The 4-hour workshop is an intensive and insightful exploration into the processes of labour, birth, child-led parenting, the biology of babies, breastfeeding, natural child spacing. The areas covered are as follows:
Labour & Birth
The topic gives an in-depth look at the physiology of labour and birth. It begins by debunking the understanding that God made childbirth a form of extreme pain and suffering for women as a punishment for Eve’s transgressions in the Garden of Eden. In fact, the labour process is one that is misunderstood and feared. The topic looks at how the woman’s body is designed perfectly to nurture life and to bring it forth into the world, how the musculature of the womb, the cocktail of hormones at labour and birth all combine for function and purpose. This is truly the wonder and power of God’s design at its best. In looking at the mammalian roots of human beings, couples learn about how and why privacy and respect, peace and calm, faith and trust, are instrumental in childbirth. They begin to see that birth need not be the dreaded, pain-intensive, medical process it is made out to be today.
They will learn how women can cope during labour without having to turn to medical drugs. Husbands, in the transition to become fathers, play a vital role in the birth process as their wife’s sole support. They will gain insight into the importance of implicit trust and communication between a woman and her husband and how this can be nurtured during the birth process.
Biology of Babies
Can you spoil newborns? Should you pick up a baby when he cries? Are newborns safer if they sleep in another room? Is there any harm in giving baby a bottle of formula milk? This session covers the physiology of newborns and young infants in relation to the birth experience. It tackles common issues on sleep, breastfeeding, crying and other behaviors. It gives parents insight into why babies cry, how they sleep, why they like to be swaddled, how they can be soothed. It explores how and why the period after birth is often known as the fourth trimester. It’s always challenging in the first few weeks after birth as parents struggle to understand their new baby’s cues and behaviours. This topic gives them that insight as it draws answers from baby’s biological make-up. In understanding that the underlying reasons are rooted in biology, parents are less likely to stress out unduly and are better able to anticipate and understand baby behaviour.
Breastfeeding and Catholic Motherhood
This topic takes a two-pronged approach to breastfeeding. Through scientific evidence-based information and faith-based teaching, mothers will learn how and why breastfeeding is an integral part of motherhood. Today when convenience and lifestyle is prized, many parents consider formula-feeding to be an accepted norm and a replacement for mother’s milk. However breastfeeding is more than just a way to feed an infant. There are numerous studies highlighting the advantages of breastmilk over artificial feeding. Breastfeeding is a relationship in which the mother’s body becomes a gift to her baby. Through this, the mother makes a “covenant” with her baby through the devoted task of breastfeeding him. In this topic, parents will understand the heath and emotional values of breastfeeding, the dynamics of the breastfeeding relationship and the methodology of effective breastfeeding. Beyond just the science, breastfeeding is about determination and sacrifice, selflessness and confidence, the choice to place the needs of another above the self – the rudiments of the parental relationship.
Pam has a professional diploma in counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She is also a certified pregnancy health coach, birth and post-partum doula and a certified lactation trainer/counsellor from ABA – the Australian Breastfeeding Association and ABAS – Association for Breastfeeding Advocacy, Singapore. A staunch advocate of breastfeeding support, Pam has trained other breastfeeding counsellors and mentors. She was the Programme Manager and National Co-ordinator for the BFHI (Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative).
Pat is a certified Childbirth Educator. She holds a graduate diploma in childbirth education from Birth International Australia. The graduate diploma is recognised by Australia’s VETAB (Vocational Education Training Accreditation Board). Mother of 5 children ranging in age from 25 to 15, Pat is a staunch advocate of natural birth and parenting and believes parents must be empowered and supported to make informed choices.