Trusting Our Birthing Power
Hello and welcome. Do you trust that your body is able to give birth?
What happens if you believe that your body isn’t physically able to give birth? How have our mothers’ and grandmothers’ beliefs affected our own beliefs about if we can give birth?
I’m Tricia Murray and welcome to the Birth and Baby Academy. How are you feeling about your birth? Are you feeling prepared and ready? Or are you like the vast majority of women who are feeling anxious and worried, and possibly don’t feel any belief in themselves, that they can give birth.
Well, it doesn’t need to be like that. I know that because I’ve worked with hundreds of women over the years in groups and one to one, pre-birth, post-birth and during birth so that they are able to prepare for their birth with confidence and believe that they are able to give birth with ease.
At the end of this, I’d like you to go to download the Resources Bundle (where the Fear Release Exercise is included) , which is an MP3 for you to do with your partner to release any negative beliefs that you may have around giving birth.
The Wrong Body Shape for Birth
I have worked with clients for the past few years around giving birth and recently I got a call from a woman who had approached me to support her through her second pregnancy, labour and birth. Obviously, this woman was really traumatised by this experience, and I wasn’t surprised when I heard what had happened.
One of the things that came out when I started working with this woman was that she had this really deep belief that her body was the wrong shape to give birth. When we were working, what became quite clear was that she believed that because her Mum had had to have had three caesareans and both of her sisters had had caesareans, that she couldn’t give birth without a doctor or without some sort of surgical intervention, because obviously, she was the was the wrong shape.
Releasing Those Fears
So, we worked together using a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique, which is sometimes referred to as EFT or tapping. It’s a therapy that you can use to release fears and it’s really powerful and effective.
We did two sessions of EFT together and this belief that her body couldn’t give birth was so deep, and I know it was so deep because it presented its self really deep in her stomach, leading to deep nausea and the feeling that she needed to expel this from her body. It was a really powerful session.
About a month after this session, we went into the hospital after a day of on and off contractions, and she had this beautiful two-hour labour, giving birth to a gorgeous baby girl. Not only that, but she had an amazing postnatal recovery and a bond with her baby that she hadn’t felt the first time round.
Too Small for Birth
Now, I see women like her all of the time. I had another client in the clinic a couple of weeks ago (Paulina) and she had this belief that her pelvis was too small to give birth because that is what her mother had told her for all of these years. She had said, “You’re really tiny, just like your Gran, so I don’t think that you would be able to give birth”. Low and behold, she needed to have a caesarian birth because the baby couldn’t descend into her pelvis.
How Small is Too Small?
This is one of the crazy things that I hear all of the time and you might not believe this, but I get emails from women even before they’ve fallen pregnant or even tried to have a baby, asking me whether because they have a small pelvis and whether they will be able to give birth, as though there’s a definition of what a small pelvis is and that we create babies that we are unable to birth.
Self Fulfilling Prophecies
These beliefs are so crucial in our experiences of pregnancy, labour and birth because if we don’t work through these beliefs, they start to become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe that your body can’t give birth because your pelvis isn’t big enough, what happens during labour is that you tense up, you don’t open and you don’t release because as far as you’re concerned, this pelvis is too small to give birth to a baby. In the vast majority of cases, it’s absolute rubbish. It’s the mind/body connection, which has helped that to happen, rather than there being a physical issue with your body.
Inheriting Birth Trauma
We also have to remember that we are the daughters and granddaughters of mothers and grandmothers who have been traumatised by the system. They were the first ones who ended up going to the hospital in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and some of them the 80’s, where all of the medical technology came into being and where birth moved from the home into the hospital. They were of a time when it was just not talked about how difficult their births had been. Due to this, they still have that trauma within them and that trauma has come down to us through their stories and through things that have happened.
There might have been times when their pelvises were too small, especially with our grandmothers who might have been a result of the war when there was poor nutrition and that might have had an impact on how their bodies were formed, but really, in modern day times, that is something that is so rare and really does not happen.
The Fear of Hospitals
One of the beliefs that we have is that birth is dangerous and that is partly because we give birth in a hospital. So, normally when we think about a hospital, we think about sickness and death and birth is one of the only times when you would go to a hospital for a positive experience, which is obviously the birth of your beautiful baby.
Birth Has Never Been Safer
We have to really start to counter that birth is dangerous because birth had never been as safe as it is right now. It is vital that we work through these beliefs. In fact, we know that birth has never been so safe and that birth doesn’t always necessarily need to be in hospitals, because recent studies such as The Birth Place Study, which was completed by the University of Oxford, actually demonstrated that birth at home and birth at midwife lead units for low-risk women were actually the safest place for women to give birth. So, women don’t need hospitals and women don’t necessarily need consulting care.
Fear Release Visualisation
The great news is that we can work through these beliefs. There are lots of different tools and techniques that you can use. When I work one on one with clients, I use EFT, which I spoke about earlier, but I invite you now to go to download the Resources Bundle (where the Fear Release Exercise is included) which is an MP3 that you can use to help you start working through any of those negative beliefs that you have. I invite you to do it with your partner so that they can work through any beliefs that they may have around birth so that you can clear those so that you can start building up a positive mindset so that you can get into the right place to experience the birth that you want to have.
Having a positive birth doesn’t come from an action, it comes from everyday commitment. So what are you going to commit to today? It’s time for you to relax deeply and learn wisely and have a better birth experience.