6 Empowering Truths Worth Knowing in Pregnancy
An Aligned Motherhood begins with an Empowered Birth. Here are 6 truths worth knowing if you are aiming for an empowered birthing experience and a beautiful start to your motherhood journey
Truth #1 Your birth experience matters
I remember with my first and second babies, my attitude to birth was “It’s just something horrible I have to go through to get my baby. It’ll be over in 24 hours”. I did not consider the long term effects on me or my baby.
I want you to know that your birth experience does matter. You and your baby are the only ones who are going to live with the consequences. Click here to read my blog about the affect of birth shock on mother & baby
Truth #2 Giving Birth is a normal, natural, physiological process
I saw birth as a medical procedure. I actually thought it had very little to do with me- I just had to show up and let the medical staff do their thing. I completely abdicated any responsibility.
I didn’t consider how birth is a physiological process like breathing or digesting. I never realised that we are perfectly designed to give birth without intervention.
The miracle of childbirth truly went over my head.
But when you consider how the female body grows and nourishes an unborn human, releases hormones that prepare you for birth, initiates labour, birth your baby, and then starts the healing process, and creates nourishment for your new baby through breastmilk, all on its own………it’s a wonder we’re not in total awe of the incredible miracle that we are part of!
We were meant to give birth to our children, and you can trust your body to do it the way it was designed to.
Truth #3 You can have a beautiful, transformative, peaceful, and calm birth experience
The other day I watched a children’s movie with my 5 year old. It was released in 2022 and yet the birth scene in the movie was one of screaming agony. When we’re told repeatedly that this is ‘normal’, it can be hard to accept that there is a better way.
But this is not normal and not necessary.
An empowered birth doesn’t always have to mean a natural, homebirth. You can have an empowered hospital birth, with drugs or surgery.
Indeed with my third pregnancy I had planned a gentle waterbirth at home. I had even met my midwives! But when my baby was diagnosed with a congenital heart block my plans changed.
I had a beautiful gentle c-section instead. I asked to meet the medical staff who would be involved. I asked to be told at all times what was happening. I asked to see my baby being born and to hold my baby straight away. And even though my baby had to be taken to the children’s hospital soon after birth, I got to breastfeed before he left. All because I asked. I felt safe and calm at all times
Wherever you are you can take charge of your birthing environment. With dimmed lights, calm music and your favourite essential oils you can create an experience that helps you to feel safe, secure, and calm. With knowledge of medical interventions you can choose what to do, instead being told what to do. This will have a massive impact on your birth story afterwards.
For example saying “I chose to be induced” feels much more empowered than saying “I had to be induced”.
I was supported by a Gentlebirth practitioner and the Gentlebirth App in creating my beautiful birth experience. I highly recommend this for any mum to be. Click here to learn more about Gentlebirth
Truth #4 Never forget that you are in charge of your birth
If you want to have a drug free homebirth and you know all the risks and benefits? Go for it! But equally if you want an induction or elective c- section, and know all the risks and benefits? Do it!! Your birth is one of the most important experiences in your life that you will likely remember forever! Do your research. Make sure it is evidence based. And then make your decision.
Also be aware that you can also change your mind at any time before your baby’s birth
Truth #5 No amount of experience, degrees, or medical knowledge will ever trump your free will and intuition
If we want to let the body do what it’s designed to do, we need to follow the guidance. We need to listen to our bodies. We need to tune in and trust. This is how we know when to move, when to rest, when to breathe with a contraction and when to push and help your baby gently on his way. We don’t need someone telling us when we are fully dilated , when to lie down, when to push.
Did you know that when providers ask that you push on your back it’s because it’s easier for them to see what’s happening, not easier for you? You can decline a position change being suggested by your doctor or nurse. But to have the confidence to this you need to practice connecting with your intuition long before due day. This is a skill that make motherhood so much easier going forward. Click here to learn more about Mother’s Intuition
Truth #6 You can hire a doula to support you in birth and post partum
I believe an empowered birth experience comes from feeling in control of your experience and from receiving the right support. Through education and planning you can begin to feel in control. You can even plan for how you’ll respond if things don’t go according to plan.
You can do this on your own, or with your partner, but imagine having the support of someone who knows the power of a positive birth, who believes in our human bodies ability to birth, who can guide you in creating the right environment, in looking at research and that can help you make empowered choices. Someone who can speak up for you if you’re able.
A doula is a professional, non-medical companion trained in the needs of the family. They provide clients with continuous support during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period. You can learn more about hiring a doula in Ireland here. I personally believe it could be the best money you’ve ever spent.
Finally I just want to say that if you are already a mum and did not experience an empowered birth, please don’t be hard on yourself. It took me to baby number 3 to connect with my power. We’re all learning on the job!
If you feel like you would benefit from healing your birth trauma I can help. Click here to learn more about the healing I offer