Today, we talk with Tracy Donegan, founder of the GentleBirth app (https://gentlebirth.app).She is also a doula and doula trainer. She tells us how she became a doula, including how she started the first doula service in Ireland, her home country. While teaching a hypnosis for birth program, she felt drawn to the unexplored, neurological approach to understanding birth. She describes the GentleBirth program as encompassing the traditional approach to childbirth education, while combining it with neuroscience and meditation.
She talks about how the course involves the partner, emphasizing the important part they can play in the birth space. In every aspect of the course, the aim is to develop mental resilience and mental regulation to ensure the best possible outcome with every birth, for both the mother and the partner. She also talks about how affirmations, meditation, and breathing techniques are used to improve sleep and other aspects of self care during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
She explains the importance of a birth education course not only for preparing a mother for the birthing experience, but also for parenting, which is “when the real work begins.” We talk more about hypnosis and meditation, and discuss how the course can be for medicated, unmedicated, and induced births. We also discuss the “Labor Companion” feature of the app. We talk about the new science of pain perception, and how we can help our body process the different sensations of birth.
• 1:15 Tracy’s Story and the Beginnings of GentleBirth
• 5:17 How the GentleBirth app Works
• 29:44 How Hypnosis and Meditation are Involved in the Course
• 33:48 Other Features of GentleBirth; Pain Perception
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Many parents go into pregnancy with little preparation for what to expect, or with the expectation that birth will be a painful and frightening experience. There are many methods of preparation for the birth experience, but they often involve long meditations and tend to be less accessible to pregnant mothers who aren't very tapped in to the larger birth community. GentleBirth is an app that seeks to give mothers a sense of Empowerment over their birth experience through short, guided meditations that train the brain to prepare for what is coming so they and their partner can peacefully meet it head on.
Tracy and Sarah discuss the idea behind the GentleBirth app and Tracy's development of it based on her vast experience in the birth world and understanding of the way pregnancy shapes the brain. They also talk about the importance of getting the birth partner more involved in the process, as well as getting them prepared right alongside the birthing parent for a much more calm and supportive birthing atmosphere. Tracy speaks in depth about how the brain and body respond to the birth experience, and how training can take the fear out of it in a way that is easy for people from every walk of life.
Tracy is the Founder of GentleBirth, Mum to 2 boys, a midwife, doula trainer and author of GentleBirth – Your Positive Birth Begins Here and Mindful Pregnancy