This article was submitted as a comment originally. I decided to give it it’s own page. I think it is pretty good. – Dave
Prepare Emotionally for the Birth Experience That You Want – Writes Psychologist Susan Dalby.
Birth is such an extraordinary event for families and for the whole com-munity. We have come a long way, and it is now rare for women to die in childbirth. There are still, however, many unanswered questions. Why is birth still perceived as dangerous, when it is such a natural event and there has never been a safer time in history to give birth? Were we truly cursed by God in Genesis? These are questions that can become important for a woman, particularly after emergency intervention in the birth of her child. Birth is a rite of passage into womanhood and if unplanned major assistance is provided it is not uncommon for a woman to feel that she has perhaps failed. Unresolved relationship issues may also surface which can be detrimental to the birthing process while also be ing distressing. â€œWhat happened?â€ a woman may ask, or even â€œAm I fit to be a good mother?â€
My own beliefs regarding child birth have developed from a life long in-terest that began for me in rural England, as a small child, watching farm animals as well as my own pets give birth. I was likewise drawn to the local women who regularly shared stories, not meant for my young ears.
This of course only whet my appetite further!
Telling ones story has, in psychology, always been the beginning of understanding and of healing. In my practice, in my research and now on my website I encourage women to share their birth stories. By sharing our words we open new possibilities for the entire community.
A growing body of research together with my years of experience, including working with post birth trauma, has led me to predict a swing back towards natural birth, and indeed a new psychological model for birth is now emerging.
The emphasis for those wanting a natural birth has been to be physically and mentally prepared. Caregivers often lack a psychological viewpoint and because of this I am often invited and consistently welcomed training and supervising medical staff in understanding the deeper emotional needs of mother and child at this significant transition.
Being psychologically prepared for the birth of a child is as important as the physical preparation! Your wellbeing in both areas requires planning and preparation. This will benefit both you and your child.
Hypno birthing, calm birth and an experienced Doula are all beneficial tools to consider for yourself. I will share with you my five golden rules of natural child birth;
1. Birth is a inward experience, such as meditation or prayer. Donâ€™t have anyone present while you are birthing that you donâ€™t feel totally com-fortable ignoring or who is going to distract you. Your partner may be better helping with preparing food for the next few days, answering and making phone calls cleaning house or keeping company with other friends and relatives. Can you meditate comfortably for an hour or more with your partner present without being distracted by their presence or them being hurt by you ignoring them? Even if you donâ€™t meditate, try doing something like this with your partner to see if it feels comfortable. This can be a useful guide. Hypnobirthing is becoming very popular now and is very good for preparing both partners for the kind of state that a woman will deliver the most positive outcome for all in-volved . This can and should be part of your childbirth education or childbirth classes.
2. Adrenaline slows and disrupts (and can even put a brake on) the sequence of natural body chemicals necessary for a smooth delivery and bonding between mother and child. Any issues of fear around the birth (experienced by either partner) need to be addressed well before time. The doctor, midwife or support per-son that you choose should be trained to help keep you calm and focused â€œinwardâ€ if you should be-come agitated or afraid.
3. Practice positions for first and second stage labour that you feel comfortable meditating or relaxing in. In the bath, in Open Lotus posi-tion, sitting up in a chair etc. Follow your bodies signals about what is comfortable. Feeling totally relaxed and no pressure on you to perform or give attention to others is powerful pain relief. Accept totally that your body knows what is happening and knows what to do. Birth is a neuro-chemical process, trust your body and let the process unfold.
4. Have a good relationship with your doctor or midwife who will be present at the birth. Make sure that they are aware of your intended ap-proach. Not all caregivers have had training in the positive psychology of birth, these ideas may be new to them and you may need to take some time choosing the right support. This is vital to you feeling safe and se-cure.
5. Resolve emotional issues with yourself and your partner before the birth. Do you long for more attention from your partner? The birth process is not a good time to look for this. Do you feel resentment or fear about your partner controlling or possibly abandoning you? These issues can arise during birth bringing unwanted adrenaline into the equation. If unre-solved they can get worse after the baby is born rather than better. There is wonderful help available for these and other unresolved emotional issues and needs. Start preparing psychologically for the best birth ex-perience for yourself as soon as you plan to become or become pregnant.
For those who have suffered an in-vasive or traumatic birth in the past, understanding what happened and how it might have been different can be very healing. For Child birth edu-cation and childbirth classes visit www.newbirthways.com for more information. For those with unre-solved emotional issues from a past traumatic birth experience help is available and will make you a stronger and more confident woman and mother.
Happy new beginnings.