newborn baby
I

 

t is possible to birth without fear, and to approach birthing with a relaxed confidence. I have been reading many books in preparation for the big day and straight off the bat, I want to recommend “Mindful Hypno Birthing” by hypnotherapist and experienced doula Sophie Fletcher and “HypnoBirthing. The Mongan Method” by Marie Mongan.

 

With both of these books I realized many valuable lessons. To start, both books use more gentle words throughout to discuss the changes during pregnancy and also in preparation for birthing (not labor which is suggestive of hard physical work and is very daunting!) Since words, thoughts and suggestions can profoundly impact our feelings and responses, it is important to choose words that uplift and empower expectant mums  – choose words that create positive beliefs and reactions and leave behind those words that have the opposite effect!

Within these books, the widely accepted terminology used by most care-providers is replaced by softer, gentler, more soothing substitutes – take for example; “I breathe my baby down” (no effortful pushing). Another example;  “I trust and tune into my body and to my baby” (trusting the process – after all, our bodies have conceived and grown our babies perfectly so far… of course our bodies know how to birth our babies – we just have to stay out of the mind and let the energy of birth flow through us!)

pregnancyIn preparation for birthing my baby I have been visualizing my ideal birth scene, mentally picturing how I would like for it to be. As I revisit and reinforce my ideal birth scene time and time again (a form of self-hypnosis), it becomes stronger and stronger and more ingrained into my subconscious. The peaceful scene I have in my mind also has the added benefit of crowding out all other stories and comments I have heard and all the dramatic birthing scenes I have seen in movies. The key is to saturate your mind with beautiful scenes of natural births; water births, home births, and calm, peaceful, loving births. There are many on YouTube (have friends and family vet them for you so you see only the most inspiring, reassuring, beautiful births!)

 

pregnantAlso in preparation for the pregnancy and birth that you desire, I feel that it is important to be well-researched and know what choices are available to you. Learn about all of the examinations offered by your care-providers, recommended vaccinations, and newborn procedures that are considered standard, and decide ahead of time if you feel comfortable with these. Talk to your care-providers and know that you can always change providers if you do not feel supported in your decisions. It took me until week 36 of pregnancy to feel comfortable. I am now with CNM’s (certified nurse midwives) and feel very confident that they will be sensitive to my preferences and birthing approach, and allow the experience to unfold naturally and gradually without interruption. If you feel that your care-providers may want to step in, speed up, or manipulate the birthing process with procedures and protocols, you are perfectly within your right to look for care elsewhere that is more in line with how you would like to birth your baby.

 

EXERCISES

 

In addition to Kegel exercises here are some exercises you can do to prepare yourself mentally and spiritually!
  • healthy babyEnvision the birth you want and rehearse it in your mind, it will soon become imprinted in your brain and in your nervous system! If you would like a quiet, focused, peaceful birth imagine every part of the experience, through every sense; the sounds, the smells, the lighting, the feel of the experience. You may like to include flameless candles, aromatheraphy oils, relaxing music, pictures of loved ones etc. Visualize and rehearse your ideal birth. The Law of Attraction says that you will get what you say and see! (and if you don’t, if for any other reason it happens to go in a different direction, at least you will enter the experience calm and confident.) Be very specific in your visualization. Rehearsing your ideal birth will create a belief in your desired outcome. Just in the same way that a real experience becomes embedded within the memory of the subconscious, so too will your imagined experience – your mind will accept it as real! 🙂
  • Write a diary entry dated after the event to positively affirm the experience. Here’s mine:
November 2017. “Wow! Wow! Wow! The birth of our baby boy will always be one of the best, most beautifully memorable moments of my life! What a wonderful way to bring our special little man into the world! Sam, my midwife was amazed at how calm and peaceful Clinton and I were throughout the entire birth, even during transition and crowning, and I am so grateful to her for holding the space, for being so mindful of our emotional and spiritual needs and for allowing us to remain completely connected and present. The visualizations and calm breathing were so deeply engrained into every cell of my body and subconscious! We were able to welcome our son into the world with so much love, peace, gentleness and joy! We love you baby Hailey!”
  • Write up your “Birthing Preferences.” Your birth plan or birth preferences is a document that lets your medical team know your preferences for things like how to manage labor pain. Print three copies of your birthing preferences; give one to your care-provider, have one placed in your file and have one copy with you to give to whoever is with you on the day of delivery. In this document, be specific about your preferences. You may want to include things like;
  1. Please do not offer me pain relief, I will ask if I need it.
  2. In the absence of any medical indications, we would like to approach the birth with patience. (I don’t believe that labor slowing down or slow dilation are medical indications for intervention, I would prefer to be patient and let my body lead.)
  3. Please delay the clamping and cutting of the cord.

For more considerations see: Creating Your Birth Plan and Birth Plan Checklist. Make sure to share your preferences with your care-providers ahead of time!

 

Katie Hailey pregnantIf you are approaching birth I wish you the most magical experience. Trust your body. Women have been birthing for millions of years, it is an everyday miracle! Tap into the strength you have as a woman and trust the process. Witness your body doing what is is made to do and enjoy every moment! I will let you know when baby Hailey arrives! 🙂

 

HELPFUL RESOURCES AND LINKS

What Exactly Is A Midwife? (article)

Moving Through Fear and Pain To Strength (video)

 

baby feetsleeping newborn