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Mapping together important milestones in the pregnancy voyage

A warm winters' sun lights up the clinic, tea is poured into glasses and we begin to speak. We're mapping together important milestones in the pregnancy voyage – medical checkups, meetings with caregivers, fears, resources, support systems and insights that gradually grow within. This week Hadas Schwartz the physiotherapist cared for women in our clinic. Hadas masterfully combines The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy and Uterine Massage with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. It's so important to keep reminding ourselves just how meaningful body work treatments can be for the prenatal and postnatal care that we want to give. Words can only go so far, and it's as if physical treatments find another way in, perhaps through the window? Entering slowly and touching our soul.

In these magical moments in the clinic I feel the recent visit to Japan still resonating within me. The visit to the Shunkoin Shrine in Kyoto comes to mind, and a conversation with a budhist monk about the difference between Western Gardens and Japanese Gardens resurfaces. The Western Gardens tend to arrange themselves around a focal point, whereas the main element of the Japanese Garden is balance. I think of the way conventional medical prenatal care treats women – a lot of emphasis on diagnosis, looking for congenital anomalies, while constantly focusing on the moment of birth. The Well-Woman Care we want to give aspires to be a Japanese Garden – caring for women by helping them achieve a body-and-soul balance, with emphasis on wellbeing rather than an isolated experience ending with a healthy mother and her baby. The weekend paper has an article that mentions 'Homeostasis', the constant effort of the living organism to maintain balance and harmony in its internal closed system, as if in defiance of the chaotic changes in its environment. Outside the clinic a winters' sun sets, as I remind myself that pregnancy voyages are not simple ones, and it's important to acknowledge that these difficulties are normal and part of the path… Pregnancy is as miraculous as it is unsettling to the body-and-soul balance. If we can accommodate this idea we can also make room for a new kind of 'Homeostasis'.

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