Workshops to focus on mindfulness for childbirth and parenting

September events designed for expectant parents and health professionals

Contact Libby Bestul,, 608-262-2611

Pregnancy offers an ideal time to begin practicing mindfulness, according to Nancy Bardacke, clinical professor of family healthcare nursing at the UCSF School of Nursing, certified nurse midwife, and mindfulness teacher.

Bardacke has been assisting birthing families for more than four decades. She will be in Madison Sept. 9–12 to lead a weekend workshop on Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) for healthcare professionals and educators at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wis.

Expectant parents (pregnant women in their third trimester, along with a partner or support person) will get a chance to learn about mindfulness at the same time in The Mind in Labor scheduled for Sept. 9–11 also at Holy Wisdom Monastery. The parents’ workshop will be conducted by both Bardacke and Larissa Duncan, UW-Madison/UW-Extension Healthy Minds, Children, and Families specialist who currently holds the Elizabeth C. Davies Chair in Child and Family Well-Being at the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology. The program will help parents cultivate lifelong skills for healthy living and wise parenting using mindfulness meditation, yoga and group dialogue.

Bardacke says mindfulness can make all the difference in managing the emotional stresses and uncertainties of pregnancy, the physical pain of childbirth, and the sudden plunge into parenthood. “Teaching mindfulness skills to expectant parents at this profoundly transformative time in their lives goes well beyond anything I could have imagined. It’s both deeply gratifying and amazingly joyful,” she said.

During the Friday evening and full weekend session participants will:

  • Practice mindfulness and its applications for working with pain and fear during labor.
  • Understand the mind/body connection in childbirth and how mindful awareness can be a critical element in facilitating the birth process.
  • Experience using the breath as an anchor to the present moment for maintaining the optimal physiology for childbirth.
  • Tap into inner reservoirs of strength, confidence and courage.
  • Learn how to be fully present to give comfort and support as a birth partner.
  • Begin or deepen an understanding of the power of mindfulness—moment-to-moment awareness—for the challenges of birthing and parenting

Bardacke is hosted by the UW-Madison School of Human Ecology with funding also provided by University of Wisconsin-Extension Family Living Programs.

Cost of The Mind in Labor for expectant parents:

  • For each pregnant woman and adult companion: $325/couple including healthy lunches Saturday and Sunday ($275 if you choose to bring your own lunches.)
  • For each pregnant woman $175/person ($150 if you bring your own lunches).

Cost of Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) professional training for practitioners:

  • Professionals: $450
  • UW-Madison or UW Health Professionals: $325 (register with UW email address)
  • UW-Extension (register with UWEX email address): $175
  • Students/trainees (provide proof of student status): $175

*Early bird 10% discount if you register by August 5.



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