology has personally given me a new way of living in harmony with myself, body and mind and enjoying my life journey as a woman and a mother.

I hope it does the same for you.


More about the Author

Nadège Ravoux is certified sophrologist, professional coach and co-founder of Socolibris sàrl www.socolibris.com

She offers a specific support program for working mothers, who are feeling overwhelmed or exhausted by the stressful pace of daily life, or who are questioning their life choices.

She also provides coaching and training services in companies on topics like concentration at work, stress management, well-being and performance.