Often pain and anxiety are our greatest challenges in childbirth. Learning to use our mind to work with these challenges can make a huge difference in our labor and delivery experience. Our typical experience of pain is that something is wrong, and this in turn can elicit fear which brings with it a whole emotional and physiological chain of events. The pain of childbirth is something different. It is not a message of illness or injury, but of a powerful process of transformation taking place. In mindfulness meditation practices, we are learning to uncouple the fear associated with pain from the actual direct physical sensations. When we do that, we are radically changing our relationship to the pain and this can powerfully transform the experience of the sensation itself.
Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting is an adaptation of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. It was developed twelve years ago by Nancy Bardacke, CNM, MA, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. This program is now being offered to the expectant parents of Philadelphia. This nine-week childbirth education course will help expectant parents:
· Access deep physical and mental relaxation
· Learn to engage the mind to work with pain during labor
· Increase confidence and courage for the experience of labor and delivery
· Practice prenatal yoga for strength and flexibility
· Develop skills for managing stress in pregnancy, parenting and daily life
· Enhance partner communication skills
· Become more aware of our own approach to parenting
This class will be a time to look deeply at pain and fear in childbirth and to cultivate present moment awareness for meeting whatever childbirth experience might unfold. It can also be helpful for those who anticipate a birth experience requiring special medical attention or for those who have had a previous difficult birth experience.
Dates: Thursdays, April 29 - June 17th and a Reunion Class after births
Time: 6:30-9:30 PM
Location: Jefferson Center City Philadelphia, 1013 Chestnut St., 1st Floor
Information and Registration: Please call 610-650-0901, or email Catherine.Polan-Orzech@jeffersonhospital.org
Instructor: Catherine Polan Orzech, MA, LMFT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mindfulness-based psychotherapy, and has taught Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for the last nine years. She completed a practicum in MBSR at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and professional training under the direction of Jon Kabat-Zinn. She has taught and lectured on the subject of Mindfulness internationally, and was founder and co-director of the Montreal Center for Mindfulness. Catherine received certification as a doula in 1999, and is in the process of becoming a certified childbirth educator through Childbirth International.