Hear Natalie Whitworth, CNM talk about the many benefits of practicing mindfulness to help with an easier, stress and worry free pregnancy term.
Mindfulness is a technique that is free of charge and requires you to be present and breathe. Watch the video or read the transcript below:
Leah: Good morning everyone, this is Lea with Providence women’s healthcare. Thank you for joining us on our first Tuesday talk. We are with Natalie, Whitworth, and we’re going to be talking about mindfulness. So you know I’m going to ask Natalie a series of questions, and I want you to engage. This is engaging thing so go ahead and ask your questions if you have questions, and we will get started.
Leah: So Natalie, thank you so much for taking out time. Can you give us a little background about yourself, and how you became certified nurse midwife.
Natalie: Oh sure, I am from, Georgia, and I’m really passionate about our community here and making
women’s health care more accessible and really coming at it from a team-based holistic model.
I did want to talk about mindfulness it’s really been just so impactful in my life, and I feel like it’s really the basis for wellness and how we start making our own lives better as women? I became a nurse midwife because I like that model of prevention based medicine and just kind of really coming alongside somebody having a conversation finding what works for them and approaching it not from a what’s wrong with your body, but how to get you where you need to be?
Leah: That’s awesome. Yeah, so what is like. What is your definition?
Natalie: Well, Mindfulness in that that’s a term. That’s you know and clearly I did not create that term and I’m not like a Spiritual guru. It’s just a simple thing I’ve discovered and I think a lot of people use but it’s a it’s allowing yourself to be fully present in your body and in your present moment. So you know what I was finding was happening with me is I felt like I was always like three steps ahead and my mind or I was thinking on the past and what my regrets were and I would become frustrated I felt like am I even living my life I was talking with a really close friend the other day and she was saying how she feels like she doesn’t have any memories. She feels like she’s so three steps ahead she’s not even she’s not even remember what what even happened in her actual life?
And I feel like that really affects our ability to be healthy because if we’re not in our own body we can’t hear what our body is saying absolutely and If we can’t hear what our body is saying. We don’t know how to take care of our body and we don’t know how to communicate with our care provider if we’re not in our present moment when we’re even having a conversation with someone or having a conversation with our care provider we don’t know how to communicate what’s going on with us we don’t know how to hear that person, and we don’t know how to move forward
Leah: Um that’s interesting. You know. I never really thought about that….not being able to
Communicate the problem because we’re not now right and you’re thinking of what happened to someone else or what happened in the past or what you’re worried is gonna happen as opposed… where are we at right now?
Natalie: You know I had a situation yesterday. I was helping someone. I’ve known really well throughout her pregnancy. She was really really stressed about this one situation that wasn’t going how she had anticipated it going and so with mindfulness you get in your body, and you get your moment. I did I call it a reality check for myself. I just sat with her and I said, okay well, it’s just what’s our reality right now. You know your term. Your baby’s healthy and your baby’s head is down. That’s the situation. What are our options now that we’re in our moment; how we’re feeling and you’re tuned in with your body. Let’s talk about what we can do. and what we need to do to get there so even if you actually want to do this with me.
I do this multiple times in my life throughout the day because I want to live my life.
I want to be in my life and live my happiness. I do my reality check, and I say okay. What’s the date? Okay? It’s December 12th, which actually it’s kind of the date. I look at my phone
What is the time what is my body touching right now am I hot, am I cold?
You know like what what’s going on around me and okay? I give myself full permission to just be fully present in my body and in this moment and I’m going to trust my future self to deal with my future problems and and then I’m like now, here I am. You know I’m with you saying that I can feel the tension and resistance release. It’s just those questions that you would ask yourself and you bring yourself to your present awareness. What happens is you’re not thinking so resistance just falls away. With you stating those affirmations or whatever you want to comment.
Leah: I felt resistance just leaving. That’s awesome so when you are helping a patient through this process….when you notice that they’re in a state of resistance anxiety and panic…what do you discover? From what they are experiencing when you walk through this, do you see immediate results?
This is something that you see maybe in five minutes?
Natalie: Well, um then that clearly depends on the person and how open they are. I was
with this woman yesterday in labor she just was said, “Wow I feel so much better.” I feel so much release. I feel at peace.
Because, I feel like we’re in our moment, and I now know how to move forward with with what’s actually happening. You know it it depends. An author I really grown to know a lot from is Eckart Tolle. He does The Power of Now. He talks about the ego identifying with our problems so if you are getting your self worth and your security from your drama and from your problems and not from your present life then a lot of people don’t want to let go with that
I might tell them what what’s happening in your body is normal. it’s a normal how it needs to be but if they don’t want to let go of that drama then they want and they won’t be in that present moment. They’re trying to you be in a different different space.
Leah: I hear you. Yes, you have to let go you have to let go. Yeah, give yourself permission. It’s not that serious. That’s awesome. So, if someone says hey look. I want to start this practice now….What can you share that will get them to start practicing now like really simple really quickly?
