Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The hypnobirthing classes I attended spent a good deal of time talking about the importance of the terms used throughout labor.  Our understanding of different words translates directly to our bodies; who doesn't get tense when they hear the word "contraction"?  So much of our language is communicated through our bodies.  Likewise, much of our language is absorbed through our bodies.  Here are a few different word choices you might chose (or at least think about) during labor:
  • Contraction = Surge.  Some call it a wave.  It ebbs and flows, and if you can release and let your uterus do what it was designed to do instead of tensing up (as "contract" suggests) your birth will be much smoother.
  • Birth Coach = Birth Companion.  Usually shouting sports-like encouragement is not very helpful, especially if it is coming from one who doesn't have much experience with it.  You should go through birth together, as companions; seperate individuals and a unified partnership.
  • Delivered = Birthed.  No one is delivering you, or the baby.  You are giving birth to that child.  Your body is bringing that tiny human being into the world.
  • Bear Down = Breathe Down.  In those final, emotional moments of labor, it is essential to be able to keep yourself open.  "Breathing" down down suggests a more relaxed approach, giving the baby more oxygen, keep the pelvic floor flexible, and giving the body time to adjust.  "Bearing" down brings to mind the capillary-bursting, oxygen-depriving method of holding your breath for ten straight seconds.
  • Birth Plan = Birth Preferences.  No birth ever goes according to plan.  The more you can let go and let your body take its course, the more successful you will be.  That does not mean, however, that you should not do your own research and let the staff assisting you know what your ideal birth would look like. 
The fact is that some women do not have pain during birth.  Most of us do; we are conditioned to fear it, our bodies are generally weak, and we do not believe in our own abilities.  Whether we chose to remedy those stumbling blocks or use medication, think positively.  Keep a positive atmosphere in the room.  You and your baby are emotionally and chemically effected by your surroundings.

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