Trusting the birth process is often hard for women to do. They have been indoctrinated with negative stories about birth since they were born; from their own birth story their mothers shared with them, to the stranger in the grocery store when they are pregnant and the TV shows they watch.
How are they supposed to let go of these fears? How can moms start to trust that birth is a positive thing? How can they trust that their body knows how to birth? How can they believe that birth is something to look forward to instead of fear? I think the first place we have to start is their thoughts. Because birth is as much a mental experience as it is a physical experience and what we believe will have an effect on what we experience.
How can a mom change her thoughts? I have 3 suggestions.
Affirmations can help them to start believing in the power of their bodies. Listening to daily affirmations about pregnancy and birth is an easy step in starting to change their beliefs. Hearing that your body is strong, birth is normal can empower a mother to take the next step, educate herself on her choices. Some moms go a step further in reprogramming their beliefs by using hypnosis.
Educating ones self about birth and the many options they will be presented with before, during and after birth will empower a mother when it comes time to make her choices. Taking an Independent Childbirth class will give them the information they need. As they learn how birth is meant to work, that their bodies are designed to open easily, they will start to trust in the process.
Support is the glue that holds it all together. Today moms can find support in the traditional places, like their family and their care providers, and they can also find it on the internet. I had a mom on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group I moderate who was getting pressured by her OB to induce because of a suspected “big baby.” She expressed her concerns on the group and we encouraged her with information and said that her body would grow the perfect size baby for her. She chose to going in and talk to her OB about her concerns and had a really good discussion and got his support to trust her body!
I knew I wanted a natural birth and I knew that’s supposed to be good for baby but then they throw all these medical terms and issues at me. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what was true or what was likely to happen and what wasn’t. I had a gut instinct and that was it. He has a medical degree and aren’t doctor’s supposed to do what’s best for you? I was so confused. I don’t know what I’d do without Hypnobabies and the group. Even a lot of natural birth enthusiasts want to talk about worse case scenarios. There’s not a lot of places to turn. Thank God for the internet!”
This is a cumulative effect. As women have positive births by trusting their bodies, they share their stories and encourage other women to trust their bodies too. I look forward to a day when women everywhere have positive birth affirmations coming from strangers in the grocery store and TV shows. When all women are choosing to educate themselves about normal birth and when women are supporting each other in their births.