Natalie: Anyone whether you’re expecting or not just in order to get in tune with yourself
Well, I mean like I said, I’m not like exceptionally amazing teacher but anyway…
So I do the reality. And then the other thing is with mindfulness is it’s a in a way you’re an observer of your thoughts and feelings and you’re not putting a judgment on it…not my terms
Natalie: This is very unique and it’s like you’re talking about it. You’re working with the stage of acceptance. You know our life is all about ways like you think of like everything is particles and waves and you can either just flow with those waves or you can resist. You’re gonna be hit just like if you’re standing in the ocean. You know how that wave comes you can jump up and float in it. Or you can just get hit and knocked over. So, the way I the way I recommend with mindfulness is it’s a state of acceptance. Eckhart Tolle says accept every aspect of this moment as if you had wanted it this way.
So that’s putting your body in the state of acceptance then you can start observing it. Let’s say something’s not going how you want it to go. Let’s say, you’re in preterm labor, okay and you can do a lot as far as take care of your body. You have healthcare providers to communicate, but if your body is birthing a baby prematurely that is happening. That’s your way, and you can go into it with the state of you know, resistance and be like I don’t want this. I’m mad about this, or you can say okay? This is what I’m experiencing now let me exhale and work with that as opposed to attaching a judgment of something’s good or bad right. It’s not good or bad
It’s just it just is when you’re angry about something instead of adding guilt like I shouldn’t be angry be like, I am angry.
Okay, well is there a boundary that was crossed that I need to re-establish let me work with this.
You know so it’s a reality check in your present moment and then it’s a it’s a lack of judgment on this issue. How I think about mindfulness affecting women’s health is…we’re women we have our bodies work how they need to work and in a lot of ways our culture doesn’t support that. I think a lot of us get for example, let’s say, every month you have PMS and you have migraines and you know what really is happening is your body of saying? I need you to take some downtime to take care of you to let your menses occur and a lot of times we are not giving them the space to do that. I mean we’re not given the food to do that, we’re not given the emotional support. You know yeah when you’re getting those intense cramps, your body is saying, I need you to rest; just go lay down. Take some self-care and you ignore it and then it gets really bad.
Yeah, so you know when you’re in your body and you’re not attaching it. You’re not saying. I have to be five places at once. You’re just saying I’m in my present moment.
I’m trusting my personal self to deal with my friend of situation. I’m hearing what my body’s saying then you can really start to take care of yourself. I supposed to just treating symptoms,
you actually know what your body’s asking and you know what that feels like to me while you’re talking. It feels like you’re putting yourself back into control. You know of your own state of being right?
Victim is you’re an active participant of your life in the body and in those moments is when you get that aha moment stuff; you know what I can do this or I should have done that Yeah, right?
So I hope people are participating Are there questions.
Leah: Well there are no questions, but
Yeah, it does anyone have any anything this resonates with you that you feel like
You’ve been able to take care of your body more as a woman now that you practice mindfulness
Leah: Where are you located?
Natalie: Oh, so we are in the northern Atlanta suburbs? Currently we’re in our Roswell Alpharetta office and you can check on our Providence Midwifery page to see exactly where we’re located, but it’s the north part of Atlanta.
Leah: Any apps or books?
Natalie: What first started for me was actually a book just on mindfulness my sister is a psychologist everyone should have a sister as a psychologist…she gave me a book on mindfulness and it talked about something that stood out to me from that book was viewing our emotions instead of over identifying with it, which is what heart release is right?
You’re getting at you know you’re hanging on to an emotion or suppressing something you just experience it like a train car like you’re standing on a bridge, and there’s a train car. And it said like I’m feeling this right now. I’m feeling tired and you’re observing your emotions. You’re letting them experience you’re letting them go through you just like a wave. You’re trusting your body to know what it needs to do and to work work with that without being like…. I am an ill person you’re not the illness you’re not a migraine you’re experiencing that and it’s not gonna be forever.
It’s just this is what it is right now. So anything on really a just a general book of mindfulness.
There’s a social researcher named brené Brown. She has several TED Talks. She absolutely changed my life. I used to have terrible anxiety, and I don’t anymore I feel like I just live my life
And then Eckhart Tolle he’s a little bit harder to read because he’s very spiritual. He’s one of those people who like did Nirvana or something but? He is really really good, and he doesn’t really accept excuses. He’s like you know you really can’t live your life here. I can be present you really actually can live a life without suffering you can have challenges that are not suffering.
So I really liked him
Leah: I like him too. I have the Power of Now and The New Earth.
Natalie: So those are some suggestions, thanks for asking that Amanda.
Leah: Any more questions anyone has for Natalie. So we’ll wrap it up!
Thank you all for joining us if you think of anything. Maybe you didn’t think of a question right in this moment and something comes to you feel free to comment on this video we manage the page yes, and we do check it every day. Yes anything comes up. We’re thrilled to discuss it absolutely and then come back and see the watch the video again.
It’ll actually be available on our youtube channel as well, so I’ll post it again
next week sometime.
So again we thank you for joining us and we look forward to seeing you next
Month for another Tuesday talks, thank you.