With the festive period upon us and with there being so many posts on how to look after our well- being, I thought this blog post fit.
After many years of working with families, I’m still surprised at how many women take birth for granted and walk into it almost blind. Growing up I heard so many negative, horror birth stories like many women do. Over time these visions of a woman screaming in excruciating pain, lying flat on a bed professionals running around doing whatever it is they do and the birthing partner standing in the corner unsure of their role in the process is what I thought was the “norm” for a birthing scene. Imagine my reaction when I was told that birth did not have to be like this?
What do you mean birth can be calm? I’ve never heard or seen that; it’s complete rubbish. Even I had these thoughts when I was introduced to hypnobirthing. Be assured these reservations of labour and birth are normal and in fact a lot of couples (birthing partners in particular) are very sceptical about how it works.
The brain is an amazing organ we have. It controls our bodies and keeps everything in function. It stores memories, good and bad, but we don’t get to choose which ones to remember. Did you know that a baby is born with roughly 100 billion neurons that are constantly working, connecting together? The more they see visuals/ practice something the stronger the neurons become, the more likely they are to be able to do that thing without thinking; that skill is now in the subconscious mind.
Did you also know that the brain is made up of 2 parts? The conscious mind takes up 12% of the brains capacity and is responsible for the rational, critical and analytical thinking. Remember learning to drive and consciously thinking of moving up and down the gears, slowly lifting the clutch, look, signal, manoeuvre etc. That was because your conscious brain was analysing and rationalising everything whilst you physically practiced.
Your subconscious mind takes up 88% of your brains capacity and is responsible for imagination and creativity. This is where all the amazing magic happens. Look at you drive now. Do you think about moving gears, searching for hazards in the road or are you able to do it and respond almost without thinking? This is because your neurons have connected during the learning phase and it has become second nature to just get on and do it. You have been given the tools to prepare and so you are confident to get in a car and go.
So how does this relate to labour, birth and memories? The process is exactly the same. Hypnobirthing uses visual, physical and practical tools you practice with positive affirmations, strengthening those neurons in your brain. The knowledge of the process, tools and practicalities of labour and birth help you to know what is going on should your birthing journey not take the path you desired, and by being prepared with information you feel both calm and confident to make the right decisions for your birth. To ensure you are making informed choices for your birth. To be in control of your birth.
You will always remember the day your birthed your baby. It will be a memory you carry with you forever. Being in control of your birth by embracing the unknown and remaining calm during the process is what equates for a positive birth experience and a positive memory. So why are we taking birth for granted, fearing the unknown and willing to be OK with the negative stories? Why are we willing to jeopardise the day we meet our baby and our memory of birth?
A post by Ilya Pozin focusses on a research by San Fransicso State University which found that people who invested in experiences as oppose to material items were happier and felt more satisfied with their purchases. So this Christmas, if you are pregnant or know someone who is, why not invest in your experience of a positive birth and cherish that memory forever. Feel excited about your birth. Feel empowered as you are a Birthing Goddess.
This Christmas, give the gift of a memory.