Ramona Riley — Making childbirth relaxing

By KIMBERLEY HIBBERT

Monday, August 06, 2018

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WHEN she started having children, she didn't learn about different breathing techniques, and her children entered the world in the traditional way. But by the time she had her second child, Ramona Riley was so fascinated with the art of birth, that she started researching it on her own.

But during that time Riley got news that she would not be able to have any more children, and was advised to do a hysterectomy because of a medical condition.

“I had a disease called adenomyosis which affects the uterus and makes it oddly shaped. It causes pain during sex — it really is horrible. I decided I was going to have the hysterectomy because of the pain and discomfort I was feeling,” she told All Woman.

However, a few days before her hysterectomy was scheduled, Riley decided she would no longer go through with it and again began researching.

During this period, Riley used red raspberry, stopped eating meat, consumed plant-based vitamins and used colour and sound therapy. Within two and a half months of doing this, Riley, much to her own surprise, was pregnant with her third child.

This time, she pointed out that she knew she wanted a natural birth as having healed herself using natural and holistic methods, there was no other route she was willing to take.

And so, Riley ensured she understood and learnt the different types of breathing techniques to build herself for a non-drug birthing.

“I took childbirth classes and used those techniques to birth my baby in a relaxed state. When I went into labour the plan was to go to a birthing centre. My husband and I went into my truck and on my way there my water broke and I realised she was coming and I delivered her myself on my way to the birthing centre. If I didn't have those breathing techniques I probably would have freaked out being in the back of the truck while my husband was driving, knowing that she's coming any minute. My husband thought I was sleeping but I was actually delivering her,” she said.

She said the breathing techniques, meditation and visualisation one uses to help with stress management skills are key.

“When I realised my water broke, and I realised she was now crowning, I just went with it. I took her out and put her on my breast and she was just sucking away. That experience opened me up to birthing in a whole other way and I knew I had to teach women these things,” she said.

And so by the time she was due her six weeks' check-up, Riley was doing classes and courses and embarked on becoming certified in different techniques.

“After delivering her all I could think was I want to deliver babies all the time. So I became certified as a birthing and post-partum doula in South Carolina. Two and a half weeks later I did my hypno-birthing accreditation in Florida, then I did my placenta specialist course. I threw myself into this birthing world then started going to school for midwifery because why do all of this and not have that connected too?” she said.

Her foray into this area wasn't unusual for Riley, who always had a passion for education and a love for children.

Born and raised in Kingston, Riley spent her formative years in Jamaica before migrating to South Florida at age 14. She went on to become a Montessori teacher, before attaining the position of principal at a Montessori school.

According to Riley, she would spend time watching birthing videos, which included different forms of birthing. But it was when she started her family that she realised that her birthing experience was very different from what she had seen in videos.

Today, Riley, also called “The Vagina Lady“, offers hypno-birthing and prenatal classes to women locally, which she uses to prepare them for a more relaxed birthing process.

“There can be a much more beautiful, relaxing way to birth your child. There are various ways to give birth. There are orgasmic births, lotus births and all different types you can choose from. I don't want women to feel they are limited. Why are you on your back? That slows down everything — gravity is not [there to] help, and your marathon in terms of your birth is much longer because you are on your back. So it's something very important to me,” she said.

“When babies are birthed in a traumatic state they are affected. They may suffer from complications and separation issues because mom delivered the baby and she was stressed. If mom is relaxed, the vagina will open and the baby comes down easy.”

The hypno-birthing classes offered by Riley span over two to three days depending on a woman's needs. Further details can be found at instagram.com/cosmicwombman.

“Hypno-birthing can be done in a hospital or anywhere. In fact when done in the hospital nurses are usually left in awe. It empowers a woman to know that she can do this. It taps into her mental, emotional and physical being,” Riley said.

Further, Riley believes her offerings are just what local women want.

“Women are calling out in Jamaica. The options are limited. I believe if women heal themselves the world will be healed. If we first live and nurture ourselves then bestow that upon the ones we love, hate is going to be less, anger is going to be less, all of these negative entities are going to be less,” she said.

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