My thoughts on a conference about babies and the things I learnt at Birthlight

The 19th Week of the Baby in Canela, RS, Brazil

Last month I had the opportunity of attending an International Conference that happens annually in Canela, Rio Grande do Sul state here in Brazil. It is part of a bigger event that happens during a whole week and it is focused is on babies. This year, however, although the baby was still a central piece of the event, the theme of the conference was “Looking after those who look after the baby”. When I first heard about it, I was reminded of something that I have been hearing at birthlight for a long time the concept of “Mothering the mother”. It did catch my attention and as quickly as I could I enrolled myself to attend this conference. It happened in a town nearby and funnily enough it was on its nineteenth edition and I have never heard about it before. Well, I was really happy to take part on it and to learn that many people are doing their best to improve families lives over here.

The speakers of this conference were mainly from the psychology field and shared so many invaluable knowledge on that day. Some things were new for me but, at the same time, many things I have already heard before during my birthlight trainings. It was great to hear all of that again, in a different language, in a very different context and culture and see that people here are learning and spreading the knowledge - those very important “nuggets of wisdom” that Françoise always tells us about.

Amongst many important information I heard on that day, I found it really important to bring the subject of ‘mothering the mother’ in the first place. Dr. Simone Isabel Jung, a psychologist, presented a talk that was entitled: ‘In between pain and love, building the motherhood’. This is a subject that is really important to me as a Baby Massage teacher. As I have women coming to my classes during their first weeks of motherhood, I can happily see that their confidence grows week by week and that sometimes, we can help them by doing very simple things. Dr. Jung mentioned that motherhood is something that a woman learns day by day. She mentioned that we, the people surrounding those new moms, have not only to hear them, but to welcome their words, their emotions and their frustrations as well. Dr. Jung also brought another subject that wasn’t new for me as I have heard it many times in my birthlight trainings. It is about being the best mom you can. The motherhood can come as a heavy burden to some women. Thus, it is important to reassure them that we know that they are doing the best they can - and that is great. It is an important concept and I was very happy to see this brought to light to so many people who can now spread the word.

We heard another excellent talk from Dr. Gabriela Martins Dal Forno, also a psychologist, with the title ‘Being a baby’s nurse/teacher: From Rewards to Emotional Challenges’. One of the most touching things she said was that when we engage with a baby, we have to do it without any expectations and open to meet who that baby really is. As I was taught at birthlight, I always start my classes saying to the parents that babies already know what they like or dislike, so we will never force them to do anything. They already have their opinion and that is who they are we have to respect them. Additionally, she emphasised that we have to accept that the baby will need some time to metabolise our care and our teachings within themselves. Those two very important things are part of the principles of yoga and birthlight - the respect and the balance. Respect! We have to respect the baby as an individual with likes and dislikes. Balance between stimulating and relaxing. Balance between giving the baby the time to process all that we have just done together.

Finally we had the third talk on this part of the conference where Dr. Sheila Machado da Silveira Becker, psychologist, spoke about the relationship between mothers and teachers/nurses. This applies to all of us, Baby Massage, Baby and Toddler, Yoga and Swimming teachers as we have to build a relationship with the mother as well as with the baby. She emphasised how important it is to have a two-way communication and that we, as professionals working with those families, have to communicate and to understand those moms needs in order better to support them.

There were other interesting talks, I could go on and on telling you about everything. However, the main point for me was to see that, even if the birthlight practices here are quite new, the scientific evidences - that the birthlight approach is based on - are spreading everywhere.

I don’t get tired of saying how important it is to ‘mother the mother’ in order to have healthy and happy families. Thus, I couldn’t be happier to have had the opportunity to attend this conference and to see that all that knowledge - that in my case I first acquired at birthlight - is spreading over here through different channels but with the same objectives.

Let’s keep spreading the spirals of joy!

Hugs,
Renata

 

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