One of the first exercises I do with my clients is to explore their beliefs surrounding birth. Many of us have negative feelings surrounding birth due to the stories that are passed down and the false narrative that society sells us.
What are your beliefs? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you believe your body is made to birth?
- Do you believe that birth is not a medical event?
- Do you believe that your body is going to make the perfect size baby for you?
- Do your beliefs support your birthing goal?
- The problem with negative thoughts is that they can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Beliefs shape action.
- It’s time to burn those old negative beliefs surrounding birth.
If we can reframe those negative thoughts and turn them into positive statements, the effects can be powerful. Being confident and comfortable about the birthing process will help adjust your thinking and set you up to be in charge of your birth no matter what turn it takes.
In order to change a belief, you must stop the negative cycle. The process doesn’t happen overnight and will take work on your end.
You must observe these negative thoughts and do the hard work needed to reprogram your old thoughts surrounding birth so they do not affect your birthing process. If your beliefs don’t align,you will create fear in which your body will respond with the familiar cycle..fear-tension-pain.
Here are 5 helpful tips to get you started:
The largest component in regards to your birth plan is actually believing in your body and trusting its ability to birth. Confidence most likely comes with education. Find the evidence you need to debunk the false information you have been given.
Educate yourself on the normal physiological process of birth and hear others stories. There are many great books out there such as Birthing From Within and Childbirth Without Fear (I will create a new blog with recommended books soon). Find a quality childbirth class that is outside of your hospital where you learn about the physiological process of birth, how your body is made to birth, and the difference between evidence based vs routine care.
You need to create the best birth team and safe environment that encourages your birth plan. It’s extremely important to go into labor with a care provider that you trust. One that trusts in birth, explains everything in detail, answers all of your questions thoroughly and encourages your birth preferences. Seek natural minded groups online and find other women in your area that have birthed the way you envision and join these support groups.
Affirmations are positive statements that when repeated over and over again, help to embed into our subconscious. Everytime you read your affirmations, make it a practice to place awareness on your breathing and slow your breathing down. Connect with your baby, mind and body. The goal is to replace all negative thoughts with positive ones. Being a prior athlete, one of my favorite affirmations for my homebirths was, “I can do anything for 60 seconds”. Another one I used and worked extremely well during my hard points was, “God designed my body perfectly for birth”. Do some research and find the ones that resonate with you. Here are a few more examples:
*I trust my birthing instincts.
*I am strong.
*I look forward to giving birth.
* I am safe and my baby is safe.
- Practice daily
Change doesn’t happen without practice. Without putting the work in. We must prepare mentally the same way we would for any large physical event. You ask any professional athlete and they will tell you that mental work is a huge contributor to their physical performance on game day. With practice, your new beliefs and affirmations surrounding birth will rewire your subconscious mind to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Give yourself grace. Be patient as the work doesn’t happen overnight.
Reframing negative thoughts into positive ones that have been embedded into your brain over years and years is not going to happen over night. It is going to take work and a lot of newly built self confidence to achieve your positive birthing mindset. There will be times when the negative thoughts try to resurface and it’s ok. Just like in the beginning of the process, acknowledge the thought, find evidence to banish the mistaken belief, and create a positive affirmation to replace it. Give yourself grace and love for you, your baby and your birthing process. Building up your confidence and releasing fears is such an important part of your pregnancy journey. Birth is the most beautiful transformation and I want you to enjoy it and look forward to your birthing day!