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Why your Mind could be your most powerful birth tool

How often do you catch yourself thinking or saying that you want to try for a natural birth, but then quickly add you know you have to accept what comes?

Or you would love to go into spontaneous labour but some part of you fears that won’t happen so you are afraid to set your Heart on it?

I collect birth stories. One of my clients told me the story of her second birth. She was in labour and had been for most of the day. The baby was posterior so she was experiencing a lot of back pain and had a lot of fear come up due to trauma to the perineum after her first birth. She recalls she got to a point that she decided she didn’t want to go any further. AND SHE STOPPED THE LABOUR. For the next 2-3 days she spent rocking, humming, chanting and visualizing until she knew the baby had shifted position and she had worked through her fears. THEN SHE LET LABOUR START AGAIN. She went on to have what she described as ‘the most beautiful birth possible’.

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You may find it challenging to visualize your ideal birth because of the assumption (belief) that birth is a bodily function beyond your control, ‘it will happen when, where and how it happens and there is nothing I can do about that.’ There is a perceived unpredictability about birth that generates Fear, ‘I’m not in control of what happens to me and my body’. This kind of thinking shifts you into a sense of powerlessness.

It is important to distinguish the difference between feeling powerless regarding your body and birth and surrendering control because you trust your body and the birth process.

We know via the hormone adrenaline a woman’s body can completely stop labour until she has found someplace safe to birth. We know a woman’s body responds positively to the hormone oxytocin by initiating and promoting birth. We also know that our thoughts and emotions have the ability to trigger the hormonal production of adrenaline or oxytocin. Fearful and stressful thoughts produce adrenaline: its energetic effect is contraction and constriction.  Loving and trusting thoughts produce oxytocin: its energetic effect is opening and expansion. Seen in this way, Fear is the natural counterpart to expansion. Moving through Fear is how you grow.

Is it not possible to imagine that you have so much more power and control over your birthing body then you currently believe?

Your body is YOU: every cell, every muscle and every fiber; every nerve impulse and every hormonal exchange. A piece of your consciousness lives in every cell of your being: this is the Mind-Body connection. Learning how to focus your thoughts and use your breath to connect with your body teaches you: you are never powerless. Although it might not be your usual habit to experience this connection, pregnancy offers much incentive to deepen your body awareness.

Want to know more?

Contact me if you would like help creating trust and confidence in your birthing body.

Or click here if you would like to know more about Breathe | Believe | Birth with Ease: using the power of your mind and breathing techniques to birth with calm and ease.


Pink lotusAbout the author…
Peta Elmer is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and Doula with a passion for promoting trust and respect for the wisdom of women’s bodies. She helps women learn to work with their body’s natural rhythms for maximum health, vitality, fertility, creativity and feminine power. She has a deep calling to birth work and her special mission is the message birth is meant to be a pleasurable and ecstatic experience. She believes a holistic Mind Body Spirit approach is key to preparing for the unfamiliar opening sensations of birth.
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