Are you pregnant? Congratulations! Besides feelings of joy, you may also be experiencing other feelings, such as fear and anxiety, about your upcoming childbirth and parenting. You may experience a strong tendency to prepare yourself as best as possible for a safe labour and delivery for you and your baby. You may, because of this strong tendency, not sufficiently enjoy the pregnancy. Instead, you are often absorbed in thought. Or you feel carried away by a jumble of emotions. Do you recognize this? You're not the only one.
Anxiety and fear of childbirth
One in three pregnant women experiences excessive fear of childbirth. Understandable of course: becoming a mother is one of the most beautiful moments in life, but it also means a profound change for body, mind and social life. And, a future with many more responsibilities as well. In addition, childbirth is by definition a process with uncertainties... It is quite conceivable that this all together generates anxious and fearful feelings. Fortunately, you can do something about these feelings. Research shows that excessive fear and anxiety during pregnancy increases the risk of less favourable outcomes during and after childbirth. That is why it is also important to pay attention to your worries and fear, especially now that you are pregnant.
Here and now
Mindfulness offers the opportunity to learn to deal with fear and anxiety better. Feelings of anxiety and fear lock us in the fake future. With mindfulness we learn to return to here and now. In the present moment a space is created to recognize thoughts, feelings and needs as they are - but also without making them bigger than they are. You too can enrich your life with mindfulness and use the resilience that this yields.
What you learn
This training offers you the opportunity to get to know yourself better and to be kind to yourself and everything you encounter. With meditation, you grasp on your negative thoughts. You are less carried away by emotions. You learn to know your limits and needs, and you also learn to indicate them. You learn to deal with the unknown and future better. You come more into balance.
You will also learn about the positive effects of mindfulness: living more in the moment with open, alert and friendly attention. You discover the calm, satisfaction, strength and wisdom that you already possess. These experiences come in handy during childbirth, parenting and your future life.
And finally: if your partner also participates, then there is a good chance that you will strengthen your relationship, and with it the upcoming parenting experience.
The training consists of 9 weekly meetings, each of 2.5 hours plus a break, and one return day after the childbirth. (Maybe two and a half hours seem long now, but you'll see how fast each session goes!)
Just as mindfulness training often includes a meditation component, you will learn meditation during our 9 weeks together But in addition, this training offers applied exercises. For example: to promote resilience, we will do small exercises with unpleasant sensations, such as holding ice cubes. You also meditate on the movements of your baby, future parenthood, fears and joys. These meditations are offered sitting, lying, walking and as yoga exercises in a way that suits you.
Explanation about the childbirth
In addition to exercises, the training includes explanations about pregnancy and childbirth, for example about labour pain (and its usefulness), about pain treatment, and mechanisms that can reduce anxiety and stress. There is an explanation about the labour and delivery and appropriate positions, and practical things, such as the needs of your baby.
This training is given in a group. The experiences with the meditations, questions about this and about the pregnancy are discussed. You can actively participate in this if you want to, but you do not have to. Just by listening to the experiences of others you can learn a lot about your situation.
With this training you will work on the big issues in your life. It is therefore important that you allow yourself to take the time to follow the training properly. The training asks you (and your partner) to do a daily home exercise of 30thirty minutes.
The training 'Mindful childbirth and parenting for anxiety' is based on the general mindfulness training for pregnant women (Mindfulnes-Based Childbirth and Parenting, MBCP), which is also given here at the Center for Mindfulness. Both programs are based on the work of Nancy Bardacke. Scientific research shows that the training is 'promising' in reducing anxiety and facilitating the birth process. Satisfaction surveys have also shown that this training is highly appreciated by the participants.
This training is for all women who are pregnant and experience anxiety during pregnancy. It is the intention that you are not more than 30 weeks pregnant at the start. We prefer that you follow the training with your partner or another important person.
You can also approach us if you are considering a pregnancy, please feel free to contact us. By reaching out now, we can start discussing your needs and make preparations for upcoming training sessions.
Note: unfortunately at this time, we are not able to offer this training for pregnant women with severe mental health problems.
Steps after registration
After registration you will receive a no-obligation introductory meeting of approximately 30 minutes (by telephone or face-to-face, your preference. During this meeting, we will check whether this training fits your situation or whether a different approach is better for you. For example, we discuss themes such as your fear of childbirth, and any somber feelings. Also, we will discuss a number of questions about your general health. If we both agree that you are well-suited for this training you will be invited for a more extensive intake. During this conversation, pregnancy, psyche and family / social life are mapped. In addition, you will go deeper into your fears, vulnerabilities and needs. In this way it becomes clear to you and the trainer what you will bring to the training.