Five facts about Mindfulness | Mom & co

5 facts about mindfulness

What exactly is mindfulness? And why do we hear and read more and more about it? And how can you apply this during pregnancy and childbirth? Mindfulness actually means being fully aware of your current experience. How many times a day do we do things on autopilot? Think of driving, actions while cooking or routines at work. Mindfulness works the exact opposite.

In Mom & co’s pregnancy course we use elements from mindfulness and hypnobirthing to prepare for the birth. But mindfulness is not only healthy during pregnancy, but also after childbirth or for partners, mindfulness offers many benefits. To learn more about mindfulness, we have 5 facts for you here.

1. The basic principles behind Mindfulness come from Buddhism.

Buddhism originated in India about 500 BC. Buddha spent his entire life discovering where human suffering came from. He was the one who argued that suffering came from humanity itself because we attach ourselves to pleasant experiences, and reject unpleasant experiences.

2. Mindfulness lowers stress stimuli.

Today we receive about as many stimuli per hour as in Prehistory per year. Just let that sink in for a while. Your phone, the TV, a tram passing by; all incentives. Too many stimuli can cause anxiety. Your head can literally be full because you are overstimulated. Mindfulness ensures that you are consciously engaged with your experiences at that moment. For example, a story that you are told or a breathing exercise that you are talked through step by step. By focusing on what you are doing, whatever you are doing, you can relax. It reduces worry and stress. During pregnancy and childbirth it is essential to be able to relax properly and mindfulness can therefore help.

3. Mindfulness can improve focus and concentration.

Mindfulness ensures that you can focus and distribute your attention better, with the effect that you are less likely to get distracted. So it ensures that you are not only physically present at a meeting and stare out dreaming, but that you are more aware of what is going on now. This way you can become more concentrated in this moment. During pregnancy, it is important for bonding with your baby to make conscious contact every now and then. But this conscious contact can also be very motivating during the birth and it gives you positive power to absorb the contractions.

4. You can use mindfulness in combination with physical tools (breathing exercises, visualizations and affirmations) during labor.

Your body and mind are much more connected than we sometimes think. You can trigger a physical reaction with your thoughts. Think saliva when you think about your favorite food, or blush when you’re in love. This also works during childbirth with, for example, stress or limiting thoughts: it has an effect on your body. As mentioned before, you can reduce stress and anxiety with mindfulness. It can be a distraction during the delivery. By going with your thoughts to a pleasant memory, such as a beautiful holiday, in combination with a breathing exercise, you can ensure that your body relaxes and you gain confidence because you have the contractions under control. We explain in detail how this works in our pregnancy course.

5. Mindfulness can be practiced, so you can get better at it.

In many studies, attention is compared to a muscle; and you can train a muscle. You can train attention, for example, by means of meditation, visualization or a body scan. All these tools are covered in Mom & co’s pregnancy course. But these tools are also very useful outside of pregnancy and childbirth. For example, if you have given birth, it is very good to lie down between feedings, relax and let your thoughts go. And not only for the women, also for the partners, applying mindfulness is a very nice way to pay attention to the moment.


10 things you as a partner do not say to your wife during the birth | Mom & co

10 things you as a partner do not say to your wife during the birth

We all say awkward things in times of stress. Partners during the birth of their baby have a hand in this.

Of course they often mean well, but at times like a birth it can go just as wrong. Even if you prepare well through a pregnancy course with, for example, hypnobirthing, it is quite normal that you still have some healthy tension in your body, and maybe you say the wrong things. Well gentlemen and ladies, here’s a list of the things you absolutely must not say during childbirth.

1. There has never been one left.
Is this really still used? Of course. With only good intentions behind it. What you as a partner are actually trying to say with this is ‘this will pass’. It is simply not helpful at all during birth that millions of women have already preceded you and above all; that they have already given birth and you have not yet. Tip: adjust the pronunciation slightly, with the same good intentions. For example, ‘You’ve come a long way, you’re doing great’.

2. And this is just the beginning.
At the first resting point of Kilimanjaro you don’t say ‘the hardest kilometers are yet to come’. This makes no one happy, and it gives citizens anything but courage. ‘YES it has started, today our baby is born’ already sounds a lot more positive.

3. Pooh, how tired I am.
If the three of you want to go home together as a happy family, I would keep this one for you as a loving partner.

4. I’m going to order pizza, would you like something?
During birth, women basically eat almost nothing. In addition, they have a highly developed sense of smell. They smell eaten garlic cloves 3 days away. There is a good chance that you will be outside on the balcony with your pizza 5 minutes after receipt. So do everyone, especially your wife, a favor and spread a sandwich with cheese.

