5 elements of mental birth preparation
In addition to my offers in the area of family support, I also offer coaching for women and moms. A special offer here is the mental birth preparation, with which you can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for your birth.
In this article I will introduce you to some elements of it.
1. practice mindfulness and be aware of your own needs
The basis for many other areas of mental birth preparation is, first of all, that you pay attention to yourself. That you notice yourself with your body, thoughts and emotions. It is important that you simply perceive without judging.
There are various mindfulness and meditation exercises for this, so that you can focus entirely on yourself and your baby. I like to use a journey through the body for this.
You start by sitting or lying down comfortably. Now close your eyes, if you like. Then try to concentrate on your breath. Feel how the air flows into your body through your nose when you breathe in and out of your nose or mouth when you breathe out. Feel for the places in your body where you feel your breath everywhere.
Do you feel the breath more in your chest? Is it more shallow and fast? Do you feel it more in your belly? And is your breath very calm and deep? Where else do you feel the breath? Try to just feel your breathing and concentrate on it without judging or evaluating it.
Then you can direct your attention to individual parts of your body. Feel how your feet feel, your legs,... Does it hurt somewhere? Where does it feel especially good?
How is it in your head? Is there a lot going on right now and you can hardly concentrate, are your thoughts constantly wandering? How do you feel? How do you feel? Again, try to just notice.
Direct your attention to your belly and your baby? How is your baby? Is he quiet right now? Or is it moving around and moving a lot? You can also gently stroke your belly and feel if there is a reaction from your baby.
If you do this exercise regularly, you will learn to feel yourself more and more and to perceive what you need at the moment. You become aware of your needs. Further, you should practice taking care of yourself and expressing your needs.
What do you need right now? What would help you the most? Is it possible right now? If not, how can you change it to make it possible? What other alternatives are possible right now?
Take care of yourself and your baby!
2. develop an idea of your dream birth
To prepare well for your birth, it is important to know what you want in the first place. On the one hand, this applies to your current wishes and needs. I have already written about this briefly. For me, an important point of mental birth preparation is also to imagine your dream birth in as much detail as possible.
If you want to, you can also do this with your eyes closed.
What would your dream birth be like? Where are you, what is your place of birth? Who is with you? What does it smell like here? What does it look like?
How do you feel? How does your body feel? What are you doing? What are others doing? What's happening around you?
What is important to you? What can't be missing?
How are you breathing? What position are you in? Are you moving? Or are you lying down? Do you have special music with you? A special scent? Are you in the bathtub or a birthing pool? What is good for you? What do you need?
You can imagine your dream birth, the journey of your birth, over and over again. In your thoughts and imagination you can change this journey until it is perfect for you.
3. dissolve resistances and fears
When you imagine your dream birth, insecurities or fears may arise in some places about whether it is really possible. Whether you can really do it.
Take these fears and resistances seriously! It is important that you deal with them. Fears are not particularly beneficial during a birth. They hinder relaxation and make it difficult to fully concentrate on yourself, which make the birth much easier. When you are anxious, you are tense and the contractions are more painful because you are unconsciously working against your body.
Try to become aware of what exactly is scaring you. This is always a sign of what you don't want and subsequently what you really want.
Through the mindfulness exercise at the beginning, you can always get in touch with yourself.
Afterwards you can think about when you have felt this fear before. In which situations? How did you deal with the fear then?
What would happen if you suddenly no longer had the fear? How would you feel? What would your birth be like? What would you think? How would you behave?
4 Learn to relax
I have just briefly described that relaxation makes birth much easier.
Now, during birth it is a completely new and somehow extreme situation, so you should not start relaxing only then. It is definitely advantageous to practice relaxation already during pregnancy.
Think about different strategies for how you can relax. Maybe breathing techniques from hypnobirthing will help you? Special imagination exercises like the opening of a flower? Does dancing relax you? Do you need a certain music or a special smell?
And now apply these gestures over and over again. Practice the breathing techniques, the imaginations, the positive phrases. With time you will notice that you can relax faster and deeper. That you become more independent from the environment you are in. That external noises or smells have less influence on your relaxation than at the beginning.
If you find it difficult to allow yourself to relax or to find a suitable strategy, please don't put yourself under pressure!
There may be inner voices within you that are preventing you from fully relaxing, from completely letting go. You can also deal with this resistance and release it.
5. practice an anchor and learn to use it
Now that you have practiced the mindfulness exercises over and over again, notice your needs and verbalize them. When you know what your dream birth will be like. When you have been able to release all fears and resistances and relax completely, no matter when or where.
Then it is time to anchor these positive feelings and thoughts in you.
To do this, you can again consciously imagine your dream birth, you can completely relax. Now think of a sign or gesture with which you associate this experience. This could be that you form a circle with your thumb and index finger, that you hold a hand to your heart or whatever seems to be appropriate for you.
It is also nice to practice an anchor together with your partner, if he is to be present at the birth. He could put his hand on your shoulder, stroke your head. See what works for you.
During the birth, you can use this anchor specifically to relax and feel the perfect birth, no matter what the situation is.
I hope you enjoyed and can use my suggestions with these 5 elements, which I often use for mental birth preparation with pregnant women in coaching. If you have any questions or need support, please feel free to contact me.
You can find more information about me and my coaching services at coaching.natalieclauss.de/.