What is the first thing you think of when you think of childbirth? Sacred, Natural, Blissful and Orgasmic full of love and orgasms? Or do you feel your body tighten as you think of tension, contraction, pain, and feel a sense of fear come over you? If you said the latter, you are in good company as that is what we have been told again and again about childbirth- that women’s bodies don’t work!
What were the first stories that you heard about birth? Do you know your birth story? What was your own birth like? There are so many influences that shape our beliefs about birth and our bodies. I love to ask women what they were told as young girls about their bodies and childbirth. What did you call your breasts, your vagina, and your uterus? Were you told that your body was beautiful, magnificent and amazing? Were you celebrated when you had your first period?
For many of us, we grew up in a time when women’s bodies have often been shrouded in shame or seen as some type of dysfunctional machine and a feeling of “let’s not talk about menstruation and certainly not celebrate it.” It is possible to change these thoughts and beliefs but first we must look at where our beliefs came from and be willing to look at them in new ways, or sometimes old ways where women’s bodies and childbirth were considered sacred and powerful!
I am reading Eve Agee, PhD book “The Uterine Health Companion.” As a medical anthropologist she looks at how some traditional cultures have appreciated the feminine body. “Instead of dreading their menses, early humans cherished the uterus and women’s cycle of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and menopause. The uterus was considered sacred in much of early Africa, Asia, Native America, and Europe. Many prehistoric societies celebrated the uterus as the body center of female power and creativity.” How did we get to where we are today where in most Western cultures we have the drugs and means to stop our bodies from menstruating, stopping it from its natural cycle, and disconnecting us from our moon cycle of fertility?
I am sure you have heard of the placebo effect. The placebo effect is an example of the mind-body connection and the understanding that what the mind sees the body feels. With all that we’re learning about mind-body medicine we must question what the effect is on women (and I would add on babies, men and families) when we don’t value and celebrate women’s bodies and their life-giving ability?
I love the saying “we birth the way we live!” I believe that all we’ve been told about our bodies sets the foundation for how we feel about childbirth, such as: if we had to hide our menstrual cycles, if we feel ashamed about our bodies, if we don’t believe our bodies are sacred, natural and pleasurable. These negative beliefs make it challenging to move into our power and see childbirth as a healthy part of our sexuality. That is why childbirth is a wonderful opportunity to tap into our bodies’ amazing abilities and energy at its peak, feeling our power, facing the challenge, and knowing that the body that grew the baby can birth the baby. It’s your body, it’s your baby, it’s your birth! It is time to reclaim the sacred feminine and celebrate each phase of our body’s cycle of life.
To find pleasure in childbirth
- Begin by taking an inventory of the messages you have been given about your body and birth. Strengthen the messages and intentions you hold about your body.
- Create a new language for birth that includes words and phrases that encourage opening, pleasure, release, bliss and sacredness such as; riding the waves, releasing into the sensations, opening, hugging your baby into the world. Create your list of words that will redefine how you feel about your body and birth.
- Explore the ways that you can stimulate pleasurable sensations in your body. When you feel pleasure, you flood your body with oxytocin; the hormone of love, and endorphins, that produce a feeling of well-being- together they will help you create a safe, satisfying birth, and enhance sensations of pleasure. Find time to connect with your sensuality and create a list of ways you can bring these feelings into childbirth.
- Three key elements for birth are being where you feel safe, private and undisturbed. What do these words mean to you? Where and with whom can you give birth and meet these three essential criteria?
- Even with all the above birth can be challenging. How have you worked through challenges in your life? Create a list of techniques and strategies that you can use if you have challenging moments in birth and life.
Please share your tips, strategies and birth stories with us at http://www.debrapascalibonaro.com/share-your-birth-story/