Stress & Labor: Not a good mix!
As a practitioner of HypnoBirthing®, the Mongan Method childbirth education, the biggest issue for most parents-to-be is stress. They have busy lives, stressful jobs, they’re preparing for a new member of their family and they are worried about the birthing experience. Not a good mix for wanting an easy comfortable birthing experience.
This is no surprise to me, as the messages concerning pregnancy and especially childbirth are abundant with negative expectations for a miserable, uncomfortable, and painful experience. Gee, if that was what we had to look forward to for 9 months, we’d all be pretty stressed, too
I’d like to reiterate what I wrote in What is Stress, an article I wrote in January of this year, “We create stress through our thinking.” It’s not about what is happening around us or being done to us, which causes stress. It’s what is happening in our minds and our thoughts that is the true culprit of stress. What we are telling ourselves and what negative scenarios we are remunerating over and over again in our imaginations, is the true source of the stresses we feel.
How did those thoughts get there in the first place?
It starts with our observations. Observations can include, but are not limited to: what we see, what we listen to, what we read, what someone says, what the media shows us, or what the culture is doing. From there, we either consciously or unconsciously accept it as “real” or “the truth”. It then becomes a belief.
Negative stories about pregnancy and labor get passed down through families, get negatively portrayed in movies and novels, and as well as most of the medical system which has taken to treating pregnancy and birth as a disease to be managed because there’s so much “wrong” with it.
Naturally, when moms-to-be and their birth partners have been observing all these types of expectations, they will be thinking fearful and stressful thoughts about their upcoming birthing experience.
Those fearful stressful thoughts, governed by the primitive/reptilian brain from ancestral times, help us to survive via the “fight or flight” system, and can overtake the thinking of the greater mind, which is housed in the more evolved brain. Our greater mind, knows how to assess data in a more calm and appropriate manner.
It’s important to remember:
The fearful, stressed out thinking mind is not always telling the truth.
In fact, we could say, most of the time, it is not.
We do not have to believe the stressed out and fearful mind. It leads to tension which leads to pain.
We have a choice how to think and what to believe. We have a “greater mind” which can choose more healthy and empowering thoughts, and not be victim to the fearful and stressful thoughts that cause distress.
Relaxing and focusing on positive thoughts and images of a healthy birthing experience shifts the fear-tension-pain syndrome. Those calming thoughts produce endorphins, the feel good hormones, and more ease. More ease allows a laboring mom to let go and do what her birthing body knows how to do. Birthing muscles work in harmony instead of distress! This results in a more comfortable, calm and empowering birthing experience for mom, baby and birthing partner.
Now that’s a good mix!
Expectant moms, birthing partners, as well as anyone wanting to have a positive outcome in life, follow these tips to obtain the best mix possible!
Keep your focus on the goal of having an easy comfortable birthing experience. (Or whatever your goal is.)
Focus on how well your body knows how to birth (heal, restore, repair, etc)
Use your imagination to engage in the scenarios you want to experience (not on what you don’t want to experience-huge difference).
Tune into how good it will feel when you have your baby in your arms.(or other goal realized).
Whenever the fearful, stressful primitive mind starts talking, remember: it may not be telling the “truth”.
Take 5 minutes for focused breathing. Slowly inhale and slowly exhale.
Use relaxation to build more and more inner calm, the place where solutions are found.
Write out positive affirmations to keep your focus on the thoughts that you want to have.
Enroll in a HypnoBirthing®, class or any class and/or a support system that focuses on positive expectations for birth (or other goal), instead of one that induces more stress!
Whether you are preparing to birth your baby or birth a dream, keep your focus on your goal and how good it feels to have that goal and you’ll find the best mix for your best results.