EMPOWERING BIRTH TIPS
1. Trust the process
The fact that you are reading this page means that you are trying to prepare yourself for a ‘perfect’ birth. This is wonderful! However, you need to keep in mind that there isn’t such a thing as a “perfect” birth. Birth is an experience with many variables and the slightest change will lead to a different type of birth.
This is ok! You needn’t worry! You can still have a great experience. Any birth is a great birth, since it delivers your baby to you. All you need, then, is to remain in control and experience it with calm confidence and joy.
So… relax. Everything is fine. Just go with the flow. You can have a great birth, even if turns to be quite challenging. Life is challenging but we still love it! Remember that you have unlimited power inside you and you can handle anything… Let alone if you are well prepared, informed and equipped with so many tools to support you during this unique, breathtaking experience.
Just put your lovely smile on and let it happen. Trust your intuition, follow your instincts and let go…
2. Prepare as much as you can
Just like anything else in life, we need to decide what we actually want and then prepare ourselves to achieve it. So, first you need to decide and visualize the birth you want. Then, you need to get informed and put everything into practice. You can always adjust your plan and practice so that you feel totally comfortable and at ease.
However, keep your focus unchanged and look ahead. Just say “I’m ready to have an enjoyable and empowering pregnancy and birth”. That’s all you need to do. Everything else is not important. Everything else needs to follow You! You need to follow no one.
Your body is perfectly designed for giving birth and knows exactly what to do. Why? Because birth is a natural process. You wouldn’t stress so much about breathing or walking, would you? In the same way, you may rest assure that your body and your baby know exactly what to do.
So, get informed and prepare yourself but avoid loading your brain with technicalities that stress you out. Also, avoid feeling that you are missing something. You can’t be missing anything because you were born to give birth.
So, respect your inner wisdom and move on with your practice!
3. Find health professionals that respect your needs and support your plan
It is important to have a supportive team behind you. Therefore, you need to choose people that make you feel comfortable and secured.
When we are not expressing ourselves freely we are accumulating emotional stress. In fact, even if you trust your doctor 100%, phrases such as ‘you are not allowed’ or ‘don’t even think about it’ can disempower you, rather than make you feel confident and calm. Even in the case that your health professional is known for his great expertise, you still deserve to be treated with the utmost respect for the intelligent and sensitive being that you are. Everyone is unique and so are your needs and feelings.
Do your research and choose a health professional that shares a similar mindset with you. Express in detail and with confidence what you have in mind and ask for the care that you need. Your doctor is a smart and honest person as well, and if they don’t share your views, they will most probably advise you to find someone else that suits you better.
If you ever choose to use hypnobirthing or any other method, please inform your health professionals so that they are aware and support you accordingly.
Make your choices and be proud of them!
4. Make empowering open-ended questions to yourself and others
Whenever we ask a question, our brain starts to download possible answers so that it will help us solve the issue. Indeed, we should be grateful for this autonomous mechanism of our mind. However, we need to pay attention to the questions we ask because questions determine the kind of answers we get.
If you repeat to yourself phrases like, ‘Oh, my God, what’s wrong with me?’, then you command your brain to answer this question. So, a cascade of answers will be running down your mind convincing you that indeed there is something wrong with you. This process, of course, can cause you immense stress while preventing you from taking a valid and helpful answer.
However, open-ended questions can be very empowering and essentially helpful. If you ask: ‘What can I do to feel better and ensure the best possible results?’ then another cascade of answers will start manifesting in your mind such as: “I could do some research” or maybe, “I can practice a little bit more” or even “I come back to it when I’m more relaxed and calmer”.
Indeed, open-ended questions lead to constructive and positive answers that can actually be of use.
At the same time, you might want to address open-ended questions to your health professionals. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ should not be answers that you ‘buy’ easily, because they can be very disempowering when they don’t satisfy your intelligence or intuition.
For that reason, prefer to ask questions that cannot not result to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ replies. Keep in mind that any decision holds some risks and some benefits, and therefore, always ask as follows: “Which are the benefits or the risks of this recommendation?”, “Is it scientifically proven or is it just the protocol of your clinic?”, “Can you give me some more evidence on that please?”
Open ended questions are always empowering, informative and helpful. Asking open-ended questions doesn’t imply that you do not trust your doctor or midwife. It only means that you respect your individuality and demand that others do the same.
5. Respect your needs and ask for the help and support of your partner
You are a powerful being. How could it be any different? You are a creator and you are participating right now in the most spectacular miracle in life.
However, you still need some support and protection. It is ok to ask for help and be explicit when you need special attention and care. So, allow your partner to see your needs and be ready to receive their help. Your partner and others close to you cannot really suspect what your hormones are putting you through.
Your partner really seeks to be part of this miracle; they are a co-creator after all. So, please speak up and ask explicitly what you need at every moment.
This is your time! Allow yourself to be vulnerable, sensitive and also powerful. It’s all natural and all part of the process. Accept your needs, respect the changes in your mood and body and express your thoughts freely.
Please remember that a smile is always a great tool to help you communicate things that would otherwise be difficult to express!
6. Protect yourself from any negative input
Most of the stress we experience during pregnancy is generated by the horror birth-stories and also movies with which we were brought up with, involving the proverbial screaming, sweating and all other negative input. Negative input can also be what we see on the news every night or any harsh energies from our workplace etc. All these disempowering influences cause stress and make us more prone to fear. Fear causes tension that leads to pain during labour and birth.
Therefore, it is crucial to brake this ‘fear, tension and pain’ vicious cycle and remain empowered. Various techniques such self-hypnosis, positive affirmations, visualizations and meditation help us eliminate stress and release fears. Hypnobirthing or other anti-natal courses can provide you with such tools and train you to remain protected within your ‘bubble-world’.
Right now you need to avoid watching the news in the evening and finish your day with something positive. You can watch something that makes you laugh or relax before going to sleep. You can also spend some time taking deep breaths and creating beautiful images in your mind.
Another thing you can do is to ask people around you to stop sharing negative birth stories. Also, remember that you can always choose to leave any conversation that upsets you.
Create your own calm world and imagine yourself being in a bubble of light where you and your baby are always nurtured and protected. When you are upset just take a deep breath and imagine that you are inside your cocoon of light. Then, imagine that any negative thoughts or words are out of this bubble while you remain positive and serene. It always works!
7. Smile and Be grateful
We have many reasons to smile during pregnancy. However, taking into account that even a fake smile can help us go through difficult situations with less stress, we should consciously decide to smile more throughout the day.
Even a fake smile will do! The human brain cannot understand the difference and therefore even a fake smile may cause the brain to produce ‘relaxing’ and ‘happy hormones’ such endorphins and serotonin. These hormones make us feel more confident, empowered and ready to deal with challenging situations.
If, for a few days, you consciously put a fake smile on, the smile will shortly become a real one because as soon as these hormones are released in the body, you will actually feel happier and even without any obvious reason! Then real smiles will be more frequent, enhancing the production of these hormones even further. Therefore, we create our own cycle that is beneficial for us!
When we smile more, we tend to laugh much easier and more heartily, allowing oxytocin to be released in our body. Oxytocin is crucial for a calm, easy and empowered birth.
Also, remember that before getting stressed or disappointed, you can always take a moment to smile and express your gratitude for what you already have in your life! If you do this, then worries fade away and you can master the rest of your thoughts, allowing them to remain positive.
If you start your day with a smile and many thanks for what you already have, then you will enjoy an empowering, joyful day.
So, practice until you turn smiling and gratitude into your second nature!