As first time parents-to-be, my partner and I both became a little bit worried two weeks ago, when we bought our first set of pyjamas for our little son who is going to be born in about 5 weeks: we opened the pyjama package home, we looked at them, then we were discussing that maybe those pyjamas might be a little bit too big by size, as the little guy’s legs might not be that long…
We did not realise until much later, families and friends told us that baby’s clothing is sorted out by new-born or 50 cm/ 56 cm, 62 cm (three months)… Properly, the ones we bought are for 9-12 months old babies!
With this kind of background stories around us, we were very happy that we arranged and registered us for a weekend workshop with Jutta Wohlrab for a weekend Happy Birthing workshop, as she has been very highly recommended by other pregnant women. Jutta has more than 35 years’ working experience as a midwife worldwide, and she speaks perfect English which is not that common in Germany.
She has such a funky character and charming teaching way! The two days Happy Birthing workshop finished without us even realise, and the takeaways for us:
- My partner told me that he was really happy at the lunch break of the first day, because he saw that now I had a good understanding about the whole situation myself, and he was happy when I was not lost, also he felt less anxious about the fact that his knowledge was not enough
- Understanding. I wanted to have a good understanding about what is going to happen before/during/after giving birth of my baby. In a world now when giving birth indicating high caesarean section rate, whilst the same time I knew that my mom gave birth to both my brother and I home, and a lady friend here who gave birth to all of her 4 children home 30 years ago, I just knew there were things which I did not understand yet, which suggested that I would be left in the hands of others due to silly and unnecessary reasons. I did not like that. Lucky, I have learnt from Jutta:
1. Women’s body is smart enough to do all the necessary adjustment for the pregnancy, including giving natural birth
2. Pregnant is not sick, so do not allow us to be treated as sick people/ patients
3. Modern medicine has its purpose, do not rely on it, however, should not totally reject it neither – embrace it when it is necessary
4. Mind works
5. What “contractions” are during the pregnancy. How to identify fake ones from the real contraction which is the signal of the start of giving birth. What should we do when contraction starts.
6. How to handle emergencies, for instance, giving birth at your own flat is much better than giving birth in a car/taxi on the way rush to the hospital
7. Ask, request. When you have doubt on things, ask; when you think something works good/better for yourself, request
- Water Birth. I read from a book that water is one of the best nature pain killer for some women. Jutta confirmed it, and she showed us with beautiful videos of women giving birth in water
- Bath. I had a bath a day after the workshop: I slept like a baby that night, and I didn’t have nightmares at night, nor much dreamt — I still remember the lightness of my legs when I wake up in that morning, and I was singing on the way to my Yoga session
- Breathing. One of the most common things people normally do, but also one of the things people tends to forget when they need it the most. I have been practice Yoga for long, and for a few years I have been practising mainly Ashtanga, of course I understand it fairly well. Sweet things about this is, my partner has been practising the breathing technique which he learnt from the workshop home with me since, even in the middle of the night when I was worried or whilst I was in my dreams
- Massage. Massage helps to release the body tension, and reducing the pain we might have, it relax us
- Who is going to be in the birthing room. As a traditional Chinese, I had concerns about having my partner in the birthing room, because all the imagine I have had previous during the birth were rather messy ones which were nowhere near pleasant, and I have heard not so charming stories from male friends who were with their wives in the birth room. I understood that it is important for the father-to-be in the birth room to witness the born of the baby, because at the same time he is being born as a father! However, I also heard that man can be overwhelmed by the process, and later it might influent the life quality of the new family. After the videos showed by Jutta on woman giving births with their husbands, I realised the beauty and importance of “being together” to experience one of the most important life event together
- Take the time. When contractions starts, try to relax for as long time as possible, the less intervention the better. When we are in the hospital room, we will only have limited control on this
- Of course, there were lots of more tips, for instance, how to rightly sleep to the right side; the posture to sit which the mom & baby will benefit the most; when we feel the baby is not moving much, how to check whether your baby is just being lazy or he/she is having some situations; what one can do when the birthing process seems stuck…
Most of all, woman’s body is meant for having babies and giving nature birth