Continuing our series on “11 Ways to Prepare for Your Best Birth”, we're up to #7:
#7: Listen to & trust your body – it will guide you
A lot of learning to trust this process has been covered in #5 here, so this post will be relatively brief.
Interesting thought to ponder from the childbirth classic Childbirth Without Fear: Veteran OB back in the early 20th century observed that, when women didn't expect birth to be painful and perceived birth as a natural process to be trusted, their sensations were significantly less uncomfortable and more manageable. We cannot underestimate the power of the mind-body connection!
I want to reiterate the power of exposure to positive birth stories in this journey toward exploring your instincts and trusting the process. Ways to do this:
- Read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth -- about half of the book details many positive birth stories. When I was pregnant for the first time and took birth class, my birth teacher's emphasis was, "Follow your instincts." That all sounded great in theory, but when it's the first time to go through the process, I was totally at a loss for having any clue of what those instincts might look like. This book
- Watch lots of positive birth videos, many of which are natural births. I show some in class. Here are a few to get you started:
- Check out a range of instinctive labor positions and instinctive coping tools and maybe even print them to have for reference for labor day -- find these in various places:
- Birth Matters NYC Pinterest
- Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly-Dick Read and Ina May Gaskin
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
- The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
- Pregnancy, Childbirth & the Newborn by Simkin, Whalley, Keppler, Durham & Bolding
- Active Birth: A New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas