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This seminar has strengthened my confidence in physiological birth and given me a huge number of extra tools to use with women to enhance their experience of pregnancy and birth. I’m also exited about passing on a lot of this knowledge to students as unfortunately a lot of them are disillusioned as they see so much medicalisation of birth, and at times very unnecessary intervention.

I enjoyed the day immensely and found the yoga helpful for my own relaxation. I am keen to do more as I hold a lot of tension I my body (and mind!).

I am now challenged to talk to women more about posture in early pregnancy, and encourage them to avoid shoes with even very low heels to avoid thrusting the pelvis forward. I will especially be aware that multiparous women in particular need to attend to their posture to encourage strong abdominal muscles and good polarity of the uterus for effective labour. I will observe the way women walk and talk more about standing upright, having relaxed shoulders and encouraging partners to massage them.

Revising the anatomy of the abdominal and back muscles was useful, especially considering the importance of the psoas muscle in affecting the range of movements in the pelvis and legs. Antenatal care can become routine and it is good to have some inspiring ideas to enhance women’s health and comfort antenatally as well as prepare them for optimal birth experiences.

The importance of creating a lovely safe space for birth has been reinforced for me. I think I needed encouragement here as my enthusiasm had waned a little recent times, perhaps with my own fatigue and stress. Promoting the techniques used in “Birthing Lightly” needs preparation, knowledge and intelligent application as well as creativity in adapting to each woman’s needs. My focus as a midwife currently is mainly as a teacher but if I can impart some of the enthusiasm, humour and commitment to promoting physiological birth that I learned at the seminar to the students ( as well as and empowering them with tools to use as alternatives to drugs and intervention) I will be very satisfied.

Thank you Wendy!

Joyce Cowan, Midwife and Tutor

This education day was designed for qualified Midwifery practitioners to learn the principles and techniques of yoga, massage and acupressure to enhance the care given during pregnancy, labour and birth. We were encouraged to experience these various techniques both as practitioner and recipient. The schedule varied from information in a slideshow to group discussions, often including sharing individual experiences and physical activity.

Wendy teaches her craft in a very relaxed, enthusiastic manner. She provides a wealth of knowledge, backed up by research and communicates this effectively. The atmosphere in the room was easygoing and promoted interaction. Her material was aimed at an appropriate level due to all the participants having prior knowledge of anatomy, physiology and the birthing process. Her written material was well presented and easy to follow.

As an individual, I am not naturally motivated towards activities such as yoga. Wendy’s obvious passion for her craft and the way she shows how simple these techniques can be, has been quite inspiring and has not only shaken off my mental picture of complicated and dislocating postures as seen on T.V, but also helps me to see how simply these skills can be incorporated into an already busy working environment.

The choice of venue was very good as the location was central and easy to reach, parking was easy and the room was well equipped, if initially a bit cool. A spot of Wendy’s belly/pole dancing soon solved that issue!!

This lively study day should be recommended to all Midwives as the skills learnt are appropriate to each area of practice.

Lisa Mackey, Midwife.

I found the Birthing lightly Seminar an amazing update from my knowledge of breathing and relaxing taught in the 1970s.

Deep breathing using the diaphragm, gentle stretching and sacral pelvic massage were very practical techniques to teach midwives and mothers. The use of a ball for rocking with the pain appears to be well liked by mothers and brings labour into a continuum with the use of Pilates by many people in the 21st century.

Wendy Gadsden has a delightful teaching style, using a PowerPoint presentation and a manual with diagrams to complement the Seminar. The pace was comfortable and the exercises gentle and easy for all ages to manage and relevant to assisting mothers with birthing.

I left with an increased understanding of how to work alongside women in labour, using the techniques shown. The relaxation techniques would also be useful in the postnatal period as they learn to breastfeed, and to pace themselves to the challenges ahead as mothers.

Marcia Roberts, Midwife and Lactation Consultant

I found the Birthing Lightly Seminar inspiring, rekindling my belief that women can birth naturally. Wendy is an enthusiastic teacher, which is reflected in this Seminar. I am committed to using yoga within my practice, and will attend the Perinatal Yogacise Diploma here in Auckland in December 2008

Jane O’Neill, Community Midwife

I found the "Birthing Lightly" approach to gentle 2nd stage birthing truly inspirational. I have known for so long that a baby birthed gently is so much more ready to embrace life, but until this study day I lacked a direction which enabled women to effectively manage their pushing stage without the drama and forcefulness that traditional western birthing has adopted. I have been greatly encouraged by the display of yoga breathing and have used this technique effectively at a recent birth. I am enthusiastic about the prospect of more 'birthing lightly'.

Thanks Wendy for your energy and enthusiasm.

Diane Squire, Independent Midwife