Pregnancy is an incredible time in the lives of women and families. Inside the womb lies our hopes for the future . . . the world seems so full of hope. During my twenty years of birth practice as a certified nurse-midwife, I remember all the joyful tears when we heard or saw the fetal heartbeat for the first time. Then come the shopping trips for those tiny pieces of newborn clothing. And, finally it is time for childbirth preparation class . . . fun, but kind of scarey.
Pregnancy is a time when family roles change rapidly . . . moms and dads become parents . . . and parents become grandparents. The mom-to-be's physical health is changed, at least temporarily. From nausea to round ligament pain to labor contractions. Pregnancy is usually viewed as a positive change and it is also a great time to learn more about wellbeing and resilience.
Positive psychology provides a wonderful tool for improving our ability to thrive in life. The science was "born" a decade or two ago - and is a shift away from treating mental illness and toward teaching people to be happier and more resilient in life.
As a nurse-midwife and positive psychology wellbeing coach, I began to wonder how I might spread positive psychology into a kind of prenatal wellbeing promotion. I know, first hand, that it is not uncommon for pregnancy to be a time of economic stress, especially when the economy is not resilient. The cost of hiring a life coach trained in positive psychology is simply out-of-reach for too many pregnant women and couples.
That is why I decided to create an economical online prenatal class that focuses on use of positive psychology to enhance wellbeing during pregnancy. This week, I began to build the course (I am also an online nursing instructor so this comes second hand.) I wanted to blend use of strengths, resiliency, physical wellness and optimism building strategies (may be one way to decrease low-birth-weight babies and unnecessary surgical births) with visioning a birth plan and, finally, creation of a family strengths tree.
The course is designed to be an adjunct to regular prenatal classes - and it is fully online with the option of a starting and ending telecall (to make it feel like a more close knit community.) It may also be a great match for women who are placed on bedrest during pregnancy, as staying resilient and optimistic can be a challenge when there are physical health issues during the prenatal period.
I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity to empower women and families to improve their birth experience - and to provide skills they can take forward with them into parenting . . . and life in general.
More information is available on my website - http://www.midwifeofchanges.com/positive_psychology_wellbeing_for_pregnancy_course and I will have a registration link up by 4/15 so people can register. In the mean time - please feel free to email me for further information or to offer suggestions related to class content. midwifeofchanges at q.com . Please feel free to share with your friends who might be interested! Thank you for allowing me to SHARE!
Cathy Hartt, RN, MS, CNM
Midwife of Changes Wellbeing Coaching Services
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