NAME: VANIA SUKOLA
WORKSHOP: TRIMESTER 4 STREAM: YOUR BIRTH STORY -- JOY, TRAUMA, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN
What's your best advice when it comes to birth?
When my daughter was "late", I realized that all the advice I was getting was making me question my own connection to my body. So my advice to you if your baby is "late" to be born earthside: work on turning inward. Try not to take in other people’s stories and fears. They can have an affect on your birth, and take away from the power you have within. Turn to your strength, and don’t watch the clock - you know your body better than anyone. Do some simple bodywork during the course of your pregnancy - prenatal yoga, massage, a dance class. Spend time just connecting to it. This will come in handy when you are in labour.
What's your go-to gift for a friend having a baby?
A care package for the person who as newly birthed. I love making things by hand, but even if you can’t do that, put together a decadent care package for them and not the baby - the newborn will surely get enough things in those first few days and weeks. Put in a sitz bath mix, postpartum tea, flowers, lavender oil, lactation cookies, a nourishing meal, affirmations to help emotionally when times are rough, a crystal like rose quartz (to deepen the feeling of love), and an offer to come again when the new parents need some rest and you can watch the baby.
What's something that you think there's too much attention on the birth world?
I think that there is too much focus, scrutiny and judgement around the way we deliver babies. Comparing our birth stories to put down others as not natural or as strong creates a hierarchy and division. We have enough of a hard time adjusting to parenthood, so we don’t deserve this added stress and pressure. All birth is natural, whether it is a home birth, unmedicated, or C-section. All are valid and stressful, beautiful, painful, scary and amazing. It takes some much courage and strength to deliver babies. When we can share openly about our birth plans and stories, then we can also feel welcomed and valued.
What excites you the most about being a presenter at 4 Trimesters first conference?
I am so honoured to be a part of this community. I think that we thrive better when we have a village and community, so a conference like this is a great opportunity for all new parents and families. I truly believe that it takes a village to raise children. We need this space to start to build that community, to come together, to share wisdom and to learn from each other. I’m a parent of two myself, and am constantly learning how to be a better mom to my kids, and I hope to be that support for others as well.