Pregnancy Awareness Week at one of the best hospitals in town, Life Vincent Pallotti!

Pregnancy Awareness Week takes place annually and this year’s theme was about empowering parents for their journey to birth. I was there representing Relax Into Birth, talking about doula care and relaxation techniques. Many thanks to Sister Lindsay Donnachie, Carline and Vaughanine for arranging such an inspiring event.

Sister Lindsay Donnachie opening the day's Pregnancy Event.

Sister Lindsay Donnachie opening the day’s Pregnancy Event.

Sister Donnachie reminded women about their invisible bejeweled crowns on their heads and that no matter how their births turned out – or what turn they took, natural or caesarean, that they would still, no matter what, be the queen of their own births. She emphasised that what really mattered was how the mother viewed her birth and that in order to have a positive experience, she needed to empower herself with information and to know her options. She welcomed all attendees and speakers to the event.

Sister Donnachie reminding mothers to wear their invisible crowns.

Sister Donnachie reminding mothers to wear their invisible crowns.

Sister Emma Numanoglu of Breastfeeding Matters was first up and is a lactation consultant extraordinairre. Her talk focused on debunking myths around the subject of breastfeeding. Emma’s heart and soul is in her teaching and consulting and those who have been touched by her kindness can attest to that. Nothing is too big or too small – Emma will help you! Did you know that you don’t have to cut out any major food groups while breastfeeding? You don’t have to go gluten free or dairy free (unless medically indicated)! And, did you know there is science behind the use of cabbage leaves for sore, engorged breasts? Also that Jungle Juice is not helpful for anything except a sugar overload and does not help with supply issues… only a good latch can ensure that baby is getting milk… and milk being extracted from the breast helps to increase milk supply. Emma shared these titbits with us and more…

Emma Nummanoglu presenting a breastfeeding talk

Sister Emma Numanoglu presenting a breastfeeding talk.

Next up was Dr Jacky Searle. One of the most gentle, aware and intuitive doctors in Cape Town, her talk focused on choice and birth. She made attendees aware of the choices available in pregnancy and birth and how to navigate the landscape of those choices in Cape Town and within the limitations of medical aids. Practical and always so encouraging, Dr Searle empowers women daily in her work life and beyond. Births with this fine doctor are always Beautiful.

Dr Jacky Searle presenting a talk on choices in the birthing landscape

Dr Jacky Searle presenting a talk on choices in the birthing landscape.

I was next in line and my talk was entitled “Empowering women through doula care and relaxation techniques”. Doula care is often misunderstood and so my talk opened with an explanation of the doula role through pregnancy and birth and how it differs from that of a midwife. I also shared some tools for relaxation, excerpted from the Relax Into Birth course.

Attendees trying out some Relax into Birth breathing techniques.

Attendees trying out some Relax into Birth breathing techniques.

Next up was Liesl Hansen from Johnson and Johnson, who spoke about the benefits of massage in pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period in her talk; “The first touch of love.” When it came to baby massage, she handed out dolls for the parents to practice on, which was just so much fun and so informative! Who doesn’t love a good massage and these parents left feeling equipped to give their babies some extra tlc through massage. She was assisted by Lisa Townend of Holistic Baby – Baby Massage Classes, a certified infant massage instructor.

Liesl Hansen and Lisa Townsend share their learnings around baby massage techniques.

Liesl Hansen and Lisa Townend share their learnings around baby massage techniques.

Last but not least, Jenny Spiro of Nurture One delivered a very interesting talk entitled “Start out right… And sleep tight.” She emphasised the importance of catching the sleep wave to assist your baby to sleep as best as possible. She also showed parents a very clever way of using the amazing Nurture One nesting pillow to put baby to sleep. The pillow cleverly mimics a womb-like environment and gives newborns much comfort.

Jenny Spiro shares info around baby sleep methods to help new parents also get more sleep!

Jenny Spiro shares info around baby sleep methods to help new parents also get more sleep!

Here are some other pics from Saturday’s fun event:-)

Emma Nummanoglu, Lindsay Donnachie and me

And here’s one of my son and I; my inspiration to do this work in the first place… Dearest Leonardo… Funny face selfie 😍:

See you at the next pregnancy event! Wishing you a wonderful birthing day, no matter what turn it takes ❤️❤️

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