I want to open up a bit to you guys right now. I am an advocate of natural birth simply because I have had great experiences. Natural birth really resets my motivation in motherhood. You can effectively manage your natural birth pain.
As a large family Momma, I love being pregnant. I am a lucky one. My pregnancies are usually pretty easy with minimal symptoms.
Not trying to brag, but maybe that’s why it’s seems like a piece of cake to add to our family.
Even my births, aside from my unnecessarily traumatic first and only hospital birth.
I can sleep through the early stages. But, transition is a terrifying, painful experience that transforms me. When I hold my baby in my arms, I feel euphoric. I am a different person. More powerful. More empathetic. Blessed. Humbled.
But I am terrified that this birth is going to be different. I am struggling with my depression and anxiety right now so it’s so tempting to so try to skip the natural birth.
Even though my births have been easy, each birth comes with its own set of risks, and that natural fear is being magnified by my mental illness.
I still want my natural birth though, because I know the recovery will be the easiest and quickest. I need to rest for the first few days, and we skip school to bond with baby. I still enjoy being my children’s primary caretaker, especially the baby’s.
So what’s my plan for dealing with the stress, pain, and anxiety of birth?
First of all, I am going to birth in the hospital, where I will feel the most safe. My last two have been wonderful home births, but this time, I don’t think I will feel safe at home.
Birth is painful. Recovery is painful.
Thankfully, certain relaxation techniques have been shown to help alleviate labor pains. According to this summary of research, from Nation Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, several relaxation techniques can help you manage, but not eliminate, labor pain.
This can include simple or sophisticated methods like breathing and relaxation techniques or self hypnosis.
Personally, I use visualization and mantras paired with movement.
In the past, I have cleaned my entire house while in the early stages of labor and then I nap.
So with this labor, I have made sure to find a doctor that will let me have that freedom to move. I will hopefully use a birthing ball, if I can squeeze it into the budget.
Movement has been shown to shorten labors, produce contractions that do more but with a higher sense of comfort, and decrease the use of pain medication.
Visualization and Mantras
I picture my baby. Imagine dressing them. Imagine bathing them. Nursing them. It helps keep me distracted and focused on the prize. When the pain of each contraction peaks, I can escape into a different mind set. I can feel that love already starting to seep from within the deepest parts of me. I still have to remember to breath and am not afraid to let out a groan, though.
I also use mantras.
Mantras keep me focused and distracted during the worst of the pain. They help me escape into this place inside of myself where it is just myself, my body, and my baby. Mantras make me feel like I am digging deep into myself and finding a well strength I never knew existed. I am able to remind myself that this pain is for a great reason: they baby and my preferred recovery mode.
Click here to The Mantras I Use
Before I reveal my mantras, I just want to make clear that these are very personal phrases for me. I do not mean to imply that women who do not choose or do not have the ability to have a baby are any less powerful, complete, or feminine.
A woman’s power comes from the ability for her to make her own choices about her happiness and then follow through on me. Having babies does that for me.
On to the mantras.