Visualization: Imagining a Comfortable Childbirth
by Jackie Foskett, CH
Visualizing a comfortable childbirth not only prepares moms-to-be for a wonderful birth experience, it’s also a great way to relax during pregnancy. Perform the exercise below for just 10 minutes a day, gradually working up to 20 minutes a day as you feel ready. Practice, practice, practice is key! Your mind, your body, and your baby will be thank you.
Designate an area in your home for quiet time and relaxation.
- Start the exercise by using your breath: Inhale to a count of 4, pause briefly, then exhale to a count of 8. Breathe in and out this way 3 to 4 times, expanding your abdomen on the inhale and releasing it on the exhale.
- Now, allow yourself to fall into an easy, natural breathing pattern.
- Next, imagine a beautiful place in nature, a place where you feel calm and peaceful—perhaps a quiet mountain meadow or a pond trimmed with water lilies.
- Feeling this calmness now, imagine the joy of meeting the wonderful little being you are carrying inside you.
- Staying with these feelings of calmness and joy, imagine yourself in labor. Visualize a look of peacefulness on your face as you bring your baby into the world. Spend a few moments enjoying the details you paint in your mind—the smile on your lips, your smooth brow, your soft gaze.
- When you feel finished with the exercise, count from 1 to 5. Notice yourself slowly coming back to the room, feeling relaxed and calm.
- Use this visualization technique anytime you find yourself thinking about childbirth—and the wonderful day when you will finally meet your new baby.
- For more in-depth childbirth preparation, and to promote a relaxing pregnancy, enroll in a HypnoBirthing® class.
Remember, your thoughts are powerful! Thinking positively about your pregnancy and labor actually releases endorphins—feel-good hormones that will assist you in having a more comfortable birth experience. Mentally rehearing also prepares you for the actual event, allowing you to instinctively guide yourself through the process.