Giving birth to a baby can be a scary and nervous time for many women but if you prepare, you can be empowered to have a great experience and a positive birth. Katrina Zaslavsky from Birth Goddess and Empowering Birth Magazine has given us her 17 Bright Ideas On How To Prepare For An Empowering Birth:
Stop the horror stories – Women don’t mean each other harm but unfortunately those wounded by birth tend to unload on unsuspecting pregnant ladies. In doing so, they do each other a great disservice and feed the epidemic of massive fear and drama around what is supposed to be a normal everyday occurrence that women’s bodies are designed for. Beware of horror stories and don’t even listen out of curiosity. Ask politely, “Is it a positive story?” if there is any hesitation or no then stop them right there. Agree to swap notes after the birth so it doesn’t impact on your experience.
Knowledge is birth power – Ignorance may be bliss but not when it comes to birthing your child! Do your research, read empowering books, watch positive birth films or consider attending birth events in your city. This will enable you to make informed decisions as to who, where and what you will accept for your baby’s welcoming into the world.
Decide what you want now – The last thing you need is to be in the throes of labour and having to make difficult decisions. You won’t be in the place to think straight since nature has designed that you be in your body at this time and that’s how it should be! Stay in your zone instead and take time to construct birth plan before you step into that labour room – even if only for the mere fact of having to decide what you want. Deviations may well occur but at least you will know what is most important for you to have a positive experience and considered all the different options.
Attend an independent birth course – Preparation is key! Go for a recommended course that gives you the belief that you can do it and arms you with tools and resources to get there.
Seek out inspiring stories – This is the best way to counteract all of the unhelpful horror stories you may be hearing. Dr. Sarah Buckley says “one of the best ways to prepare for birth is to saturate yourself with positive birth stories”. There are plenty out there, you just need to seek them out! Here is a collection of them in one book – (http://bit.ly/KbbCwn)
Words have power – The language we use is so important. Our beliefs, thoughts and words about birth (and that of our caregivers/ support team) have significant impact on our experience. Used negatively, they can work against us, or used positively, they can be our greatest ally. It goes without saying then that it makes sense to focus on positive only and protect our space!
Take charge of your experience – Remember this is your body, your birth and your baby and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! You are the ultimate authority!
Learn to let go and relax – Once you have taken charge of your birth choices and created a supportive environment you can then feel safe enough to truly let go, ride those waves and allow your labour to unfold. Not easy for control freak-outs and for those of us who live in our heads (many modern women these days!) so start early and practice relaxation techniques well before labour.
Find a positive birth community – If you feel that you have too much negativity within you or surrounding you regarding birthing, it’s time to seek a positive birth community. If you can’t find one then create one! There is magic in sisterhood and hearing from other women who have already walked the path and come out the other side stronger and more empowered than when they came in. Rather than feeding the fear, they will serve as a valuable source of guidance, strength and inspiration.
Create a strong support team – Plan now to be supported in whatever shape that looks right for you (partner, doula, mother??) to feel safe, private, protected. In a cocoon of support, protection and care (but not disturbed), a labouring woman can let go of fear even in a busy maternity hospital.
Create daily nurturing rituals – Every time you do something kind and nurturing for yourself such as taking a walk, having a bath or meditating to soft music you are giving the greatest gift to your unborn child.
Start protecting your child now – Remove yourself (and baby) from any negative situations and avoid fueling the fire if you get into heated arguments or conflicts. Keep your mind on the big picture and that is your child’s wellbeing is far more important than all else. Avoid extreme emotions or chronic stress for your baby’s sake as well as your own. Remember your baby is a conscious being listening and learning about the world so give the best start in life by taking a conscious approach to pregnancy.
Listen to your instincts – Going within and returning to our mammalian nature is important for a conscious pregnancy and will assist the body to orchestrate a normal healthy birth.
Consider hiring a Doula – They are proven to help improve birth outcomes and are one of the best ways to feel supported during this very important event. They tend to be nurturing, encouraging, empower you with resources that you need and give continuity of care.
Face your monsters – Deal with your fears prior to birth and it will make all the difference in the world. Studies have shown that conquering fears may shorten labour, decrease pain and reduce risk of caesarian delivery.
Get off the fence – Don’t just sit on the fence and see what happens. Deciding what you would like upfront- a natural drug free birth or a medical one – and commiting to it, means you can begin making conscious preparations towards achieving your desired outcome. If you secretly wish to go au naturale but haven’t decided, you may get to a point in labour where you don’t know if you can do it anymore. At your most vulnerable moment, you will likely be offered drugs and it is too easy to give in – unless you have made a very firm resolve beforehand. Avoid regret and make a decision now!
Trust in nature’s design- As women, our body was expertly programmed and designed to give birth and so our body knows what to do (even when we don’t). If in doubt, think of all the mammals that give birth without fuss (or any pain relief!) or any instruction manual! Take a moment to marvel at all the natural wonders of the world and then remind yourself that you are part of this marvellous creation – trust in your own magnificence!
- Katrina Zaslavsky (also known as the Birth Goddess!) is a former public health professional with a lifelong passion for healthy living, a background in natural health and wholistic nutrition, a proudly natural mum of 2 beautiful girls, inspired author of her “third baby,” A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth. As featured in national & international media, at major conferences and voted Favourite Product Finalist in the AusMumpreneur Awards 2012), magazine columnist on birth and committee member for Natural Parenting Melbourne. Most recently she is excited to be Editor and Creative Director of her ‘newest baby,’ Empowering Birth Magazine which is already making positive waves across the globe.
- TAGS: Empowering Birth, Katrina Zaslavsky, Birth Goddess, How to have a positive birth experience, ways to prepare for a positive birth, bright ideas on how to have a positive birth experience, ways to have an empowering birth, tips for mums, birth ideas for expecting mums, bright ideas for pregnancy, Bright Ideas On How To Prepare For An Empowering Birth