Empowered Bumps The Practical Birth Partner Workshop | Just Add Ginger

I have been trying to look at pregnancy so differently this time round. I've been taking things a lot more in my stride, been trying to keep calm and do as much research I can into techniques I can implement during both my pregnancy and labour to stop me panicking and getting too stressed. 

I first heard about Jenie and Empowered Bumps Hypnobirthing through Codie and for a long time really wanted to attend one of her pregnancy relaxation classes. But with Ryan's sometimes erratic and unpredictable work schedule and the distance I'd have to travel to get to the class I soon realised that it just wasn't going to be possible. 

image shows a birth affirmation card and range of arts and crafts objects

However, The Practical Birth Partners Workshop was definitely something I wanted to take us both to if I could. With us planning a home birth I thought it was really important for both Ryan and I to learn some new strategies to help me manage my own discomfort and to help me stay as focused and relaxed as possible to keep me motivated and feeling positive. 

So with Eric safe and happy elsewhere, Ryan and I got in the car and set off to the workshop which was run from Baby Bear's Den in Crosby - a newly opened space set in the grounds of a nursery that runs classes for pregnancy, babies and families too. It's a hub that I feel has been desperately needed in our area and it was the perfect place for the workshop to be set. 

Light, bright and airy, there was an immediate feeling of tranquillity that hit you as you entered the room. A small seating area was set up next to sets of yoga mats, birth balls, an inflated birthing pool and beautiful affirmation boards and bunting. Everything just felt so serene and instantly set the tone for what the class was going to entail

Joined by two other couples we first all sat down and introduced ourselves before Jenie did a little introduction and we started some initial activities. All of us had different stories and were there for different reasons but it was nice knowing we were all on the same journey and there to support each other. I didn't feel embarrassed or ashamed at any point during the day and I think a lot of that I can attribute to the other attendees who were there. 

The workshop was a combination of guided learning, practical relaxation techniques and conversations that touched on birth preferences, the role of the birth partner and our rights as expectant mothers / fathers and ways we can empower ourselves to hopefully help achieve the birth experience we want. 

What I loved about the workshop is that I got to practise techniques I had heard and read about in a guided class environment. It's one thing seeing something on paper but it's a completely other thing actually giving them a go and knowing you are doing them right. I really respond to that style of learning - I like to be supported. 

It was also brilliant learning new things. Things that I wouldn't have had a clue about had it not been for the workshop. Rebozo, different styles of massage and new breathing techniques...all of these Ryan and I now have in our 'toolkit' ready to pull out during labour should we need them. And all of them fully adaptable and workable around my disability.

The workshop also gave Ryan more of an active role to play. He has been so focused on sorting out the birthing pool but now he has more to do. He's not the type to show when he is scared or nervous but I know there is a strong chance that during labour he will be so now he has a lot more he can draw on to direct his thoughts should they start to deviate. 

Jenie was an incredibly charismatic and approachable class leader. She was easy to talk to, relatable and didn't at any point preach to us. The class was 4 hours long but with her leading us the time absolutely flew by and I was a little bit gutted when it all was over because she made it so enjoyable!

image shows two hand painted positive birth images

Self care as a pregnant person is so important and I felt like - for the first time in a while - like I was really doing something for myself. Especially as someone who has and does struggle with anxious thoughts. I now feel like I am really doing myself justice and putting things in place to support myself in the lead up to welcoming this baby.

The workshop really resonated with Ryan to - so much so that he has suggested we book on for the Empowered Bumps Intensive Hypnobirthing course. It's making me feel so excited that he is fully on board with what I want and I know that the workshop has really helped him feel secure in his role as my birth partner.

If you are in the Liverpool area and want to learn more about hypnobirthing, Jenie, or any of the services she offers, definitely check out the Empowered Bumps website. You can tell she is incredibly passionate and dedicated about what she does and as someone who does get a bit nervous thinking about birth, attending her workshop has really helped me feel more empowered than ever! 

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