For mamas-to-be, the build-up to your new arrival’s due date is one of the most exciting times in your life, but it’s also slightly overwhelming. You’re faced with changes to your body and a checklist as long as the Hong Kong Harbour. As your pregnancy progresses and you start to familiarise yourself with alien medical terms, it’s time to consider your antenatal options and research how to have the smoothest labour possible.
A Mother’s Touch kindly invited Sassy Mama along to their Birthing Rehearsal class to experience the journey of natural labour and learn how your birthing partner can provide practical support throughout labour. The class is deliberately light on academic references to avoid those continuous oooohs and ahhhhs over medical terms.
When my husband and I arrived, we were greeted by Liz, the owner and founder of A Mother’s Touch. I knew immediately that we were going to click as her warm approach and zesty personality made me secure in her confident ability, but also made me feel like I had just walked into a family friend’s home.
As soon as the class was full of blooming bumps and keen daddies-to-be, Liz began by highlighting that this was very much a class where partners could learn how they can play an important role in the birthing experience. We were all handed an extensive handbook, which was presented in a lovely folder and super organised inside – a birthing ‘bible’ that will be cherished!
The first section of the class covered the stages of labour and focused on the typical fears and emotions that may be running through everyone’s minds during the third trimester. It was really interesting to listen to the birthing partners’ views on this, as I feel as an expectant mother that most of the time I am (understandably) so focused on myself that I don’t consider that my husband might have concerns of his own.
We then moved on to methods of breathing and positioning throughout labour. This was definitely the most helpful and fun, because aside from being a yogi, I feel like you can’t soak up enough information about assisting the most natural birthing experience possible. Liz engaged had the entire class in understanding ways for mums to stay mobile and for the birthing partners to assist with adjustment of the baby’s positioning, targeting those typical aches and pains as labour progresses.
We learned the importance of basic reflexology and acupressure, and Liz helpfully pointed out some key areas that our birthing partners can massage throughout labour. We also learnt how to use a rebozo, which is a fantastic product that A Mother’s Touch will rent out to expectant mothers. Although it may sound fancy and exotic, it is a traditional Mexican scarf that can be used for anything – most importantly, for positioning support and relaxation during labour. Liz kindly demonstrated on me some of the ways you can use this simple but effective product and now I have my eye on getting my own before D-day (I’m a magpie after all; shine something pretty in front of me and I’ll need to get i).
Lastly, after numerous toilet breaks and snack station visits we approached the end of our class – visualisation. This was such a beautiful exercise as each couple had to embrace their partner, feel the rhythm of each other’s breathing, then close our eyes and start a journey of relaxation. Liz softly narrated ways to visualise your journey, trying to engage all senses into your imaginary safe haven. For me, this was snorkelling in crystal waters with my husband and discovering my favourite fish hiding amongst the coral.
Although I might have started out as a skeptic, Liz slowly started to pull us away from our visualisation and I was definitely in a deep state of relaxation. I could have fallen asleep at any minute – true bliss. When everyone was ready to leave we were then presented with a little gift bag (Liz’s rescue pouch to pop into your hospital bag containing oils, helpful tip cards and her personal touch of items that she uses in her role as a doula). This has certainly going straight into my bag for the big day.
My review really only touches the tip of the iceberg with what we took away from Liz’s class. We’ll certainly stay in touch with Liz and A Mother’s Touch, as their company passionately ensures that all couples have the best possible birthing experience. They’re constantly improving their practice to explore natural remedies and treatments to assist you with anything from considering a family to treating those precious little babes with a baby massage.
My Birthing Rehearsal experience really was delivered with A Mother’s Touch, which made the class feel that little bit more special. I came out with a ‘glow’ and feeling even more excited about our little bundle’s arrival.
If you haven’t already come across A Mother’s Touch please visit their website as they offer classes and treatments that are suited from bumps to beyond.
The Birthing Rehearsal Workshop at A Mother’s Touch is $1,300 per couple and runs from 2-6:30pm. During the class, couples will practice birth scenarios, labour and birth postures, labour massage, acupressure, reflexology breathing rhythms and relaxation skills.
A Mother’s Touch, 2001, 20F, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2851 9654