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Ourbirthjourney launches a comprehensive baby therapy course

This detailed course is designed to give health practitioners the skills and tools needed to offer thorough and sensitive therapeutic help to babies and their carers (mothers, fathers and the wider family unit) during the period from pre-conception, through pregnancy, birth and the first year of life.

An in-depth description of the baby’s journey from conception to birth will enable practitioners to support mothers in their choices around pregnancy, birth and beyond. The course is designed for anyone who wishes to work with mothers and babies to help with issues such as colic, unsettledness, excessive crying, tongue tie, feeding difficulties and healing a traumatic birth as well as supporting mothers through helping with musculo-skeletal, exercise and emotional issues during this period.

The course content draws on recent findings from the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology as well as offering practical, hands-on skills to work with mothers and babies during this time. The course will give a wide overview of different approaches that include listening skills and embodied presence enabling both mother and baby to be heard and healed from barriers to connection and physical and mental well-being. The course is suitable for anyone wishing to work with babies and families in an integrated way: Midwives, Doulas, Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Manual Therapists, Psychotherapists, Psychologists etc.

The course comprises of 10 modules of both online and in-person modules of 4 days each. Each module will allow time and space for personal process/debriefing work held within a safe space.

Module 1 (online component with assessment)

  • Introduction to prenatal and perinatal psychology
  • Basic anatomy of pregnancy and birth (birth lie, conjunct sites etc)
  • Overview of the effects of stress and trauma in pregnancy
  • Cranial nerves and their basic function in a baby.
  • Anatomy of baby’s skull and neck

Module 2 (4 days in person)

  • Centering exercises for therapists – focusing on the heart, embodiment, the importance of being present and creating a safe space etc.
  • Simple mindfulness exercises for therapists and parents
  • Skills for re-establishing contact between mum, baby (and dad/extended family)
  • Holding the wider family field energetically
  • Layers of support (experiential)
  • The basic principles behind Bowen/Fascial/Craniosacral touch

Module 3 (online)

  • Social Nervous System/Polyvagal theory.
  • The basics of attachment theory (broad outline)
  • Understanding the concepts and ramifications of Birth Trauma
  • Parental expectations (birth plan etc) – how useful are they? Dealing with disappointment and languaging skills
  • Explanation of Functional Range when working with families and babies
  • The conscious baby – when does awareness and memory begin?
  • Dynamics of interventions from both mum and baby’s perspective

Module 4 (in person)

  • Negotiating contact (both physical and energetic)
  • Listening skills. Practical around a first consultation
  • Languaging skills (especially around shame, guilt etc)
  • Basic Craniosacral holds for mum and baby
  • Practice of simple Bowen moves and how they might be applied to mum and baby

Module 5 (online)

  • Choices in pregnancy and childbirth. Empowerment through knowledge.
  • Environmental affects on pregnancy and in utero
  • Pre-conception support and preparation (nutritional, environmental, emotional, psychological) and why this is important
  • Transgenerational and pre-conception influences on health and behaviour
  • An overview of epigenetics

Module 6 (in person)

  • Consent (around touch in a therapeutic setting but also in relation to choices around pregnancy and birth)
  • Understanding dissociation in relation to consent
  • Prenatal bonding

Module 7 (online)

  • Supporting mums and dads emotionally during pregnancy
  • Prenatal stress and how that shows up in babies postnatally.
  • Practical information around posture and ergonomics during pregnancy
  • The role of the psoas – engaging with it
  • Optimal Fetal Positioning – mapping baby position (based on work of Gail Tully – spinningbabies.com)
  • Religious and Spiritual understandings around incarnation

Module 8 (in person)

  • Manual treatment approaches for mum and baby
  • The relationship between top and bottom in mum and baby: Psoas/Neck, Pelvic Floor/Mouth, Pelvis/TMJ etc and how to work with them (exercises and hands on work)
  • Hands-on working with mums and babies together as a unit
  • Treatment during pregnancy – side lying positions – encouraging womb health and OFP
  • Practical advice and exercises to give to mum during pregnancy (depending on scope of practice)
  • Speed – why slowing down is important
  • Watching for integration time – non-verbal cues

Module 9 (online)

  • Understanding due dates
  • The principles and ramifications of interventions:
    1. Fetal Monitoring
    2. Epidurals and other pain relief
    3. Induction and Augmentation
    4. C section
    5. Ventouse
    6. Forceps
  • Placenta, stage 3
  • Separation – the first hour
  • Baby body language
  • What is Colic? Influencing factors and how to address it
  • The importance of tummy time
  • Introduction to Primitive and Retained Reflexes and differing approaches to these therapeutically (need for referral)
  • Overview of microbiome and support and advice after antibiotics, caesarean etc

Module 10 (in person)

  • Supporting lactation for mum and baby
  • Tongue tie – the conflicting opinions
  • Cord cutting, Umbilical Affect (prenatal) and practical work around the navel
  • Working with baby’s neck and cranium, TMJ, hyoid etc
  • Conjunct sites, effects of posterior births and the effect of tractional forces on baby’s bodies and nervous systems
  • Plagiocephaly etc and head shapes
  • Maternal scars and their impact on sexuality, pelvic and womb health etc.
  • Pelvic floor advice and exercises
  • Scar work – practical
  • Bringing it all together.

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