Joyful Birth - fact or fiction?
Are you sick of listening to the easy, enjoyable (dare I say orgasmic!) birth stories that make you wonder what you did to deserve your own Armageddon-like experience? Or perhaps you’re pregnant with your first little one and have become a target for all the horror stories childbirth survivors have to offer? Or maybe you have experienced a beautiful, calm and empowering birth and just don’t understand what all the fuss is about.
So what is the truth? Is birthing horrible or sublime?
I distinctly remember being pregnant. I was lucky enough to feel well and happy throughout each of my pregnancies but I seemed to attract every woman who had ever had a difficult childbirth experience to tell me (in excruciating detail) about what was in store for me. Add to that all the TV and movie images of screaming women birthing in scrubs with their feet in stirrups and it is no surprise that a large proportion of women begin the process of birthing with fear in their hearts instead of love.
The body/mind connection is as present in childbirth as it is in every other area of your life. Your mind is incredibly powerful and it can help or hinder the actual process of birth. As a midwife I have witnessed that women who can keep fear at bay by focusing (or distracting) their conscious mind, allow the body to do what it does so well… give birth easily and efficiently. Your birthing space is no place for the conscious mind. This is the realm of the subconscious, the primitive, instinctive part of you that manages to keep your heart beating and your body thriving without any active interference from you. Why would we feel we need to ‘think’ about giving birth?
Birthing has nothing to do with thinking….it is 100% pure experience. So then, the key to a empowering birth is to… STOP THINKING! Easier said than done right? This is where you get to help the process of ‘not thinking’ because of course we cannot just stop thinking. That’s like saying, don’t think of a pink elephant. That becomes all we can think about!
What we can do however, is train our mind to think a particular way that supports calmness and clarity and dispels fear during the pregnancy period. It is extremely important that your mind is free from fear prior to labour and birth. It is really difficult to practice relaxation techniques or positive affirmations for the first time when you are actually giving birth.
Regular practice of relaxation techniques has the added benefit of supporting you during pregnancy and also comes in handy during the first days, weeks, months and years of your life as a parent.
Babies and small children easily pick up on their parent’s emotions, sometimes taking them on themselves. It is no surprise that on a day you are feeling down, the baby is particularly cranky. A relaxed mother equals a relaxed household. Take steps to look after your family by first looking after yourself.
If fear of birth is something that you are struggling with, consider hypnotherapy for it’s powerful and effortless access to the subconscious mind. Releasing unnecessary anxiety will allow you to enjoy your pregnancy and look forward to the day you finally meet your beautiful baby. Call or email me for more info.