In Grade 4 we were learning about time capsules and each of us was assigned to make one. I recently found mine, well, what was left of it anyway.  The shoe box was long gone and some of the newspaper clippings had seen better days.  There were other odds and ends that seem insignificant now, but I did find a few interesting things. A piece of paper with the outline of my hand and my foot; descriptions of my favourite foods; a list of books and television shows that I liked at the time; and lastly a set of questions that addressed goals for our future selves.  There it was, on paper, written in pencil “What do you want to be when you grow up?”.  My response?

“I want to be a teacher.”  A simple statement.  The childhood dream I had forgotten about until recently that is. I realized that one of my favourite aspects of being a birth doula is the prenatal component.  During my birth doula prenatal meetings with clients, I talk, or more accurately teach. I teach about the many aspects of growing a family including birth, pain management, breastfeeding and newborn care.

It all flooded back to me the afternoon our HypnoBirthing students filtered in through the beautiful red doors of the Yoga Studio at Discover Your Yoga
in Orangeville.

Mothers and partners, all with their own stories. All a little nervous, and excited. Some coming in a little unsure, or maybe even skeptical – it is after all, the very first day of class!   HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education classes are taught as a five week series once a week.  Having the prenatal classes run over this length of time gives everyone the time to not only learn the material, but to master the techniques, which in turn builds their excitement and confidence leading up to the birth of their baby. ​

Class one is full of a lot of information. Carol Anne and I manage this “information overload” by incorporating activities, stories and hands on materials. Our teaching style appeals to every type of learner:  visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and conceptual.  One of the highlights of this first class is the activity we use to teach our students the HypnoBirthing terminology.  This is a non medicalized and logical language that helps remove confusion and fear around birth. The activity gets all the parents out of their seats and working together in teams.

In a matter of seconds the once quiet, nervous room of new students is buzzing with laughter and curiosity. It is in this beautiful moment their minds are opened. Open to learning new things and challenging their fears about birth and parenting. Just like children they are ready to absorb positive messages that will help them grow as people – people on the horizon of a new dawn. It fills my heart. I buzz with them.

Teaching confidence & casting fear aside.

By the end of the first prenatal class they cast their fears aside and are ready. They are ready to learn, ready to work towards their personal, birthing and parenting goals. They are ready to be witness to something that will be remarkable.

When I was that child making that time capsule, I saw teaching as something that was done in a formal school environment – teaching English, Math or Science –  but this goes beyond what I ever expected. Teaching these techniques to parents, sharing information with them, building confidence, opening their minds – it is an incredible privilege and honour.  I’m going to keep dreaming bigger for my clients, students and every parent I have to pleasure to know. And as I continue to learn and challenge myself, then I am able to pass that knowledge on and be a teacher.

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