Believing in yourself. Of all the things in pregnancy and birth that are out of your control, your belief in yourself IS within your control. Cherish this belief, feed it, nourish it, fan the flames… and protect it at all costs. Create in your own mind how your labor and birth will proceed, each step, each process and phase. Talk to the growing life within you and convey your ease and belief in the natural ability of the body to gently birth. Protecting this belief is within your control also:
Choose your provider wisely. If you have to convince your provider of any of your desires for a natural birth, consider finding one already in sync with your ideology.
Avoid horror stories. Everyone loves to tell the story of the traumatic days long birth that ended up with every intervention in the medical books and a surgical birth. There is a time to listen and give your input–this is not the time. Remember that their birth is not your birth. Your last birth is not this current birth. Turn off the TV and media driven portrayal of birth.
Surround yourself with positivity. Birth affirmations, natural and holistic circles or communities, beautiful videos on YouTube of homebirths and VBAC’s, messages from the pioneers of taking birth back (Gloria Lemay, Ina May Gaskins, Polly Perez and more) as well as people in your own community (doulas, midwives, natural childbirth instructors). Create a vision board of belief in yourself. We believe in you–you can, too!
Celebrate your pregnancy. Some of the discomforts in pregnancy can make us forget the amazing blessing it is to carry life within us, to feel those kicks and flutters, to watch our bodies grow and change. We do not need to tell our body to increase fluid volume, or on what day to begin cervical dilation or effacement, but we can celebrate the journey.
Commit. Commit to a healthy lifestyle. Commit to spending time and honoring yourself and your family and new baby by nurturing your positivity. Commit to the birth you desire.