East has met west and meditation is now a more culturally accepted practice in supporting ones own health care. The Heart Research Centre now actively advocates for it! Western medicine is better respecting and valuing the part alternative practices can play. And, as women and men advocate for their rights to informed decision making about their health care, physicians are listening. I encourage meditation as a regular part of a persons practice in the continuum from pregnancy to parenting.
Whether it be for dealing with stress at work, focusing on staying calm through a contraction, dealing with a toddler, feeling irritable with your partner or whatever challenge you are facing, there are a several factors on how a meditative state can influence you positively. Developing the skill to calm your body and mind is so helpful to deal with our problems creatively and feeling better about ourselves. There is no judgement or right or wrong practice....its important just to start and explore what you feel. In labour, the benefits of this is what I discuss further as you read on.....
Whats so good about meditation? Feeling more calm and in control in labour!
Being in trance is a way to better release the natural hormones that drive your labour on to birthing your baby. Oxytocin and endorphins are your friends and you want as much of them as you can. They make your uterus contract with greater ease. They send messages to the brain saying that what you are feeling is a natural healthy response not a pain problem response. You can perceive the sensations of contractions with open curiosity. Rather than calling it pain you may call it intense / orgasmic / communicative.
It inhibits your ability to judge time and judge your experience, taking you to a place of accepting what ‘is’ in that moment. Being in the power of now optimises your energy levels so when you are in a rest time you rest. When you are at the start of the contraction you are pacing your breath to help you ride over the wave with a calm and rhythmic energy. When you pass the peak of the contraction you are letting go, rather than anticipate pain, tense up and then feel more pain!
Trance is also a deep state of relaxation. When you relax into trance you oxygenate your body better. This in turn improves your circulation taking the goodness in your breath to your baby and to your muscles, tissues, fibres etc. When everything is well oxygenated they function better. Babies cope with stress better. Muscles are more elastic and toned enabling them to make more space in your pelvis. They move smoothly in cooperation with each other, rather than have resistance. We also have increased vasal dilation causing better blood flow when well oxygenated. It makes for less pain and every contraction can be used as efficiently as is possible by your body.
Can you see yourself feeling all that…doing all that….being all that? Imagine it now.
Start with this simple practice:
- Close your eyes, and notice how you are feeling in your body
- Notice the rhythm of your breath
- Notice that thoughts may come into your mind, but dont pay them any attention....just let them go
- Take some calming breaths, in your own way. As you feel your breath come into your body, let your muscles relax
- Just before you open your eyes again, notice the differences you now feel in your body
Do this for a few minutes. If it helps, set a timer so that you wont be distracted by watching the clock. Where ever you are, if it's safe to do so, practice this now just to give it a go and see how easy it is to start. You have just raised your self-awareness and helped your body relax just a bit more than it would otherwise have been.
Can you think of other ways that birthing with meditative practices / being in trance can help you in pregnancy, birth and beyond? Id love to hear what you discover or what has worked for you in other areas of your life. Please email, Facebook or blog if you would like to share with other readers.
Go to Birthready with Hypnosis to find out how Birthread can help you learn more and put this into practice now!