Seven days after my Baby Shower, my husband and I attended a prenatal class to humanize birth and breastfeeding.It was a wonderful experience and everyone was extremely nice, especially the teacher. There wasn’t a single negative comment made. Quite the contrary to the rest of my pregnancy where mostly I got toxic things thrown at me… Such a breathe.
I cannot pinpoint the exact moment where I started to feel empowered. Nevertheless, I know the moment I began to gain knowledge about humanized birth and breastfeeding it was the kickoff of something. There were some breathing and birth exercises included, as well as a lot of information about birthing. That last part I was the most scared of. The norm in my family was having a c-section. Having a baby without an appointment and through a vaginal delivery wasn’t a hundred percent understood. That is why, I just concentrated more on the second unknown topic during that class: breastfeeding.
I remember I couldn’t even take notes. My pregnancy brain was working at its full capacity. And as a result to this beautiful and annoying fact, I had my husband write for me. That way I was able to get something into my head. Going back, it was kind of funny and I was, definitely, overwhelmed. It was my first baby, after all, and my journey was just starting.
Humanized birth was the first topic addressed. That included having a plan for either a vaginal delivery or an emergencycesarean, a word I didn’t even want to hear. Everything was weird terminology for me, at the moment. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, was something I longed for, thinking I wouldn’t be able to. I took for granted how I had to prepare mentally for birth. My body was able to but my mind thought that it would just happen, (it could’ve but this topic belongs in a blogpost of its own). Breastfeeding, on the other hand, I believed it was almost impossible, having small sized breasts and coming from a long line of not doing it. And I determined myself to do so against all odds…
Why that day was the first in my path towards empowerment? :
- Although I didn’t understand much of the information given to me that day, it shaped me later on as a woman and as a mother. Basically, I just took a step forward by participating in that class.
- I wasn’t alone. I took the class with other expecting mommies. And we were all with our special others. Being part of a community and having someone there for you, unconditionally, is key. It is important to matter, feel heard and listen, by this you learn the most and don’t feel isolated or depressed.
- I was thinking of my baby by taking a moment to myself. No, I didn’t go to the spa on that day. But I definitely felt relaxed at the end. This is very important during pregnancy and motherhood.
- I heard, for the first time, that laws exist to protect women and children who breastfeed in public in Puerto Rico.
- Everything the teacher said could go wrong, did. And that made me and my husband do everything in our power to accomplish breastfeeding after a terrible experience, which empowered me the most.
- It was on that day that I heard that I was capable and my body would not fail me. Rather, it would heal me.
- Lastly, I felt through the exercises, how strong, miraculous and flexible my woman’s physique was.
Acquiring knowledge is the foundation in need to move forward with almost anything and it isn’t reserved to a special group of people or an age group. You can never stop learning. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grasp the importance of having a humane birthing experience, regardless of the details. There are laws that protect us. We, as pregnant women, have a say, a right, a voice.
I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I had felt strong and able. But I can only move forward and, hopefully, telling about my experience will help another mom to be, another justamami like me. I hope you can search, learn and find within yourself the strength you already possess. And as a natural consequence, you will begin to feel empowered as a woman through maternity.