Mindfulness during pregnancy.
Seriously, when I first heard this word I thought it was a bunch of woo woo. Like only crazy people are “mindful” what ever that means! I obviously didn’t use mindfulness with my first pregnancy. With my second mindfulness was a part of my everyday routine. There wasn’t a day that went by I wasn’t imagining what labor and delivery was going to be like, or who was going to be there or the atmosphere. My second delivery was one that was euphoric and amazing and something I am very proud of and I firmly believe being mindful played a huge part in my experience! Mindfulness is about owning your decisions, owning your experience, owning your birth.
I want to take you through a mindfulness practice right away because I feel like it will help you get an idea about where I want to go with this post!
Stop scrolling and do this! I want you to close your eyes… now I want you to picture your ideal birth. Who is around you? Where are you? What stage of labor are you in right now? Do you feel supported? If you’re in the hospital do you have an IV? Are you lying in bed or are you on the move? Are you able to eat and drink? Are people speaking loud or soft? Are you able to ride the waves or are you fighting them? Is it light or dark?
Do you have a picture? This picture will help you make your decisions during pregnancy and labor. It’s this picture that I want you to focus on everyday. Now how will you get there? You get there by making decisions that match what you want.
If you would like a natural birth where you are able to eat and drink during labor, are moving through the contractions, not hooked up to an IV, only the closest people around you and you don’t have people going in an out of your room distracting you then you probably are going to choose a different location and provider than someone who….
Wants to get an epidural, doesn’t care what happens during birth and just trusts her team to make the decisions that need to be made for her.
Did you know that scientists have studied and have found MRI evidence suggesting that certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks (Cascio et al., 2016). Your brain literally strengthens the neural pathways of positivity. The more you focus on the positive words and ideas and outcomes of your birth the more you will only believe that! You won’t even know how to be afraid of birth or have negative thoughts about your experience. You will be so prepared!
Mindfullness is powerful. Dave Ramsey quote coming up…."What you focus on is what you win at!” Isn’t that the truth! If you want a natural birth YOU HAVE TO FOCUS! You have to be mindful about what you want and what decisions you are making along the way.
We are saturated with fear in childbirth. Every time we talk to a mom who has been before us we hear, “Just get the epidural.” “Labor sucks.” “I felt like I was dying.”
Seriously!! That’s not words we want in our brains when it comes to birthing our child!
I want to encourage you with this… it’s never too late to change what you’re doing. Look at your expectations for birth and then weigh that against the decisions you’ve made. Natural birth----> Dr with a high cs rate? Do you see what I’m saying? This stuff matters because it affects your birth! And birth affects the rest of your life!
Women who go into birth saying, “I don’t know if I’ll get the epidural… I’ll just see what happens.” always gets the epidural! It’s just how it is...
So this is where mindfulness and planning comes in. Either you say “I’m not going to get the epidural no matter what…” or “Yes I’m going to get the epidural.”
If you are not going to get the epidural no matter what then this is where your decision making starts… Are you going to take a birth class to teach you how to rid your mind of the negativity surrounding your birth and replacing it with affirmations and positive language to prepare you? Are you going to birth somewhere where there is no access to an epidural (because that sure helps!) Like home or a birth center? Are you going to make sure your doctor doesn’t bring up the epidural to unless 100% necessary? These things will help you achieve your expectations for birth. It takes work though!
Now… if you’re pretty far along in your pregnancy and you just realized that you want to have a natural birth but you don’t feel like you have enough time to prepare then what I will tell you is that it’s going to be a lot of work and it will take focus but you are more than capable if you set your mind to it. Hire a doula.. Like yesterday! She will help you walk through some ways to prepare for the birth that you desire. Speak positive affirmations everyday. Multiple times a day! You will have to work extra hard and be more intentional about speaking life into yourself than if you would have started at 10 weeks but mama I know you can do it!
The Bible says in Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue has the power of life and death..." Our words have power! How will you use that power? To build yourself up or tear yourself down? To be positive or to speak negativity?
If this is you and you’d like to start out with speaking affirmations I have 3 downloads that I will send right to your email. Go to bit.ly/3freeaffirmations Say them 3 times a day! Picture the birth you want. Meditate on scripture that helps you. Talk out your fears with your partner or your doula.
I know you can do this! And no matter the outcome you will have done everything in your power to get the birth you had imagined. You would have advocated for yourself in powerful ways. You can be proud of the birth you have no matter what because you called the shots! You are so strong!