“You make it look easy.” “You're made to have babies.” “I just couldn't do that.” How many variations of these statements have I heard from women when we talk about giving birth? Countless.
The thing is, I'm nothing special when it comes to pregnancy and birth. I don't have any baby-having super powers. I've had good births because I prepare for them – but if I'm a super-mom, so are you 🙂
It's More Than Contractions and Stages
Yes, it's important to understand how childbirth works, in a physiological sense. You should know what a contraction is and you should have an idea that birth involves a first stage, second stage, third stage.
But you can learn those things in any run-of-the-mill childbirth class, any pregnancy book, and on any website about birth.
Having a smooth, peaceful, even wonderful birth goes way beyond that, though. Society's silence about giving birth is where the problem starts. Baby bumps are celebrated by the media, horrible birth stories are shared by women and dreamed up by Hollywood tycoons, but really, we're pretty silent on how to have a safe, satisfying birth.
You and Your Baby Are Worth This
Maybe you're a woman who just inherently trusts birthing. You feel confident in your body and in birth. Or maybe you just trust birth by the sheer force of your will and desire to have a natural birth (I'm not saying that's wrong – that's how I was when I had my first baby!). That's great if you are – you don't need this article!
But so many don't have that – you feel unsure about yourself. You don't know if you can really do this huge thing of giving birth naturally. And you aren't on a mission to have a natural birth in spite of what everyone else says. Where do you get trust from?
Trust may not come automatically for you like it does for other women, and you know what? That's totally okay.
But don't stop there. Don't let it be an excuse not to have the birth you deserve, and your baby deserves. It may take a little effort on your part, but you can also find trust in your body. You can find peace in childbirth and in working with your baby.
After all, you and your baby are worth it.
Learning to Trust Birth
Where do you start? Wise women – midwives, mothers, grandmothers – know that trust in birth comes from when you do all the work before. There's nothing left to worry about.
I don't know if you've ever bought a house, but it's a hugely emotional, nerve-wracking experience. When we bought our “dream house” last year it was months of ups and downs as we watched the market and saw houses. Then stomach-churning waiting as we put in an offer and negotiated through our agent. More anxiety as we waited on the bank and the closing dates… and then finally, finally, all that preparation paid off. We walked through the house and knew it was ours… pure bliss.
Giving birth should be like that. Pure bliss (okay, probably with some hard work thrown in, but the moment of pulling your baby up: Pure. Bliss.). Preparing to give birth takes some work, though, just like buying a home. There's some emotion involved, too. Maybe you need to work through some apprehension, anxiety, even fear.
You need to do some work to stay healthy during pregnancy – know what to eat, when to exercise, how to get the rest you need, how to keep up with your household, etc.
Enjoying your pregnancy is important. You do that with physical health and emotional health. Sometimes there are issues to get resolved in your relationships, life and home organization, work life, etc.
You need to prepare for birth. Yes, you need to understand the stages of birth. But you can and should also come to understand your own birthing body. What makes you open so your baby can come down and out? What breathing helps you relax and stay on top of things? What tools will help you through your baby's birth?
There's no real prescribed way to do this. Women go through these steps in different ways. Natural childbirth classes help. Reading great birth stories and watching videos of peaceful births can help. Good books help.
It's your journey – you pick it. Self led, with a little guidance, with a lot of guidance – it doesn't matter. The steps are out there for you to feel confident and ready for your baby's birth.
Nothing Left to Do
When you take steps to prepare for birth there's nothing left to do when you give birth. Sure, you're going to be having a baby, but you're completely free to get into that.
You're free to go to that intense, peaceful, and otherworldly place where you focus on your baby. Your own inner strength and confidence pull you through your baby's birth. Yep, you may have a moment of doubt while giving birth. Yes, you may need your coach to help you breathe through an intense wave. There's beauty in that, too. Triumph, connection, a renewed sense that yes, you can do this.
Because you can.
You are healthy, confident, peaceful… and most of all open to your baby. You trust your body and you trust birth because you've taken the reigns of your pregnancy, of your birth preparation, and now there's nothing to do but work with your baby and have a natural birth.
You don't need super powers. You just need you, your baby, and your own inner confidence.
Photo by miguelphotobooth