Words by Sophie
The fear we have about birth, in many ways is the natural fear of the unknown. Our culture gives us no space to talk about birth. Even if we do have women we can voice our worries to nobody can describe exactly how birth will be, as every birth is individual.
I remember asking some experienced women what labour would feel like to prepare myself the first time I became pregnant. The answer I got was that it would be painful, I would think surely I am dying, but I wouldn’t.
Well what a terrifying answer.
They went on to speak about their different experiences of labour. With birth behind me now, these are fascinating stories to me. These are the experiences that have shaped and strengthened these important women in my life. BUT at the time I was facing what I was anticipating to be a horrifying ordeal that I had to go through and this was backed up by women I look up to. It is no wonder that this is exactly what I ended up experiencing.
All advice and birth story telling comes from a well-meaning place and is in our nature; it comes from a deep instinct to talk and share. This is all well and good except that when you are pregnant you are in a very suggestible state due to all the hormones flowing around your body.
Things that would make you feel a little sad can make you sob, things that would make you laugh can make you hysterical and things that would make you feel scared can make you terrified.
I was having a conversation with my Dad about Maths last night and the point he made was that children are so uninspired by the subject as, most of the time, they are not shown the point. They’re not taught how Maths is a significant part of how our brains function and sort the world around us. If some of the more complicated parts of Mathematics were translated into everyday life, Maths then shows its purpose and children can see the point and the end game of what they are doing.
Birth is the EXACTLY the same.
One of the most reassuring and mind altering things that I learned during my second pregnancy is that the purpose of a labour contraction is not to open a hole that baby will exit through, BUT to build up a muscle called the Fundus. This when ready will help to push baby out. This muscle grows brand new with every pregnancy and therefore it needs to be worked and exercised by contractions so that it can work with your body to birth your baby as nature intended.
Knowing that these powerful sensations had a purpose and were not just something to endure changed the way I felt and approached them. This change of approach resulted in my contractions being easier, gentler and so much more manageable than my first experience of labour. This mindset, along with Hypnobirthing techniques and knowledge of my birthing body I learned on my Hypnobirthing course, totally changed my experience and feeling towards birth.
The resulting conclusion I came too was that our bodies know how to birth, our instinctive subconscious mind knows how to birth.
My journey to understand more about my own body has been the most enlightening and empowering of experiences. One that is vital for every woman.
By attending a complete antenatal training course, like the one we offer at Kent Hypnobirthing, you can learn how to take control of your birth, how to make the perfect environment for birth and to eliminate fear so you can have a positive birth experience first time, second time, third time and beyond.
Your body is powerful; your mind is powerful. HARNESS IT! Surround yourself with positivity, find a way to let go of your fear. Learn how your body works, focus on your positive birth, prepare for it.
Never doubt yourself, your birthing body knows exactly what to do.