We all know that childbirth can be a lot of things. Women experience it in a variety of ways. Ideally, we would all love to embrace the journey and come out on the other end triumphant and empowered by the thrill we just experienced. But just HOW does one power through the intensity of labor, with the grace of a gazelle and the strength of a lion??
Here are 7 tips to help you discover ways of surrendering to the tidal waves of labor and birth.
1.) Address anxiety
Everyone knows that anxiety can render someone in an emotionally catatonic state. During pregnancy, it can dramatically escalate. So find ways to understand where your anxiety derives and how to keep it at bay, even if it's just for the time being until you have a baby. There are many great resources out there for you to explore: counseling, support groups, Byron Katie YouTube talks, meditation, visualization, etc. Remember, anxiety is fear about the future and depression is fear about the past. The happy medium is right in the present moment. That's where you will find your answers within, in stillness.
2.) Root into affirmations and truth
Hypnobirthing is a common birthing method that includes birth affirmations. Customize them to make them yours. Write them on note cards and recite them every day until the big day. And then you can tape them around your laboring room for inspiration when you need it most. This will enhance the truth you find and know inside. Rooting into something positive and encouraging can be just what your mind, heart, and body needs to come out of labor and birth in a joyous way.
3.) Address fear
Oftentimes fear plays a big part in childbirth. What we must understand is that even though fear will never go away, we do have a choice of how much of it will play out in our lives. It will always be a battle to our dying day of choosing love or fear.
Have you ever had a conversation with fear? I do this exercise with clients who have a lot of anxiety. I will ask them to write a letter to fear and it helps in those stressful times. A letter may go something like this:
I know that we have had a long relationship with each other. Thank you for being there to keep me safe at times. I have appreciated your comments, whether they were true or not, and you have served a purpose in my life. However, during this special time in my life, you don't get to run the show. You may stay outside of my space for the time being and look from afar but you are NOT allowed to be part of this labor and birth. This is a joyous part of my life and I am looking forward to all of the love and surrendering I will be doing. You will not be needed at this time.
4.) Examine thoughts
Thoughts play tricky mind games on us. Fear lets us think many crazy things. Believe it or not, but those thoughts are NOT YOU. You are not your thoughts! We create suffering when we attach to our thoughts as if they were truth. But you get to decide what is truth because you have a beautiful choice with every thought.
When thoughts of failure come in, know that this is coming from a part of you that wants to sabotage your efforts. Think of them like voices from a bad little angel on your shoulder. Tell him "thank you for your comment", flick him off and start listening to the "good angel". Call her the Holy Spirit, intuition, your conscience, whatever she is to you. Any thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure of heart, and trustworthy are the ones to follow. TRUST that they will lead you where you need to go in labor.
This, my dearest, is mindfulness. And remember, practice makes perfect.
The voice you listen to most will win!!
5.) Address intimacy/vulnerability
Let's face it, birth is probably the most vulnerable time you will ever have in your life. Your body and heart are displayed out there for all to see. If you struggle with intimacy and vulnerability, as most of us do, I urge you to check out Brene Brown on YouTube or through her books. They contain an oasis of knowledge and truth for you to discover. I would love to expound upon vulnerability in a later blog because it deserves its own space. It is a wellspring to healing and extraordinary breakthroughs!
6.) Root into what creates peace
Prepare for birth by creating a spa-like atmosphere that works for you. What would you want on a relaxing spa day? Foot massage? Soft smells? Calm music? A beautiful scenery? The goal of a childbirth laced in letting go will consist of all of these and more. Seek out ways to make your ideal spa day possible for your baby's birth day. Your baby will thank you (eventually)!!
7.) Repear steps 1-6 until STILL
Having peace about your journey into motherhood is quite a feat in and of itself. Nobody is perfect and many times we will never fully get the experience we desire. But I love what Bobby Unser said, "Success is where preparation and opportunity meet."
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about this blog post!! Shoot me a comment and let's start a conversation!!