What NOT to expect when you are expecting
I have watched many women give birth. Enough for me to witness a common thread that runs through every single one, no matter the age, race or the mother’s previous births. Therefore for my first blog and communication to the moms out there, I want to speak to my first time moms. This advice is absolutely applicable to my seasoned moms as well, however those that have never been down the road before often benefit from more guidance in where to place their “expectations”.
Let me share my four Doula tidbits on how to approach birthing:
#1 – REMOVE EXPECTATIONS. While it is absolutely important to strengthen your subconscious and manifest your own reality, you must simultaneously release the societal habit to assume what your birth will be. We are often unconsciously led by the conversation, anecdotes and warnings of our fellow mom peers. Whether they create good expectations or bad ones, mom’s ability to surrender to the moment and the movement of her unique birth journey is often hindered. I have seen many moments, as a Doula, where mom has had to reassess her place in her birth journey and once she releases her expectations, is able to progress successfully.
It is important to distinguish that having expectations and manifesting your birth reality are not one and the same. Manifesting your own birth reality is about getting to know your self, knowing what moves you, what comforts you, what motivates and what strengthens you. It’s about applying that knowledge to your vision and then adding in your desired surroundings and sending that out into the Universe. Dare I say it, it is about having a “conversation” with baby and being on the same accord on how both of you will assist each other in the journey! Make sense?
#2 – PATIENCE. Birth is about patience. Parenting is about patience. Life is filled with moments that require patience. Even the quickest birth has an aspect of patience to it. Birth is an intricate network of signals, cause and effect and application of the law of physics that when left alone work efficiently the majority of the time. There is an idiom “Tincture of Time” that applies excellently to the birth journey. The successful progression of birth is not always quantifiable and each portion of the birth journey varies in duration for each mom. Allow the journey to be what it is. Expectation of completion can add undesired stress and tension to a process that works best when the mind and body are literally biochemically not stressed.
#3 – IGNORE MEASUREMENTS. When it comes to birth, the most famous measurement of all is what? 10 Centimeters!! Everyone “knows” that this precious baby has to come out and that to do so mommy needs to reach the special pinnacle of 10cm. I am pretty sure that most people don’t even know which opening is actually doing the work of opening! Those that are knowledgeable may happen to be aware of a few more measurements, i.e. effacement and station. While all three of these are fundamental to the downward journey of baby, they are so interdependent that to individualize them to a mom in birth is almost detrimental. Don’t get me wrong there are some occasions where knowledge of being almost at the completion is positive motivation! My intent is to emphasize that birth is a fluid process that is often better assessed by what mom feels internally and instinctually. This is what is meant by the common affirmation…Trust Birth!
Which leads me to the final tidbit…
#4 – TRUST. Removing fear or pre-conceived ideas of birth is one of the most helpful things one can do in regards to birth. I acknowledge that releasing fear can either be a process or happen in an instant. In either circumstance it is an act of surrender, of letting go. I often say birth is about being in control of your release. Birth challenges you to accept that sensation aka “pain” is survivable; that fatigue is surmountable; and that the unknown is dependable. There is a magical unknown to the birth journey. An unknown that has an invisible script that only mom’s instinct and intuition can read.
So there you have my four Doula tidbits! I hope that this has been somewhat helpful as you move towards your birth journey.
Wishing you an amazing and empowering birth!
From a Doula with love.