“Mommies go, grow and glow at The Pod”
Sun.Star Davao, Feb. 12, 2011
So many wonderful things have happened to super mom Alexandria Morris-Hao since I featured her and her homeschooling brood in 2006.
For one, her husband Bion and their three beautiful daughters Amber (13), Ashley (10) and Allegra (6) finally welcomed a much-awaited adorable baby boy, Nicholas, to their young family.
On the other hand, the breastfeeding support group which she co-founded, Mommysense, has continued to successfully organize breastfeeding awareness projects in the city such as “Portraits of Love, Celebrating the Mother-Child Bonds of Breastfeeding" Photo Exhibit and “The Gifts of Breastfeeding-A Mommy Meet and Skills Seminar” gathering nearly five hundred participants at the SM City Davao’s Event Center.
Aside from actively homeschooling her children, the Filipino-British mom still manages to teach Childbirth Preparation Classes and do valuable volunteer work at the Brokenshire Women Center (BWC) where she strongly advocates breastfeeding.
Recently, the Ateneo De Davao University Business Administration graduate opened her very own special place “where mommies can go, grow and glow” aptly named The Pod.
“The Pod is a classroom for Childbirth Preparation Class, Prenatal Yoga and Mommy Talks. Brokenshire has been most generous in allowing me to use their former OB conference room where they allowed me to conduct classes. I just have to submit my schedule ahead of time and pay the fee. There are many other things to do. Sometimes moms with new babies would call and they wouldn’t want to meet in the hospital so it’s really time to have my space”, the ever bubbly Alex explains.
Less than a week after The Pod opened, Alex immediately had her first family visitor--a new mom and dad with their newborn baby. “We first met in BWC before their baby was born. They came for a breastfeeding inquiry and we just sat down and talked. The new mom tried to latch the baby. I felt really happy about this”, Alex excitedly reveals.
Preparing for childbirth
Fourteen years ago, the idea of going through birth alone was not just for Alex. “Luckily, my OBGYN Dr. Darleen Estuart gave me the number of Gamay Dacanay, a childbirth preparation educator. My husband Bion and I attended her class and after our positive experience, we passionately told everybody else how it turned out to be amazing for us, including the breastfeeding part”, Alex reminisces.
Bion and Alex had different motives when they attended Dacanay’s class. “For me, it was so Bion can be with me during the labor. But, I didn’t see myself teaching. It was only after I had my third child, that I felt I would like to teach. The first person I shared this was with my husband and then my OBGYN. This is definitely a topic I feel strongly for”, the busy mom declares.
Alex acknowledges that having to deal with the pain associated with labor is often one of the biggest fears of pregnant women. “Through childbirth preparation classes, you learn how to become more attuned to your pain and contractions. This aids you to better move and position your body in such a way as to be more beneficial to the natural labor process”.
She clarifies that “attending the class and trying to do it naturally does not mean you may not avail of pain medication in case you find yourself wanting or needing it when you are in labor”.
When Alex started teaching Transition Childbirth Preparation Class, she happened to see some courses on prenatal yoga. “They so go together!”, Alex observes.
Prenatal yoga is a great way to strengthen muscles, tone the body and learn important breathing techniques all of which are useful during childbirth.
Last December 2010, Alex attended the Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training Course by Dr. Jean Byrne in Singapore. Dr. Byrne, an Australian, is an authorized Ashtanga teacher (AYRI Mysore) and a senior member of the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia who specializes in teaching Pregnancy Yoga, Yoga for Active Birth and Post-Natal Yoga. During the training, Alex also met Ginny Phang, a Singapore-based doula. These encounters cemented Alex’s resolve to bring home and introduce the course to mommies here in Davao City.
At The Pod, pregnant moms can join the Prenatal Yoga class during their second trimester of pregnancy while couples can enroll in Childbirth Preparation Class around their 24th week. The Pod also has a library where books can be borrowed out for 15 days.
What is Alex’s advice for husbands who can’t imagine themselves being with their wives at the delivery room?
“Unless you try, you will never know!”, Alex smiles. “Attending Childbirth Preparation Class is a fun learning experience”, she assures.
Aside from dads, moms-to-be can invite their own moms or mother-in-law; sister; sister-in-law or friend to act as a birthing coach during the class and delivery.
“Just keep in mind that the person you bring in class should be the person you want to be with in labor and let your birth attendant/OBGYN/midwife know. We can only bring one or two support people with us in labor. Not all hospitals allow moms to have support people with them” Alex says.
Having known Alex since her college days, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and awe at how she exudes passion for motherhood, inspiring and teaching fellow moms on, as she puts it, “active mommyness”. She believes that The Pod can “build a community one mother at a time”. And, I have no doubt that ‘Mommy Coach’ Alex can achieve this---and so much more!
The Pod is located at Plaza del Carmen, Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, D.C. Tel. numbers: 3003023 and 3022737.
The Pod’s Transition Childbirth Preparation Class has the following schedules: Batch 3: Feb. 19 and 26 (4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.); Batch 4: March 12, 19, 26, April 2 and 9 (1:30-3:30 p.m.); Batch 5: April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.).Registration is from Mondays to Saturdays (1:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.). Class size: maximum of 6 couples per schedule.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com.