Read positive birth stories.
Once upon a time ago, I didn’t understand the point of birth stories. I thought once the baby was here, the birth was more or less incidental. After all, “the only thing that matters is that you have a healthy baby,” right?
Uh, no. I take issue with that statement.
Having a healthy baby is obviously very important–but the mother’s experience of birth is far from incidental.
Birth involves both you and your baby–it’s a cooperative act between your body and his/hers.
Reading positive stories of the myriad ways in which natural childbirth unfolds will help you to internalize and generalize positive beliefs about what a natural birth might look like, and what your body is capable of.
We do NOT have a cultural lexicon of empowering birth stories. Just Google “twilight sleep” and see what horrors passed for a “good birth” in our grandmothers’ time. Or for a more recent tale, read about my own experience with birth assault.
In modern times, the “empowered woman” is depicted as a career woman, unencumbered by children or partner, working, traveling, etc. Empowerment in terms of birth and babies, breastfeeding and raising children, is almost a mutually exclusive concept to the majority standard of today–but I’m proud to be part of the vibration that’s changing that…
So, seek out joyful, positive stories of natural birth. Our voices are getting louder; you won’t have to search too far.
Of course, there’s a flipside to this one–and that’s to stay far, far away from bad birth stories! Don’t watch the typical birth shows on TV, and don’t let your friends or family harangue you about your birth plans (more on that later).
Don’t let your great aunt or your co-workers wax eloquently about “this one woman I heard of, who ended up….”
Yeah… just don’t listen.
Protect your mental state as if it were sacred (because it is!), and refuse to listen to any negative horror stories about pregnancy, birth, or babies.
There’s a line between being prepared and informed, and letting your consciousness wallow in worst-case scenarios and fearful, hopeless situations.
Stay on the right side of it. Negativity can be hard to clear away once it’s been established.