Glimpse: Parenting with Presence

A peek at Mindful's August feature on childbirth and the "contractions of life."

Photographs by Michael O'Neal and Christine Alicino

We knew we wanted to do a story on a unique program offered in the Bay Area—one that’s designed to prepare expectant parents for childbirth and all the responsibility, joy, and challenge that comes afterwards. What we didn’t expect was to find that Nancy Bardacke’s Mindful Childbirth and Parenting program had something to teach even those of us without kids.

To get a bird’s eye view of how mindfulness is being brought to bear in the delivery room and beyond, we had writer Susan Freinkel attend Bardacke’s classes, right alongside a group of expectant couples. And then when Bardacke talked about “contractions of life,” we saw this was a parenting story that’s relevant to everyone. The number one goal? Learning to recognize and accept what you’ve got and then working with it. Giving birth, parenting, and, indeed, life in general, is challenging enough without us fighting what’s actually happening.

—Tracy Picha, Editor