Retreat Reflections: Mama’s, are you ready?

by Olife Team

While we can assume that motherhood is no easy ride, like most things in life, rarely do we know the extent of it until we go through it ourselves. On the 6th of July, Olife experiences held a retreat for pregnant mothers, led by Farah Ehsan, a Mobility and Yoga Teacher who empowers women through their journey of motherhood and Childbirth Expert, Sawsan Nashaat, who is the first and only Birth Trauma Counsellor in Egypt. A day filled with reflections, wisdom, and knowledge; the Oracle Space retreat was a safe space for mothers to unpack their fears and find comfort in reliability... to find humour in their shared frustrations and to feel a sense of belonging. Most importantly, it was an opportunity for mothers to reconnect with themselves and their babies on a deeper level.

To kickstart the day, Sawsan Nashaat led one of four experiential learning
sessions about all things related to childbirth. She made a beautiful parallel
between childbirth and breathing – the point being that childbirth is a
completely natural process. One that is very personal. She insisted that all
the answers are within; that it is not answers that they should seek, rather,
guidance and better-informed support; that motherhood is rarely a matter of
one size that fits all. Motherhood is intuition, and confidence in the process is
birthed through knowledge. Most importantly, she emphasised that childbirth
can be gentle; that it can be a wonderful, uplifting, and euphoric event if one
goes into it with a relaxed state of mind, one that is fuelled by intuitive
knowledge and stilled by a deep sense of connection and empowerment.
In a state of awe, our mamas were ready to take a moment to reflect. Our
Olife expert, Farah Ehsan, guided mamas through two practical sessions on
functional mobility and deep breathing; a chance for mamas to reconnect
with themselves on a deeper level, and to give themselves the space to revel
in gratitude. As mamas held onto their baby bumps, Farah beautifully
guided them to reflect on how a mother and her baby have been paired
together in this life... To tune into what is happening inside their bodies. To
tune into the life that is growing within them. Whether every mama was able
to connect deeply or not, the look on every mama’s face made a very
moving moment. it was a beautiful moment.
The day was a beautiful experience to say the least; one that was filled with
nuggets of wisdom that we would like to share with you! Below is a collection
of our favorite reflections from the retreat.
Make decisions based on what works for you, not what works for
those around you!

There is a lot of pressure when it comes to having a baby, but you need to
learn where to draw the line. Make sure that you don’t internalise other
people’s opinions. The decision is yours and nobody else’s. Make sure to
keep it that way because only you can truly know what is right for you and
your baby.

To feel confident in your choices, you need to get informed! To get informed
doesn’t mean to overload yourself with information, nor does it mean
over planning, it means getting knowledgeable about the things that matter.
Get to know your options, get to know the precautions, and don’t forget to
tune into your intuition because it’s the only way you can feel certain, as
certain as you can feel! It’s the only way the choice you make, is in fact the
one that is suitable for your body. That is not to say that you don’t need to seek support and advice, you do! However, you might need to exercise your authority with the doctor to negotiate on what is most comfortable for you, diplomatically of course. In short, any choice that you make must be one that works for you.
There is a difference between pain and suffering.
For most of us, the thought of childbirth seems painful, a word that has
negative connotations... a feeling that we have been taught to avoid at all
costs! The truth is, pain is a natural part of life, and it is not what we envision
it to be. Pain is a physical sensation that passes with no trace, it is not supposed to be discouraging. It is suffering, on the other hand, that is linked to trauma, and that builds around the experience with lingering consequences. Contrary to what we see on mainstream TV, and most probably what many of us have been naturally programmed to believe, childbirth is not a traumatic
experience of pushing for hours on end. Since pain is often mistaken for
suffering, think of childbirth as a process that involves exertion, physical or
mental effort. Think of it as assisting, not pushing. Think of it as tightening
and releasing. Work on programming your brain to recognize that birth can
be a good experience... that the pain is not excessive, that the pain does not
compare to the fact that a little human is being brought into this world.
Get to know what makes a comfortable experience, for you.
Stress and pressure do increase risks during childbirth, which is why it is so
important that you safeguard your experience and ensure that it’s a
comfortable one. Ensure your privacy, feeling of security and remove all
distractions, as much as you can... Though not everything is in your control,
it is always in your control to focus on the positives. Listen to your body, it’s always sending us signals on how it feels! One of our mamas reflected on her reason for joining the retreat, that people are so worried about her and so it makes her worried... that she wants to educate herself and she wants to be able to confidently say that she’s fine. Get to know what is happening inside your body. You are literally growing or have grown life inside of you... you’re not meant to feel fine all the time, but with awareness, you will get to know the signals and you will learn to be fine through it. Remember that no matter how new this is to you, childbirth is a natural process. It is a normal physiological event. Though you don’t control it, though it may seem frightening and though it may feel unfamiliar, it is familiar to your body... the more you tune in, the more you will have trust that you will know exactly what to do. The more you will realise that this is a journey of growth.
You are never, ever, alone...
Pregnancy can be extremely overwhelming and lonely, especially if it’s for
the first time. Our retreat was a reminder that it doesn’t have to be that
way... You don’t have to go through it alone. You don’t have to figure it out
on your own. Though you may have the support of your friends and family,
sometimes, what you need is an expert with first-hand experience. Not only
will they unconditionally and wholeheartedly support you, but they will do so
with confidence because they have been there before, and they have come
out on the other side so much stronger. They have dedicated years to
learning. They can help you make sense of your own journey. They will help
you seek and connect with others who are in the same boat; a community of
mothers who can feel you and hear you without you having to say anything
at all.

Most importantly, a community can remind you what a blessing this journey
is and how beautiful it can be, irrespective of all the challenges that come
with it.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.