As a second time mum, I have been attending the workout classes from early pregnancy.I feel these are crucial in preparing physically and mentally for the birth. It's about much more than moving and sweating, it's about learning to listen to one's body and taking the time to acknowledge changes positively. I love meeting with our group, checking in with each other - it gives me a real sense of sharing with a community of women going through the same process. I gained a lot of strength and confidence through the workout classes. Extremely grateful that a place like Birth Village offers women true empowerment and the possibility to make real choices for themselves in pregnancy and delivery.
- Vanessa Meister Varma
The pregnancy workout classes for Mamas-to-beare an absolute blast and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to stay active, positive and healthy throughout her pregnancy regardless of her birth preferences. This is a 2hr class that involves stretches that alleviate pregnancy aches and niggles, Zumba rhythms, and ends with a calming yoga meditation, led by Donna Mitchell, the instructor, and extremely experienced midwife at Birth Village who will guide you and motivate you safely with her infectious, energetic dance moves. The class is open to women of all fitness levels and the atmosphere is very relaxed; you quickly form a bond with the other participants in the class, and that forms an important community of like-minded women to bond with through your pre-natal journey. My 3y old daughter accompanied me to the workouts sometimes and this was welcome, and definitely added to the challenge (toddlers will climb their mom when mom stretches - this is just a law of the Universe). I’ve tried other pregnancy workouts the last time I was pregnant, and they were mere calisthenics in comparison that didn’t challenge me physically. I can’t think of a safer way to keep your fitness levels (and sanity levels!) up during pregnancy. My stamina and flexibility has actually improved during pregnancy this time, which has given me the confidence to birth the way I want to.
- Elizabeth Mathew
It was in 2015 ,I got pregnant and got the wonderful opportunity to attend Dona's Yoga classes. It was one of the best thing I did during my pregnancy time. Those classes introduced me to new momma frds which gave me so much energy and good vibes to stay positive and healthy throughout the pregnancy time. Dona's classes were just amazing and fun filled .
Donna has been my trainer during the pregnancy of my first child.She is a very experienced person in this regard and has a lot of passion in what she is doing. Her energy is admirable and you can always approach her for any doubts or help you need. The results I achieved during my labour where largely due to diverse training methods in the Active Momma's workout . The workout is a perfect combination of stretching, dance, labour prep ,interactions with other mommas , meditation, and tips on a healthy labour. As Donna always says "Listen to your body and your body will Tell you what it needs today". - and this has only helped me , I started to understand my body and my needs much better than before.
In my case - I had a posterior positioned baby , it was hard 7 hrs of labour . All the stunts - squatting , climbing stairs, pulling at the rope , breathing and pushing were possible only because I had my thigh and arm muscles strong and that is what we get trained for, in class. MUST SAY - I was impressed by my body's strength. The workout sets foundation for a healthy labour and beyond.
- Devika Mohan Krishnan
The workout sessions with Donnawere really fun and enjoyable.It gave me a lot of positivity .The yoga classes also by her helped release a lot of tense muscles and i felt confident that each of the stretches and poses were helping me towards my birth.Donna was very patient with us during the yoga classes and she made sure that we were doing it right and with ease.She never asked us to cross our limits instead she kept saying that we should listen to our body and only do how much ever we can.During the dance workouts also she was very understanding in terms of the way we did it....she told us that what's most important is that we should be moving and that was so appealing for me as i was completely new to dance workouts.....the music and the choreography by her were really energizing and apt for pregnant ladies ....i also remember how she had specially dealt with my back ache during my yoga session with her....she gave me many tips and advices on how to deal with it and also taught me some exercises specially for the back and my pubic pain....plus she was also my midwife along with Amy who delivered my baby .....Thank you Donna and Amy
- Nazila Muhamed Nizar
Though I attended only 3-4 workout classes of Dona , needless to say they were awesome . Gave me more strength and stamina . Also I used to look forward for those classes , since it was fun dancing with our bellies :) and pregnancy felt more enjoyable . The contraction preps were great and it helped me as well . We even attended one couple class and it was fun.
I wish we had postpartum classes planned as well :) though not sure how many can attend after 6 weeks since all travel back to homes .
- Shiji Gopinathan
I was at Birthvillage for my first sessionwhen I was in my 8th
month and Lol , my weight did not come up a surprise to me – 89 Kgs . . . .
This was way above Birthvillage standards & I was warned by my dear mid-wives , Priyanka & Donna , tat still another 1-2 month towards my delivery date , I shud not cross 90 Kgs on my delivery day ! Otherwise it was going to be really difficult . . .
Even though I had heard about workouts for pregnant ladies in Hyd(where I was working) , I couldn’t make it partly bcz nobody had enough confidence on ‘workouts’ or dancing during pregnancy.
Now with all our (also my husband’s) doubts and misconceptions ‘shattered’ by the other sessions at Birthvillage , I started attending workouts sessions 2 times a week with Donna. Music was so lovely & enthusiastic, the sessions were so energetic as well relaxing along with meditation & gestures to attach emotionally with our baby. Also it gave a platform for us ladies to share & discuss our doubts and experiences. And it was after one of such sessions ,while relaxing after the workout, that I felt my baby’s legs for the first time, he had kicked so hard & I was in time to feel his toes on my tummy . . . . might be he had also enjoyed the session
And yes , I could keep my target of 90 Kgs . . . .
- Sreelakshmy K R
To write about Donna, she is an affectionate and loving person. We lack words to tell about her.
Donna Mitchell is a nice and wonderful person, truly excellent trainer and energetic lady.
I never knew that pregnant women can do so many workouts, till I joined her workout classes.
She knows just how and when to encourage pregnant women (birthing goddess as she says) in the right way with the right words.
The workouts classes are always fun, with a variety of exercises, songs and yoga postures that helps to strengthen and prepare my body and mind as well, for birthing my baby.
In yoga Nidra session, her voice is as soothing as a lullaby and I used to go into a deep sleep.
The same soothing voice and hug helped me to birth my baby while I was in labour.
She is always there to clear my doubts regarding birthing and her voice used to revolve in ears when I used to get negative thoughts, and I used to follow the yoga mudras to stop negative thoughts.
Donna is such a true inspiration as a mom of 9, (all home birthed) that even I started to feel that I can give birth naturally.
Not only workouts and fitness, but I used to get information regarding the best restaurants with amazing food in Kochi.
It was such a pleasure working out with her .Please do experience it yourself, if you get a chance .I recommend her, as she helps you in all means to birth naturally and helps us to stay fit both mentally and physically.
- Sravanthi Kalyan
Workouts with Donna were the most looked forward to event of my daily pregnancy life in Cochin. It made me feel energized and stronger esp. during the time when I was waiting beyond my due date. On 2 occasions, when sessions were cancelled due to hartal, I remember being so disappointed. It’s been almost 2 months since baby is born and I still miss that part of my day. Donna, your workouts were the best!!
- Shwetha Chiramel