Childbirth educator Brenika Smith of Prenatal Pampering is now sharing helpful tips for expecting mothers in online classes.
By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
With the ongoing quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team at Prenatal Pampering debated whether they should cancel their planned Spring classes. But Brenika Smith, a certified childbirth educator, and her team ultimately agreed: “Babies are still coming, and babies don’t get cancelled.”
So Prenatal Pampering, also known as “A Mother’s Spa”, decided to make its classes available online.
Topics of the virtual classes include: COVID-19 precautions and changes to the maternity hospital system; coping techniques for early and active labour; stages of labour, and when to go to the hospital; understanding birth hormones plus anatomy and physiology; communication and decision-making skills; labour support, and breastfeeding basics.
It was extremely important for Ms Smith to create this new virtual platform for moms-to-be, as pregnancy is an emotional time, and being pregnant during a pandemic only makes the emotional burden that much heavier.
“This certainly is not what any mother, especially first-time mothers, envisioned the journey would be like. So many milestones have been taken away from them due to social distancing, for example a baby shower. I wanted to provide access to childbirth classes so expecting moms can still actively participate in some part of their journey and increase their chances of a satisfying birth memory,” she said.
“I firmly believe that every mom benefits from an informed pregnancy and birth, and that every family deserves a safe, healthy birth experience. I had to find an alternative way to provide the information in this time of quarantine and social distancing practices. The overall goal for moms while at home is to reduce the level of fear and uncertainty that can lead to chronic stress, which can cause health problems in both mom and baby.
She added: “I want all parents to feel confident, supported and powerful as they navigate their path through pregnancy and birth. The goal of each class is to offer essential, accurate and unbiased information that moms can use as a guide to make informed decisions that match their values and priorities.”
Prenatal Pampering is located in the Advanced Family Medicine Centre and Medi Spa on Shirley Street. Ms Smith said it was created to support, inform, celebrate and pamper women, all working towards stronger future generations. The team caters to the unique and ever changing needs of a mother, specifically during the pregnancy and post-partum periods. They have been providing perinatal spa services for three years now and proud to be trusted by moms and doctors alike, offering treatments that are therapeutic and relaxing. At home services are also provided for women who are on bed rest for a portion of their pregnancy, or who may find it difficult to leave their homes shortly after giving birth.
“I’m a Lamaze international certified childbirth educator (LCCE ) and a certified massage therapist specialising in pregnancy and post-partum body work. I was raised in a family of predominantly women. My grandmother birthed five girls who later became mothers and raised children of their own. So besides my professional encounters with women, in my personal life I have witnessed the positive impact women have in the household and community when they are properly supported and nurtured,” said Ms Smith.
So far, the feedback from expecting mothers about the virtual classes has been so positive that Ms Smith said they are considering keeping them going even once things go back to normal.
“This something we hope to continue, even after the lockdown is lifted. Although the preference is still in-person classes, I feel the online platform is perfect for moms on the Family Islands that may not have access to a local childbirth educator,” she said.