5. I will let the midwife know that you are having contractions.
Pre-contractions, the word says it all. These are the contractions at the very beginning of a labor, or even before the birth. Calling with pre-contractions doesn’t make much sense. It can then take quite a while before the birth really starts. So look for distraction and don’t focus on every cramp you feel. In addition, your midwife’s calling instructions are made for a reason. If you are not worried, you do not need to inform your midwife about pre-contractions. You may wake her up when she can’t do much for you yet. Front contractions can subside again, a shame if you then gave a false ‘green light’. In this situation you wait quietly, and possibly go back to sleep. Kisses and kind words are of course always very welcome.

6. Name your own physical complaints.
When you’re in labour, you have little empathy for your partner’s sprained ankle or stiff neck. So even if your football knee hurts or you have some back pain because you have been sitting in the same position for a long time, grab a paracetamol in silence and continue ssst..

7. Can the light be turned on?
Yes you can, in another room. Often women like dim lighting when they are in labor. This gives them a little more chance to ‘dive’ into the contractions. You weaken a sense, so you are more focused on what is happening in your body, you can turn more inward. So if you as a partner need light to complete your Sudoku puzzle, you either do that somewhere else or you save it for another time. If you need a distraction, try a gentle massage technique on your wife, because that way she makes extra endorphins to get more into her ‘birth bubble’. She will surely be very grateful to you.

8. Do you think I can go to the office tomorrow?
It is very logical that when you are not giving birth yourself, there are still all kinds of practical arrangements in your head. If you ask your girlfriend these kinds of questions while she is in labour, you have a chance that you will get her out of her ‘birth bubble’, and that is exactly what you don’t want to do. I would like to give you the answer to the question whether you can go to the office tomorrow: ‘No, you can’t go to the office tomorrow’.

9. Will it be okay again?
Jokes about a vagina are forbidden for at least a week after giving birth. The vagina itself for a bit longer, by the way. During childbirth you can imagine that there is pressure on the vagina and pelvic floor muscles, which can cause swelling. In addition, it may also be necessary to stitch. Know that a swelling subsides, and that stitches heal. So the answer to the question is, “YES, it’s going to be okay.”

10. Ajax is 2-0 behind.
The fact that you are looking for some distraction during (the beginning of) the birth does not have to be something bad for both of you. An exciting football final, on the other hand, increases adrenaline. Adrenaline inhibits oxytocin and endorphins, which are just the substances you need as a woman during childbirth. So if you would like some distraction, opt for a romantic Netflix comedy, okay, not comparable to Ajax, but good for the atmosphere during childbirth.


Lonneke redeemed | Mom & co

Midwife Lonneke tells

Let me introduce myself.

Hi! I am Lonneke, a 32 year old from Brabant who lives in Amsterdam. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a midwife. Just like I knew from a young age that I am very clumsy and extremely sensitive. These last 2 qualities ensure that I often experience special and funny moments in my life as a midwife. Moments where the tears come to my eyes, but with some regularity I also end up in situations where I prefer to saw the ground under my feet and then sink through it.

Pink Underpants.

Let me start with the shift where I tore my pants as a recently graduated midwife. Now you might be thinking ‘OH MY GOD THAT’S REALLY embarrassing’. True, but this is not too bad with the rest of what would happen in my career, but I didn’t know all that at the moment.

I was 23 years old, just graduated and was at a stage of life where I thought it was a smart idea to put on neon pink knickers under my trendy white jeans. Let’s start with the fact that as a midwife you only make the mistake once of wearing something white during your shift. If you come home after a shift with breast milk and meconium (baby poop) on your white clothes, you will learn that quickly enough.
On a beautiful summer day I got a call from a dad-to-be saying that his girlfriend was having regular contractions, every 5 minutes. Because she gave birth smoothly the first time, I went there immediately. And it went smoothly. On arrival mom was already 5 cm dilated. The parents wanted to give birth on an outpatient basis, so we had to rush to the hospital. Dad supported mom and I walked out packed with cameras, chargers, a maxi-cosi and about 6 bags.

When you rush to load a car, you don’t necessarily do this with flattering movements. When I load a car in a hurry, it doesn’t have much to do with human movements. As I leaned forward over the backseat, I heard a ripping sound that I immediately knew was bad news. I turned around and daddy looked at me, I can’t describe it any other way, bewildered. Without exchanging a word, we decided there was no time for this now and jumped into the car where Mom was still handling her contractions like a boss.

In the time that followed; the beautiful birth that took place and the special meeting between parents and child that I witnessed, my right buttock hung half out of my pants. Much of my flashy pink knickers were visible to everyone in the room except myself.
When baby Tessa was dressed an hour later, daddy joked: ‘Lonneke is in any case completely in the style of our girl theme today’.