Recently I sent out a survey that asked the question: What is your biggest challenge about childbirth?
If you didn’t answer the question and would like to here it is I’d like to know what’s on your mind!
One of the replies I got was a mom concerned about staying focused on breathing, meditation, and viewing contractions as discomfort not “pain” during labor.
I thought about this and I wondered how I could separate the two because there are two things happening at the same time during labor: one is physical sensations of labor and the other emotional response.
Last week in my childbirth class I did an experiment. Before they viewed a childbirth video, I had each couple create two lists – EMOTIONAL and PHYSICAL. As they watched the video they were to write down under each list if what they were watching was an emotional topic or a physical topic in the video.
The results were interesting. The lists looked something like this.
What do you think?
Your MIND thinks it’s having the baby. It’s not. Birth is not a cerebral event. It’s totally physical. But it was interesting to see the emotional list was longer than the physical one. What’s your conclusion?
I know how challenging it can be to focus on something else other than what’s happening physically at the moment. But how do athletes do it? They focus on:
- visualization – winning the competition. You – focus on breathing and holding baby in your arms
- breathing – ensuring good oxygenation with deep breathing. You – pay attention to your breathing. For best oxygenation for you an baby, slow and deep
- athletes pace themselves.You – you work with your body, labor takes time, you let patience rule
- the event is temporary. You – birth is short lived, a temporary physical state of your body. Parenting is for life.
- thoughts are in control and can impact success of an event or not, lose their “edge”. YOU – worrying about worriing is unproductive. Easing your thinking to more psitive thoughts is more beneficial to you, your labor process, and even for baby because you are in a calmer state. Read more on relaxation here
Understanding how your body works and how your thinking can make labor more challenging will help you more than you think. Contractions are temporary and as soon as baby is born they subside greatly. Here is a good post I wrote on contractions
Something else here I want you to know: Less tension = less pain. That’s a fact.
Training yourself to relax daily will significantly calm you and help you to respond better to labor when it begins. Instead of jumping into fear and anxiousness because labor is beginning, jump onto calm – the results for you emotionally and physically are better:
- find a place to sit or lay down comfortably on your side, support yourself with pillows
- breathe slowly and deeply
- daydream, think about a wonderful place that is comforting amd peaceful
- do this even during a contraction
You can stay focused – it’s a choice …