Pregnancy has a more 'Sacred' element for New Berlin woman
She leads classes that support idea of birth as a journey
New Berlin — Jess Imig said that when she was pregnant, she noticed something was missing in Wisconsin.
"I don't know what it is about me, but I'm not really good at small talk. I would really rather connect with people on a deeper level," Imig explained.
For her, yoga, like prenatal yoga, could be physically or spiritually fulfilling, but it didn't have the close community or the meaningful conversations she was looking for. Parenting classes, too, were often too clinical or education-based. They lacked substance.
"There's just so much information. When you're in one of these classes you are in your head, not your heart or your body. ... But when you're in labor, you can't push a baby out with your mind," Imig said.
She didn't have a space where she could go to really connect with other expectant mothers. She couldn't share all of her hopes and fears. She couldn't explore and celebrate her son's birth as she wanted to.
Following a movement
"I really want to create a circle, a space, just an opportunity for the women to come together," Imig explained.
Already a certified yoga instructor, she was elated to discover the Sacred Pregnancy movement. The movement was created by author Anni Daulter and views each pregnancy and birth as a journey.
Imig, who enrolled in Daulter's retreats, hopes to bring women together as they walk down their pregnancy paths — sharing meaningful conversations, creating art and working through different projects or exercises. She wants to encourage sisterhood, deep sharing, expression, laughter, honor and celebration.
In so doing, Imig has become the first Sacred Pregnancy leader/instructor in Wisconsin.
Born and raised in the area, she now lives in New Berlin. She works out of the Magnolia Group Health & Wellness Center in Pewaukee and is preparing a Milwaukee location as well.
She said that she's excited to bring Sacred Birth Movement back home.
Addressing by topics
"It's just an incredible honor to be pioneering this work in the state," she said.
Pregnancy classes range in topics: creating sacred space, expressing visions or expectations, discussing food cravings, exploring body image, keeping romance alive, letting go of fear and honoring community. Each class emphasizes deep sharing and are project-based — mothers will create art or learn belly dancing.
"Some of the things will be weird and a little uncomfortable. And that's OK. Sometimes you have to feel a little uncomfortable in order to grow," Imig said.
And while she said she's worried people may assume the movement is "too granola," she explained that it is a good experience for any pregnant woman.
"This work, I feel, helps you be a healthy, more peaceful person. ... And who doesn't want to be a happier and healthier person?" she said.
She will also lead four weeks of Sacred Birth classes, showing young families how to support each other after birth. Imig smiles warmly as she describes a newborn's first months as the "fourth trimester."
Sacred Pregnancy classes are eight weeks long and will go from Sept. 7 to Oct. 26 at Magnolia Group. It's about $50 per class. There is a free kickoff event at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 24, when expecting families and health care providers (from nurses to doulas) can learn more about it.
You can also find Imig's Facebook page "Sacred Pregnancy Milwaukee/Waukesha" or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up or learn more.
"(Giving birth) is a rite of passage that's not really recognized. I mean, when you get married you have a ceremony. But having a child changes everything, from Day 1," she said.
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