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Keeping your power by Sophia Paskell

In all my years teaching antenatal classes, the first question I ask the group is “Why are you here?” The common response is -“Because we have to be” or “Because its our first baby and we dont know anything”. Many a night I have pondered this, how parents begin their journey with a long list of “have to’s”.

And I wonder when this disempowerment began?

Was it when you went to the doctor only  to be told “don’t get too excited, 1/3 of pregnancies end in miscarriage”. Is fear planted here?

Or was it when you were sent for blood tests, glucose tests, screening tests, dating scans, anatomy scans, measuring scans, genetic screening…but not told about the risks or benefits of these or even the tests are OPTIONAL… Did the fear start here?

Was it when you were told to birth in the hospital but not told what your rights are while you are there…

Or was it when you asked the obstetrician a question about induction and the response was “Do you want your baby to die?”. Yeah… it was probably here.

I also consider that it may have been long before even falling pregnant that women lose their power. Cultural conditioning and societies expectations… that shit is intense….when does our society teach us that woman are strong wise and our bodies are beautifully capable?? Never…, instead we are bombarded with media telling us that we need to change our body, objectify it and that it is just not god damned good enough!

You see, when we are constantly and repetitively told what the recommended this and that without full information or the full menu of options, we are being subconsciously brainwashed and stripped of possibilities. We lose our centre and we lose our self belief. Right from the get go, the idea is validated that new parents dont know anything and they need some “expert” to explain how to be pregnant, how to birth and how to be parents. This is damn belittling and offensive. Not ideal when you have just arrived on this journey.

I used to teach classes that appeased that long list of “have to’s”, and also the list of “what to’s” and “when to’s). I admit that some of this is still relevant…. but it needs to be balanced out with more inspiring flair. Woman don’t need to be dictated to, we are completely bored of that!!! What if new parents were pointed in a new direction? … inward where all the wisdoms and knowledge reside. 

Imagine a world of strong, empowered and intuitive mothers…. mothers that don’t need validation or acceptance or require others opinions before acting.  Mothers that can trust themselves, trust their abilities, trust their hearts.

My new class “The Peaceful Pregnancy Circle “has this new approach. It is designed to guide you back to yourself, your lovely true self without all the fear, conditioning and undermining. Using meditation, self reflection, movement, art and open discussion the course focuses on empowering your journey, accessing your own wisdoms, knowledge and skills and ultimately taking  the power back!

The advantages of this kind of education is extensive. Benefits of pregnancy meditation include: lowering anxiety, increasing sleep quality, attain more energy and vitality, connect with baby and your body, lower pain levels by increasing oxytocin levels. It builds courage, inner strength, resilience and clarity. Isnt that what new parents need? Some clarity to sift through the scores of information that is thrown at them, courage to speak openly with care providers to find helpful answers to their valid questions. Resilience to defy a system that breaks women down by not believing in them. Take your power back! The power is within.

“My pregnancy journey with Sophia and the pregnancy circle helped me stop and take moments to ask questions within, and apply simple practices that allowed me to listen and connect, such as – what it means to actually ‘show loving kindness to yourself’.

“The meditations were a way to ease my thoughts and look at labour and birth as something I am designed to do and really cherish this miraculous life event. These practices definitely got me through to have the natural water birth that I had wanted.” Tammy First Time Mama

“I truly believe Sophias classes had a huge impact on my fabulous homebirth. Its hard to think that something as simple as breathing techniques can help so much with pain relief. That, along with learning to meditate helped me prepare my mind for the birth to be excited rather than scared.
I would recommend these classes to everyone, especially people who are feeling afraid or feeling negative about their birth”. Jonea First Time Mama

 Sophia is living and offering her beautiful services in Tauranga, New Zealand. She is a co creator and mama of two joyous beings, Childbirth Educator, Doula, Owner of Mothers Circle and Bath Connoisseur! She is a beautiful friend of mine.

For a decade her work has focused around empowering woman to take ownership of their pregnancy, birth and Mothering journey, and guiding them to discover, explore and trust their own inner knowing and innate capabilities.

She is passionate about celebrating and valuing the rites of passage as women and fostering support and understanding instead of cheapening the experience with competition. Like myself she believes these are sacred times for transformation in a woman’s life!

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