• the breathing techniques certainly helped

    What is the birth/delivery environment like? Other than the commonly known epidural, what other medical procedures or interventions are applied generally? Do fathers-to-be get to cut the umbilical cord?” As a mother-to-be, these questions came to my mind about the impending birth of my child. Coupled with being an expatriate living in Istanbul with no knowledge of the birthing practices or preferences here, more questions popped into my mind during my pregnancy. While most of these questions can be researched online these days, I still felt it would be advantageous to attend some local birthing seminars and to consult with local birthing resources. Most hospitals, at least at the one that I had planned to give birth in, offer birthing classes however, I had wanted to attend one that is not affiliated to any hospital in order to get independent advice about natural childbirth and the overall birthing process. DOUM caught my attention when I was reading an article about natural childbirth in Turkey. The article peaked my interest in learning more about the philosophies behind DOUM. DOUM’s internet site contains many useful resources from information on yoga classes to pointers on what to consider during childbirth. In addition, DOUM is the only organization where I could find birthing classes conducted in English and catered to foreigners and locals alike. The course offering appeared to be customized exactly to my needs. Nur and Basak, the co-owners of DOUM were also very friendly when i first contacted them about their course offering. In the 4 part course that I had attended, Nur and Basak ensured that we had an open forum to discuss anything that came to our minds about natural childbirth. They encouraged us to ask questions about Turkish birthing practices and reminded us to feel empowered to make our own decisions on how we want our birthplan to be like. They also shared with us the various generally considered compulsory versus elective medical interventions during births. Breathing techniques were also shared and practiced in the group. The atmosphere of the classes as led by Nur and Basak made it very comfortable for us to share our concerns and ask our questions. It is because of the information that I learnt from DOUM that I was able to mainly enjoy the birthing process of my daughter Selin. The breathing techniques certainly helped and just knowing what to expect during labour and delivery was a big plus for my husband and I.


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