There is a fascinating saying, “women often labour in the same way that they live.”
How do you respond to challenges or crisis? Birth is a natural event that stretches us to our limits, not a problem that needs fixing. However, many of us have been conditioned otherwise and our body’s stress response may be instinctively activated. This is especially true when we are fearful or feeling unsafe.
It all goes back to our beliefs. For example, no amount of encouragement during labour can help a woman who does not believe at her core that she is able to give birth normally and she does not require any drugs or anaesthesia to do so.
Some women believe things happen to them and they are powerless to do anything, (not an empowering mindset for life or birthing!) while others take control.
Victims may want to be rescued: “Henry – do something!” (sound familiar? Just insert different name) The partner often feels helpless, unable to take away the pain and reacts by lashing out at staff or demanding pain relief to take her “suffering” away. Yet he would be far more helpful in just staying with the process, encouraging his partner to relax, welcoming each contraction (or wave/ surge) and simply loving the woman throughout the entire birth.
Being fixed or rescued is not empowering but through love and support, the woman can find the inner resources to actively birth her baby herself- the greatest gift that can transform her forever.
A study by Peterson and Mehl showed we are 95% predictable creatures, displaying signs that lead to a smooth normal birth vs having complications.
Warning signs included passivity, dependence, limiting beliefs, self image of weakness, relationship conflict, carrying an unwanted child and unresolved fears.
Normal births followed being active, self reliant, ability to accept support from others, loving relationships, self image of strength, a wanted child, internal control of own life and resolved fears prior to birth.
We all run patterns in our lives; it’s just a matter of becoming conscious to them before they show up as complications. We have the power of choice!
How you respond to labour will have a large impact on how well labour progresses and the amount of pain or discomfort you feel.
Preparing for a natural birth doesn’t guarantee you will labour without medication or complications, but not preparing almost always guarantees you will.
Each woman must look inside and be as honest with herself as possible. From that place she is able to recognise patterns, work through her fears and make conscious birth choices. So go forth and co-create your own adventure!