I am always amazed at how effectively the mind can control sensations in the body, even our perceptions of pain. If we can get in touch with this part of ourselves, we can let go of unwanted fears and thoughts, and create a positive and expansive self ready to achieve the best possible birth.
Let’s find out how you can create a positive picture in your mind that will help you move more easily through the different stages of labour.
We’ll start off with a little exercise to demonstrate how the mind works:
- Close your eyes and imagine yourself in your kitchen; look around and enjoy being in your kitchen.
- On the table there is a chopping board, and on the chopping board there is a beautiful lemon. It’s a vivid yellow.
- Pick the lemon up, feel its weight, the texture of its skin, and notice its fresh smell.
- There’s a knife next to the chopping board. Cut the lemon in half and see the juice running across the board. Smell the fresh smell.
- Now quickly pick up a piece, bring it up to your nose, and then take a big bite out of it — what a sensation in your mouth! Taste the sharp taste of the juice on your tongue.
Now open your eyes: there was no kitchen, no lemon, and yet you experienced all the sensations as if you had really cut into and eaten a lemon.
Now you know how to harness your imagination we are going to use it to create a positive picture of giving birth. But for this to be successful, you will need three things that you would need to achieve any goal:
- You must want to achieve it.
- You must know how to achieve it.
- You must allow yourself to achieve it.
Birth: the movie
Your mind is like a library, a video store and a museum all rolled into one, and you can fill it with good things that will help you to realise your wishes. First control your breathing to gain a state of calmness. Then, begin to fill your mind with inspiring images of the birth to come.
- Picture a big screen; if a negative thought comes along, imagine a big ‘stop’ sign coming along to obliterate it.
- Imagine something positive like love or happiness spreading across the screen, contained in a really vivid colour; ‘see’ it at least three times.
- Now watch the ‘positive’ footage of yourself as you relax deeply into each contraction; feeling soft and open as the birth progresses.
- You could even picture your surprised face when you realise the baby has slipped into the world almost unnoticed; you look up at the clock in amazement.
- See yourself as you pick up your baby for the very first time and gaze into its eyes – make the picture as vivid and defined as you can.
- Enjoy the feeling, and let it become bigger and stronger, moving through your body and filling up your mind. Believe that you can do it.
Indulge in this positive daydreaming whenever you can!