We all have our own belief systems. These are based on things we’ve seen heard, been told and been through ourselves. The stories we read and listen to are incredibly powerful in creating this system.
This means that you already have a belief system around birth even if you’ve not experienced it yet. How many people have shared their birth stories with you whether you wanted them to or not? How many of those were positive?
Sadly, we seem to overlook the positive birth stories and focus on those that aren’t. I’ve heard mums talk of birth shame because they had a beautiful, calm and empowering experience. I, too, had positive birthing experiences but I never share them unless I’m asked.
Isn’t it a shame we don’t feel able to shout about them from the rooftops. Is it because we fear that this is in some way disrespectful to those of us who didn’t have the birth journey they wanted? Possibly. But, what about this? What if we all shared those positive stories? Think of the impact that would have. More mums would believe in themselves and their body and birth with confidence.
When your mind believes you can do it, your body will follow. So much about birth rests in your head. Check that she’s telling you the right stories.
Follow these simple steps to empower your birthing mindset:
- get rid of all that noise in your head as you prepare for your baby’s birth. Learn to think in the present and to be in the present. Don’t think too much about what could happen tomorrow or the day after it, or about what’s happened in the past. You cannot change the past and you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
- don’t have a fixed idea of what you want your baby’s birth to be like because this might not happen. If you are set on one outcome and it becomes apparent that that isn’t going to happen, you are going to feel increasingly anxious and disappointed. Anxiety tenses up the body and labour and birth is most likely not going to flow easily.
- manage your own expectations with kindness. You may have to make a different choice and that is ok. Instead of focusing on one preferred option, focus on making the option you do have into a positive birthing experience. It will help you to open your mind so that your body can flow and do what she needs to do.
- read positive birth stories. If people start telling you stories you’re not comfortable with, ask them to stop. Hang about in the right places online.
Most importantly, keep a steadfast belief in yourself and your baby. You’re doing this together.
We talk about birthing mindset in my pregnancy yoga and birth preparation classes. They are in Birmingham on a Monday and Tuesday evenings.