My passion! Are you intrigued about Sophrology and how it could support you throughout pregnancy and motherhood?
You’ve landed on the right page. Sophrology explained by a sophrologist (me) but also an expectant mum using it throughout her own pregnancy (yes – still me!).
Without going into too much details and boring you with the history, Sophrology has been around in France and Spain for over 50 years. It is widely used in my home country for stress management, sleep, pain management mental preparation and personal development.
Over there, you will find Sophrology in all sorts of places, in schools and universities, in hospitals, in the corporate world and in the art and sport industries. The method is fairly new to the english speaking world and is rapidly growing throughout the UK and US.
So, what is it exactly?
Sophrology is a gentle method engaging both the body and the mind to restore balance and wellbeing within ourselves. Sophrology techniques include breathing, concentration, body movements and visualisations.
You are guided by the sophrologist’s voice all along. The exercises are performed in different postures, sitting and standing, sometimes eyes opened, sometimes eyes closed.
Life is dynamic, made of ups and downs, joys and challenges. Sometimes, stress can take a big place in our lives, leading us to function on “auto-pilot”, rushing through the days without really being connected to ourselves, our emotions and feelings, without appreciating our existence fully. We all have a natural ability to feel calm, relaxed and positive. Sometimes, life takes over and we don’t even know what it feels like to feel serene and balanced anymore. We have lost touch with this natural resource and we are unable to perform to the best of our ability.
What Sophrology does is help us centre ourselves again and tune into our body’s wisdom and intuition to bring balance and positivity back in our lives. Sophrology is particularly effective for stress management, as it slows down the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for the stress response. The techniques can be used to lower stress levels and sleep better as well as physically and mentally prepare for future life situations such as exams, interviews, surgeries, performances and birth.
Why is it so effective?
Sophrology develops your autonomy so you are able to re-use easily all the techniques in your everyday life. Regular practice is ESSENTIAL in Sophrology if you would like to experience the full benefits of the method. The more you practice, the quicker you integrate the techniques. They anchor themselves in the body so you are able to quickly access these resources wherever and whenever you are.
What’s the link with pregnancy and motherhood?
Many doctors and midwives in France integrate Sophrology into their practice so they can support expectant mums throughout their pregnancy. When they don’t teach Sophrology themselves, most of them recommend its practice to their clients, particularly to prepare for birth.
From the moment you decide to start trying for a baby to the few weeks after giving birth (and even later), Sophrology can be an asset to support you throughout this new stage in life, the joys but also the challenges that motherhood will bring with it.
Women tend to turn to Sophrology for various reasons:
- They are trying for a baby but feel generally tense and stressed and they are worried this might be reducing their chances of getting pregnant
- They are pregnant but anxious and scared about the upcoming birth and the pain they may experience
- They have given birth and they feel tired, drained and out of their depth
Sophrology will help them reconnect with resources that they have within themselves to feel calmer and more relaxed and face this new stage in life with serenity, strength and confidence.
Bonus – there is no expiry date on the techniques that they learn! They will be able to adapt them to other life situations
Sophrology can be practised in one-to-one sessions or in group sessions and here is a non-exhaustive list of the benefits of Sophrology during your pregnancy and to prepare for the birth of your baby:
- Relax and unwind on your own quickly and efficiently
- Develop a better awareness of how your body functions
- Evacuate worries and stress and let go of physical tension in your body
- Empty your mind so you can focus on the essential, the important things
- Bond with your baby before it is born, communicate on a deeper level
- Mentally and physically prepare for the different stages of labour and ease the discomfort and pain during birth
- Build your confidence in your ability to face new situations, not only the birth but also the profound changes that comes once the baby is born
- Gain a deeper sense of energy, aliveness and presence in your body.
The aim of Sophrology applied to birth preparation is not to promote or guarantee natural birthing. Sophrology works with your wishes, your fears and your specific situation to help you experience birth in a calm, relaxed and positive state of body and mind whatever type of birth you will be having, caesarian, epidural, water birth, etc.
A regular practice of Sophrology enables you to develop your ability to adapt to situations and activate positive thoughts to support you through labour and in the first few weeks of motherhood after your little babou is born.
A word of ‘warning’: Sophrology is a complementary method that cannot, in any case, replace any medical advice or preparation provided by the midwife, obstetrician or doctor. Note that this preparation will not prevent the use of medical intervention during labour should it be necessary.
Would you like my view on it?
I have experienced and witnessed the benefits of Sophrology for many years, having practised it for myself for stress management and to grow my self-confidence but also through my Vie-tality practice with clients coming to see me for a variety of reasons.
I found out I was pregnant in August 2014 and since then, my daily practice has been focused on my pregnancy and my baby. I can tell you, I have entered a different dimension all together by applying Sophrology to this specific life event. If you read through my posts in zen pregnancy, you will embark on my inside Sophrology journey as a mummy-to-be and discover my personal experience written with authenticity and honesty.
Sophrology has helped me so much over the years and even more as I am about to become a mother. I want to be able to share these benefits with others, hence why I blog about my personal experience and why I offer my services on this website as a practitioner specialised in stress management and birth preparation.