Around the world, at least 300 million people practice yoga on a regular basis which is a testament to the many benefits it can offer. Whether you are an avid learner, an experienced practitioner or an up-and-coming yoga teacher with a passion for supporting people through pregnancy, a childbirth mentor training can provide anyone with the necessary skills and tools to help expectant parents prepare for the experience.
During pregnancy, the body is going through a vulnerable period of development which brings along a series of physiological and psychological hurdles. These can easily lead to complications, particularly if caused by external stressor factors. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has emerged to be the central stressor, thereby increasing levels of stress, anxiety among pregnant women.
On top of this, the severe burden that health care systems are operating under means general hospitals have been turned into critical care wards to be able to face the demand. Combined with the fear of being infected with COVID-19, many have experienced more complications and less than ideal pregnancy outcomes.
When taking everything into consideration, it is clear the experience is vastly different than it would have been pre-pandemic and there is a need for a sharp focus on natal care as we all learn to navigate a new normal. Now more than ever, women need expert support on their journey towards childbirth and training to become that expert is as rewarding as it is necessary. A childbirth mentor training can help ensure each pregnancy is given the individualized and comprehensive care deserved.
Selecting The Right Training Course
So, how does one go about picking the right childbirth mentor training? First and foremost, it will be critical to ensure the course has not been created with a one-size-fits-all in mind. While all pregnancies follow common threads, acknowledging the unique differences is what separates a good mentor from a great one. For example, an appropriate training will always go beyond textbooks and typical yoga exercises to incorporate aspects such as hypnobirthing, natural pain relief and comfort techniques, specifically designed to meet the requirements and personal coping styles.
Secondly, it is important to look for flexibility both in terms of completing the course and being able to access it in a safe manner, online. Everyone learns differently which means time pressures for going through each training module can actually have a negative impact on the learning process of many trainees. Being able to do it all at your own pace can enable a better and more thorough experience.
Thirdly, the quality of supporting materials such as handbooks, videos, or handouts play a key role in enhancing both your knowledge and that of the expectant parents you are supporting. Many such materials are often time overflowing with unnecessary information or the opposite, lacking the relevant advice and guidance that would be useful. An accredited childbirth mentor training will guarantee a high standard of quality for the resources provided.
Reasons For Becoming A Childbirth Mentor
Recent reviews of literature have pointed towards a surge of yoga research and publications since 2007, with evidence consistently showing that simple yoga postures play a fundamental role in decreasing a number of common risks including preterm delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, preeclampsia, emergency caesarean, and even foetal death. Equally, the practice has demonstrated benefits in emotional regulation and overall empowerment, particularly among younger mothers.
One study from 2019 revealed yoga sessions to support the management of the nearly two-thirds of all participants, pregnant women aged 20–24 years, who reported significant psychological distress in their pregnancy at the moment of investigation.
Another key study published in 2021 aimed to examine the effects of yoga practices on neonatal and pregnancy outcomes in women between 26 to 28 weeks pregnant. Interventions focused on pregnancy Hatha yoga exercises carried out twice a week. The results were incredible, showing that yoga exercises had a significant effect on the rate of labor induction and a shorter duration of labour, and over 82% were able to have a natural delivery. These are just two examples of an ever-growing database of evidence that demonstrates the beneficial effects of yoga.
Beyond being able to make a significant difference in the physical and psychological health of expecting mother, a childbirth mentor can become a true pillar of support. Many high-profile mothers such as Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh, have applauded and celebrated the contributions of having a mentor by their side for the journey. With looming lockdowns and extended periods of isolation, the number of pregnant women struggling are expected to rise and lead to a more severe impact. Playing this much needed role is a rewarding opportunity and a way to truly make a long-lasting difference for women.
Lastly, an empowered, happy and healthy mother equals a safer, more comfortable birthing experience and ensures the baby can arrive into the world sharing the same sentiment as their mother. Emotional and psychological issues during pregnancy have long been associated with low-birth weight and preterm delivery, and a higher risk of postpartum challenges. In a nutshell, whatever the mother is going throughout the duration of her pregnancy has an impact on the baby. Addressing issues and creating a supportive environment thus has benefits for both which means a mentor is positively impacting two lives.
Working with expectant parents and having the ability to make a long-lasting, meaningful difference in their lives is what childbirth mentorship training is all about, and it is probably one of the most amazing and self-less things one can do.