Peace and direction during the greatest moment in your life
I frequently hear pregnant women say that they like to let labor come to them. In essence, a beautiful thought but if you don’t have the right information while you have the delivery coming at you, it can be very frightening. Ideally, you have the right knowledge, you (you and birthing partner) are discerning, and you let labor come to you. Maybe you still haven’t become convinced. I then challenge you to consider for yourself: when you go abroad for a weekend, do you prepare? Most likely, yes. Birth can be thought of as a metaphorical journey. A journey more fraught than you (possibly) think. This journey can be all-transcending if it is a positive experience but it can also send you into the abyss if you have experienced this negatively. Therefore, it is more than worth preparing for this. A stressful birth also puts more stress on your baby’s body, and how nice would it be if you could reduce this?
I am Ayse and when I was pregnant myself, I became medical overnight because my daughter turned out to be much too small. Suddenly I had to go to the hospital every day and saw a different face every week with different advice. I did not feel taken seriously and lost control of my birth wishes. During my birth journey, I found the secret to peace. Herewith my three steps to a fine birthing experience!
Step 1: introduction
I recommend the following:
☑ Read up on how the body works during labor so you don’t have to be thrown off your à propos when labor occurs.
☑ Be aware of the procedures at the hospital, birthing center or at home birth. Some examples of questions to think about: I want a bath birth, is that possible at the place where I want to give birth? What pain medication is available and what are the pros and cons for me and my baby? Do I want the health care provider up front or in the background?
☑ Discuss with your birth partner what your limits and wishes are. Be critical and stay close to your feelings.
☑ Have a conversation with your health care provider. Is a health care provider not accommodating your birth wishes or do you feel unheard or seen? If so, perhaps another health care provider might be the solution for you. A pleasant health care provider is half of your birth experience.
☑ Make a birthing plan. By making a birth plan, you are preparing for your birth. In addition, you also keep, your health care provider informed about this directly and it is black and white. Even if you want to let it come to you and only wish that all procedures be explained first and that your explicit consent is desired, this is okay. There is no right or wrong in your birthing plan, nor in the birthing process itself. It’s about making the decision based on knowledge that you may not want to record everything on paper and not based on disinterest or ignorance. Also, I think it is important to mention that if you have made a birth plan you may deviate from it at any time. A birthing plan is a handle in which you inform your health care provider of your wishes, limits and how you should be treated but you are never attached to it.
Step 2: relaxation
Breathing and relaxation are inseparable. I encourage you to sit or lie down and breathe in quietly from your belly. Place your palms just below your navel and focus on your hands. Feel how your belly expands as you inhale. Try to exhale longer, feeling how your belly decreases in size again in the process. If it gives you focus, you can also count how long you breathe in or out but this is not necessary. Do you find it difficult to breathe from your belly? Then after exhaling, try holding your breath. When you feel you need to breathe again, turn your attention to your hands and breathe in fully from your belly. This method helps you keep your heart rate low. You can imagine that if you go into labor relaxed, it is much easier for you to make informed decisions in the birthing process, even if things go differently than you had hoped or imagined. To maximally support your body during the birthing process, it is important to know which breathing techniques to use during the different stages of labor. So the pregnancy course I teach is full of relaxation techniques through proper breathing (and much more!).
Step 3: visualization
Visualization is a super powerful method which helps manifest your intentions. This is because your brain cannot distinguish between what you actually see and what you visualize. By definition, this means that while visualizing, before birth, you can direct your brain on what to do during labor. You condition your brain to achieve your desired “goal. After all, what you give attention to, grows. Here, it is important to focus on what you do want. The more often your brain sees a certain goal being achieved and how it is achieved, the easier it becomes for your brain to actually achieve it (because your brain and body know exactly what to do because of visualizing!). For example, you could visualize how easily you breathe through labor, how smoothly the dilation goes, how relaxed your face is, how smoothly your baby moves through the birth path and/or how powerful you, feel after giving birth to your baby. Feel the joy and euphoria of a peaceful childbirth, You name it. Visualize in as real and detailed a way as possible how you envision the birth. I encourage you to do the following.
☑ Sit or lie down comfortably
☑ Focus on your breathing and do belly breathing as described in the previous chapter
☑ Close your eyes and start visualizing
An antenatal class can be super valuable as a means of preparing for childbirth. Also, it can be nice to meet other mothers (to be) so that experiences can be shared from during pregnancy and after pregnancy. The HypnoBirthing course I teach is the perfect complement to these tips. HypnoBirthing is a philosophy and methodology that provides maximum support to your body during the birthing process. This using knowledge (awareness), visualization and relaxation and breathing exercises. With a relaxed attitude and mind, you are better able to make informed choices during the birthing process. In this way, then, you maintain control in this. This is not possible when you are in a state of panic or stress. In addition, HypnoBirthing allows the birth partner to take an active role and is given tools on how to best support you in this process.