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 being my first time to go through this, I didn't have any clue of what those instincts might look like. Half of this book is positive birth stories -- and in much greater detail than most birth stories. (Heads up: the book is pretty woo-woo, but in the best possible way!)
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:
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
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