Getting clear on what you really want to have happen and experience through the birth of your child can be a very rewarding exercise. It can bring with it though the reality that changes in your life may be necessary and in turn that can be a challenge to some people. Our beliefs, our values, our behaviours and our sense of being in a resourceful state can be shaken up and give us the feeling of difficult times ahead. Yet, if we ignore that voice inside of us (our intuition, our gut response etc) saying that ‘I want better for myself’ we could be compromising what will truly give us confidence and the skills to journey our parenting life personally fulfilled.
I have seen it benefit the pregnant woman and her partner to define what it is they actually want to get out of their birth experience in connection to how they want that to influence their on going life journey.
In the grand scheme of life, labour and birth is a day (give or take), and intentions for a natural birth require planning, preparing and follow through to action. It helps to live now in the way you want the birth to happen. And you are likely to feel more satisfied with your birth if you’ve faced your every day challenges along the way by being: creative, trusting yourself, being courageous, finding your own style, stretching past your comfort zones, staying calm, being flexible about being in control etc.
Changing patterns of belief and behaviour may not be a walk in the park. People can feel uncomfortable, vulnerable, needing of support and safety. They can also feel physical, mental and emotional effort beyond the norm etc. The similarities to the birth experience become more evident. Here are some ideas that can help you through:
- Be prepared that there will be challenges around the issue/pattern you wish to change.
- Give yourself time to slow down and let new perspectives come into your life.
- Ensure you have supportive people around you who are aligned with your new intentions and can keep you accountable and encourage you during your change.
- Think through the times in your life the existing issue/pattern arises and set up a different situation around them so that you are less likely to follow the same path.
- Consider reflection times/time outs/meditation/prayer etc to focus you more sharply on your intended goal and to help boost your energy levels.
- Write down the positive attributes you possess that can be used as tools to help you achieve a new pattern of interaction.
- Take time to do this exercise:
- Start by looking at a past challenge that you overcame.
- Write down what the situation was.
- Think about how you overcame that challenge.
- Write down what you did, what you said to yourself and how you felt to make the change happen or adjust to the change happening.
- List the personal strengths you can see evident from that experience.
- Apply them to the current challenge you face to make this labour and birth experience better.
- Visualize your body fully activated in all the power and strength you have.
Be aware of breathing all of this calmly into your body. Write down some affirmations to reread and come up with other things you could do to remember all that you are capable of as you face the changes in your life.
We can’t know the outcome for any birth, but we do have control of the choices we make (even if our choices are limited). We can control our attitudes in how we embrace our challenges each day and how we use our experiences to influence our lives. If you face your fears and concern now it will be helpful in achieving an empowering and satisfying birth experience. And it will be helpful to build a stronger and more happy you.