Since I’ve been invited to leave a mental hospital after a month of hospitalization in 2013 (because I did so many inquiries from the hospital procedures and the professional staff were not trained to work out of protocols), I finally understood that the answers to all my questions were always in the same place: inside me. I started to look for some holistic therapies and sessions and I decided with my husband I was ready to be a mom (can you imagine how hard was to notify our family after been labeled as a crazy person?). We conceived our daughter in a very conscious moment and since I was unemployed, I was immersed on my own pregnancy and I was able to enjoy every single day with that little peace of life inside my womb.
After the day of her birthday, I was totally amazed from the labour and birth experience since I went to what we call in Brazil as “partolândia” (“deliveryland”). I really achieved another state of mind that revealed so many things about the power I have and denied for so many years.
After the birth, I had puerperal psychosis and I could not understand how a wonderful pregnancy and birth experience could turn out as a horrible experience. As I was aware there was something really wrong going on, I looked for help and found out about this wonderful field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology. I was already certified as a Doula (working with antenatal, labor, postpartum, parent education and breastfeeding counselor*) in 2015 when I met the PPNE Program from APPPAH in the International Symposium of Birth Assistance (SIAPARTO) in Brazil, where Anna Verwaal did a great speech about birth psychology and invited the audience to join the course from APPPAH, which I am so in love.
*Before my pregnancy I worked with distance education in an university and had master degree in Marketing, Publicity and Advertising.
My big aim in all this soaking was to find out why after so many years looking for care, I could not find something that was acceptable (or at least fulfilled part of my expectations) and as I found out the answers of my questions were inside me, I also found out we are not able to care to the other in an optimum way, if we don’t do it first with ourselves. That’s when I created the site “Welcome to the Womb” (“Ventre e Fique à Vontade”, in portuguese) where I invite people to talk about the significance of been conscious of its own birth story, conception, gestation, birth and postpartum and I especially created some talks for health professionals who assist any step of bringing a new baby to this world, as an opportunity to re-think about the current days assistance models, which I begin with a presentation called “Madness that heals” (“Loucura que cura”, in portuguese), where I pointed out the importance of Pre and Perinatal Education, based on what I already learnt from APPPAH and ANEP (Nacional Association for Pre Natal Education).
The classes are divided in 4 blocks: “Conscious Conception” (for anyone who wants to conceive or understand the whole birth psychology - I used to say that is for anyone who was born at least once), “Gesturing the Future” (for couples who are already expecting and want to offer the most harmonious environment for both mother and baby - and father!), “Sacred bond” (to talk about the value of the first 1000 days) and “Caring for who cares” (the programme for professionals who assist any step of birth).
The program is growing gradually, since this is something really new and unfamiliar in my country (and I am a mother of a 4 year old girl!) and I hope it will be more understood and disclosed soon, as I am about to launch an YouTube Channel to do free talks about Pre and Perinatal Education.
I am very happy with the PPNE Program as I see the course as a big opportunity to take care about my traumas or unsolved questions to be able to take care with in a better way of other, through Pre and Perinatal Education.
I cannot forget to thank my daughter, who brought me so much light to so many dark days when she was a newborn and to my husband, that is a big support in this changing process of my career to something I truly believe is a way to change the world to a peaceful place.
Larissa Sanchez - www.ventreefiqueavontade.com