Birth Visions & Expectations
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land on a star” Norman Vincent Peale
We all know that birth rarely goes exactly according to plan. This may encourage you to think that to have any sort of positive expectation of your birth experience is not a good idea.
“I’ll only be let down” I hear you say, “I’m just going to go with whatever happens and not have any set expectations about what it will be like”. “I’ve just got to get through it” might be something else that may go through your mind.
Did you know however that the higher a woman’s expectation of birth, the more likely she is to be satisfied with her birth experience? It’s having hopes for a beautiful birth that will give you a better chance of having one.
So how do you go about creating this feeling of excitement and positivity around the birth of your baby especially if it doesn’t come easily to you? How do you create a beautiful vision for the birth of your baby? There are many ways and what’s important is that you find what works for you.
Trust your instinct to Birth – deep in our subconscious, our mammalian brain, each and every one of us has the knowledge of how to birth. Remind yourself that women have been giving birth for thousands of years. Birth is completely instinctual but you need to have the space, both physically and emotionally, to tap into this deep wisdom. Like any mammal, most women need to feel they are safe, supported and undisturbed to birth easily. Taking some time during pregnancy to look at your own perceptions and beliefs around birth and to let go of negative thoughts can be powerful. Talking to your partner or a counsellor/ psychotherapist, meditating or attending women’s circles can be a good idea to work through what comes up.
Become comfortable in your body – Sometimes with the fast pace of the world, we don’t realise how disconnected from our body we have become. For birth, we are required to go deeply into our bodies, in fact, birth demands it of us. Taking time to do yoga during pregnancy allows us to explore our bodies and breath. Learn to trust in your body and accept physical discomfort as a positive experience through a regular yoga practice.
Connect to the Earth – like all mammals, we need the earth’s nourishment to allow our bodies to work efficiently. Making sure you are eating a nutrient dense diet, high in magnesium and low in wheat and sugar, allows your body to be better prepared for birth. You may also want to explore a deeper connection to the earth during pregnancy and early labour by going walking or spending time in the garden.
Create your own Affirmations for Birth – Listening to visualisations that allow you to create your own affirmations or even help guide you in seeing your baby’s birth in your mind can be powerful tools in seeing and creating a beautiful birth. Placing an affirmation where you will see it every day helps build your vision.
Connect with your Unborn Baby – You and your baby are in this together! Birth is a beautiful dance between the two of you. Taking time to connect with your little being before birth helps you to recognise that you are “one” and you are both on the same journey. Writing a journal conversation with your baby or self-guided meditations to meet your baby can be powerful while pregnancy yoga also helps you to reflect on the true magic you have growing within.
In our She Births courses, we talk about moving from fear, a negative expectation, to faith where we are adopting a positive expectation. When we birth we also birth our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears. It’s our ability to have faith in our body’s natural instincts that creates the birth we’ve allowed ourselves to dream.
Nadine O’Mara is a She Births® educator and pre/post natal yoga teacher at Yoga & Health Collective. Find out more or contact her at www.consciouslifeyoga.com.au.