Whilst the perinatal period generally refers to the period before, during and just after birth, Laurence is also available to help with couples who are struggling to conceive or have fears around pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a period of deep changes, both physical and psychological. Whilst it is often a period of great happiness, it can also be a time when doubts and fears arise; particularly around the moment of giving birth.
Sophrology can act as an excellent tool during the preparation for birth; allowing a future mother to relax and bond with her baby from the first months of her pregnancy.
How can sophrology help?
Sophrology can work to deepen the traditional supportive childbirth preparation practices of relaxation and breathing. The practice allows a woman or couple to manage any overwhelming fear or anxiety associated with pregnancy, birth, or the postnatal period. It can also strengthen self-confidence. The following covers some of the fears sophrology can work to address and benefit:
- fear of not being able to become pregnant (in particular in relation to IVF)
- fear of a change in status – from woman to mother
- fear of not being a good mother
- fear of not being able to manage one’s professional and personal life
- fear of not being able to regain one’s body shape
- fear of gynaecological examinations
- fear that the pregnancy won’t go well
- fear of giving birth
- fear of breastfeeding
- fear of judgement should you choose not to breastfeed
- fear of not having enough milk
As a result of the stress management techniques used within sophrology, certain pregnancy conditions linked to stress may also decrease. A woman may find:
- a decrease in nausea, vomiting and pytalism/sialorrhea (excess of saliva) at the beginning of pregnancy
- a reduction in the risk of infection (stress negatively affects the immune system)
- a reduction in the risk of premature birth
- a decrease in excess weight
- prevention of Toxemia (preeclampsia)
Sophrology allows to be truly the master of one’s life.
Sophrology can be particularly beneficial for women who do not wish to undergo their pregnancy or birth passively, but wish to remain conscious, aware and in control during the process of:
- giving birth without pain relief (when appropriate and with tools in place)
- gynaecological examinations
- during a cesarean birth
- giving birth when epidural has not been possible
- giving birth when epidural has not worked
Movements, exercises and taught techniques during sessions are simple and can be rehearsed alone at home. The idea is to head towards the woman’s autonomy so that she can be the master of her life and allowing her to feel confident to cope with pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood.
For issues around infertility, sessions may begin at any point.
Preparation for birth and/or parenthood may begin from the 4th month of pregnancy or even before if required. Laurence recommends 7 group or one-to-one sessions, during which exercises are adapted to the needs and progression of the mother(s). The sophrology sessions generally take place once a week.
Please do not hesitate to set up your own group with your friends if you wish.
Please note that sophrology sessions are complementary to the usual birth preparation carried out by the midwife and cannot replace it.