With the awareness of natural birth and its benefits spreading across the globe, more and more women are also turning to natural remedies for pregnancy symptoms. From chiropractic adjustments to herbal tinctures and teas, natural relief for physical ailments in pregnancy is now readily utilized. As the world-wide consciousness shifts, so does the awareness of emotion.
Emotional blockages can to more difficult pregnancies and labors, as evidenced in the FEAR-TENSION-PAIN cycle, where an emotion (fear) causes the body to react (tension and pain).
Midwives everywhere can attest to instances where emotional anxiety and stress in the mother led to a difficult delivery, with outcomes varying from simply having a long, drawn-out labor to an emergency c-section. This isn’t to say that all less-than-ideal outcomes are caused by emotions or beliefs, but there is significant evidence being built in the science and birth communities that high levels of negative emotion or belief has a great impact on our bodies’ abilities to perform optimally.
I was first introduced to the Hypnobabies childbirth method when pregnant with my first baby five years ago. I attended a 6 week course with my husband to learn how to relax myself into a state of self-hypnosis, hoping the delivery of my baby would be fear and pain free. Hypnobabies did a lot for me back then, and has continued to help me through each birth and even real-life situations (dentist, anyone?), the biggest benefit being a sense of absolute confidence and peace regarding pregnancy and birth.
In this post, I'll tell you a little bit about what Hypnobabies is, how it works, and the benefits you may see if you choose to use it.
Just about every woman has them or will get them at some point in pregnancy. During pregnancy they can appear on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and buttocks. Whether it's genetics or skin health that causes them, no one is quite sure. And although some women take them as their "badge of honor" and have a very positive view of their bodies postpartum, most women would rather not have them. There are about a million and one different supposed remedies for stretch marks available on the market today - from DIY "natural" creams and lotions, to essential oils, to expensive serums and pricey potions.
All claim to work, but do they really get rid of the "tiger stripes"?
There's a myth, or rather a mindset, being perpetuated heavily in our birth culture, that you have to "do" things to make labor happen. That it won't just happen on its own.
Women say things like, "I never went into labor on my own, so at 41 weeks I was induced."
"Baby's head wasn't engaged by 39 weeks, so doctor induced me."
"I have ZERO signs of labor! What can I do to make my body do what it's supposed to?" (said at 38 weeks).
The mindset is a belief that if we don't DO something, or if our bodies aren't matching the expectation and experience of ourselves, our doctors, our mother-in-laws or other family, or that one blog we read, then it's "broken", "not working", and "needs to be fixed".
Here's the truth.
Your body is WORKING PERFECTLY if you're dilated to one centimeter at 41 weeks pregnant.
This happened with my firstborn. I was dilated to one centimeter until FOUR HOURS BEFORE HE WAS BORN. FOUR HOURS - that's how fast my body changed!
Your body is WORKING PERFECTLY if you are dilated to a four or five towards full term and still aren't in labor.
A woman I know was dilated to a SIX with her third baby for SEVERAL WEEKS before labor started.
Your body is WORKING PERFECTLY if you have contractions on again, off again, painful and regular, every day or every other day for a couple weeks with very little change in dilation or outward progression.
Often times this is called "prodromal labor" or "false labor". Baby's position, your body's alignment and readiness, the hormone receptors in your body, your stress levels, your nutrition, etc. can ALL play a part in the incredible dance of labor.
I get it. You're exhausted. You're excited. You've waited nearly nine months for this baby to come, and you are READY, dang it. As someone who has personally waited as long as 42 weeks + 3 days for one of her babies to choose her birthday, I GET IT.
But so does your midwife when they say WAIT. And often accompanied with that WAIT is the much-needed, rarely-honored advice to REST.
Why is it so important to rest? Why SHOULDN'T we bounce on the ball, drink castor oil, try that herbal remedy and this farmwives' tale, eat pineapple and spicy food until our tongues and tummies burn?
Well, mostly because all of those suggestions done together will exhaust your body and give you bad digestion or even diarrhea. So if you are successful in starting labor, you'll be so worn out you may not be able to run the final marathon!