Pregnancy group's moving philosophy
After almost seven years at the Uniting Church Hall in East Lismore, the Pregnancy and Postnatal Group run by the Lismore & District Women’s Health Centre is packing up its yoga mats and moving to Lismore City Hall.
Women’s health nurse Andrea Brooks said the group was modelled on Birth & Beyond in Nimbin, which provided support to women during pregnancy and after birth.
“There’s uncertainty around how the Uniting Church Hall will be used in the future, and we wanted a secure venue where we knew we could be for years to come,” Andrea said of the move. “The group has been very well attended. I think that shows how much women appreciate having a positive and joyful place to focus on pregnancy. A lot of women find that life is very busy, they might have other children to look after or jobs, and often they don’t get to focus on their pregnancy as much as they would like. The group is all about the wellbeing of baby and mother and about sharing experiences. Some of the connections women have made in the group have been sustained for many years later.”
The group includes a yoga class, sitting and walking meditation plus dance and movement sessions, and a sharing circle.
It’s a place where women can work on strength and relaxation techniques through yoga, explore birthing and parenting options, and develop a support network with other women.
Yoga teacher Christina Peebles said the group was designed to help women prepare for birth and mothering, both physically and emotionally.
“The yoga is to gain stamina and strength and breath awareness and for women to get in touch with their own inherent courage and resilience,” Christina said. “Fear of the unknown, particularly with a first baby, can create anxiety in women. The meditation helps subdue those worrying thoughts and strengthens their resolve that they can do this. It also provides wonderful early bonding with the baby and helps women develop within themselves an understanding that pregnancy is both a natural and an extraordinary experience.
“The dance and movement helps women get in touch with their own feelings and rejoice in a new perspective of themselves as beautiful women. The whole focus is on gentle birthing and mothering and, certainly for mothers who have given birth and are feeling exhausted and ragged, the group can help them gain more energy and vitality.”
The Pregnancy and Postnatal Group meets every Wednesday now at the Lismore City Hall Fountain Room. Pre and postnatal yoga runs from 9.30am to 11am followed by the group from 11am to 12.30pm.
The cost is $15, which includes $12 for yoga plus $3 for the group (including morning tea). For more information, phone the Lismore & District Women’s Health Centre on 6621 9800.