About This Event

Birth is unique, powerful, transitional. It provides the woman and the couple a passage into motherhood. It rebirths her as a woman, and offers a foundation and source of strength and empowerment for the rest of her life. In this course we rediscover birth by diving into the physical, emotional and spiritual realms of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Join us and explore how we can empower women and professionally guide them throughout this process by connection again to our roots and source.  

Hannah masterfully blends the art and science of midwifery into her course. I came out of the retreat with an improved medical understanding of pregnancy and birth, but even more so with an embodied understanding of the power and wholeness of the human body. Hannah's unique experience as a midwife in Africa and rural Guatemala as well as he special relationships with local midwive shere at the lake help to make this retreat truly one of a kind!

Event Highlights

  • This course is designed to:
  • Inspire, educate, and empower birth workers who want to weave western and indigenous birthing models together to create a new birthing paradigm; prenatal yoga teachers who wish to broaden their knowledge; beginning and experienced doulas; aspiring midwives; and mothers and fathers wishing to take charge of their birth experience.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the process of creation, fertility, pregnancy, birth and postpartum
  • Learn practical midwifery skills and rituals in how to support a woman throughout pregnancy and birth
  • Understand the history and politics of midwifery
  • Learn how to perform birth rituals: postpartum massage, use of the Temazcal (sauna), abdominal wraps (faja), herbal sitz baths, closing of the bones ceremony (el Cerrado)
  • Learn how to perform a basic prenatal and postnatal consultation: physical examination of the woman, emotional and spiritual support and guidance throughout pregnancy.
  • and more!

Schedule

Topics covered over the two weeks include:

WEEK 1
History and Politics of Childbirth & Midwifery:

- Culture of childbirth: exploration through birth art and social anthropology

- History and Politics of childbirth and Midwifery: The fight for humanized birth

- Birth and Spirit

- Midwives: who are they?

- Becoming a Midwife: individual consultations available for help determining which path is right for you.

- The social versus the technocratic model of birth

- Birth Settings: homebirth, hospital, birth center

The Wonder and Creation of Pregnancy:

- Our menstrual cycle and fertility awareness

- Preconception time and the importance of nutrition

-Learning how to date a pregnancy

-Basic anatomy and physiology of pregnancy - pelvic assessment

-Common discomforts of pregnancy and their treatments

-Walking through the ten lunar months of pregnancy

-Determining Fetal Position in pregnant women (hands-on)

-Components of the prenatal visit: taking blood pressure, measuring fundal height, and determining fetal heart rate by doppler and fetoscope - theory + hands-on + discussion: medical versus traditional model!

-Conducting a health history and prenatal intake

-Traditional Mayan Midwifery techniques by local indigenous Guatemalan midwives

WEEK 2
Our Body, Our Birth:

- Informed choice and consent: exploration of 10 pregnancy topics with the BRAIN-acronym.

- Cultural conditioning

The Flower of Birth

- The holistic stages of birth versus birth as a series of medical events

- The art of touch

-Birthing support techniques, positions, and techniques to encourage fetal rotation (spinning babies)

-Holding a sacred space for the birthing woman and her family

- Traditional birth practices from all around the world

-Common complications of labor and understanding reasons for transfer to hospital

-Advocacy for humanized birth on a global level

The Fourth Trimester

-Introduction to the postpartum period: physiological and mental health care, spiritual transmission, intergenerational work

- Obstetrical violence against women + PTSD

-The dance of breastfeeding

-Sexuality after pregnancy

-Closing ceremony including traditional Mayan sauna and blessing of the hands

Venue Highlights

Lake Atitlan has been called one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, and in our humble opinion it is! At the Bambu you will re-connect with nature, falling asleep to the sounds of the nearby stream burbling past and waking to amazing sunrises over the lake. Nearby Atitlan Organics Permaculture farm and other local producers supply the Bambu's farm-to-table restaurant.

Accommodations

Lodging is in bright and spacious rooms. Participants have their choice of a 3 person room or an 8 person room. Each room has a private bathroom with hot water, wifi, a balcony with hammocks and seating, amazing views, and comfy beds!

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Sauna
  • Kitchen
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Organic
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

Retreat participants will receive three delicious, nourishing meals (with dessert!) throughout the day as well as mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, and tea, coffee, and filtered water throughout the day. Our restaurant is supplied by Atitlan Organics Permaculture farm and other local producers to ensure the freshest meals possible. Trust us, your belly will be happy!

Directions

Coming from Antigua or Guatemala City you must travel to Panajachel, which is one of the three big towns on the lake and takes about 3-4 hours by shuttle. To get to Panajachel, you can take a tourist shuttle from Antigua for roughly Q100 per person or Q225 per person from Guatemala City. There are also private shuttle options that will you take you straight to our door in Tzununa. We can help make arrangements with any of this, so just let us know if you want some help.

From Panajachel, you take a boat (lancha) at the public dock. Tell the captain that you are going to the town of Tzununa ("zoo-new-nah") which is three public stops from Panajachel. This costs roughly Q15-20 per person.

Get off at the public dock in Tzununa and take a tuk tuk (little three wheeled car), tell them you want to go to El Bambu. This costs Q5 per person. When you get to El Bambu, go through the gate and up to the main building.

As noted, we are in the quiet, little town of Tzununa. From the guest house you are less than a 10-minute walk to the lake and less than 20 meters from beautiful rivers. You are a 45-minute walk or a 10-minute tuk tuk ride away from the town of San Marcos La Laguna. This has many places to eat, drink, practice yoga, etc.

We can help you get to the lake from Antigua, the airport, or from anywhere. Just contact us and we can arrange a shuttle for you.

Tags: central america childbirth doula guatemala midwife midwifery natural birth pregnancy womens health womens reatreat

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

I'm having a baby in October and want to focus my practice so I can be present and calm! Laine
 

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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