Labor can be intimidating for many pregnant mommas, especially with all of the stories many moms are faced with when it comes to birthing experiences. There is also a lot of negative talk surrounding birth. Moms are constantly faced with stories about the pain of childbirth. It can be very easy to let fear set it. For first-time moms, fearing the unknown can also make things stressful. However, there are so many ways you can prepare your mind and body to have the birthing experience you want! Being completely present and mindful can be extremely helpful as you power through labor one contraction at a time. Being mindful may also help change the way you think about labor, making each contraction a little more bearable.
What is Mindfulness?
Before we jump into these mindfulness techniques, let’s look at what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is being in the present moment with full acceptance. It’s about being aware without any judgment.
3 Mindfulness Techniques to Prepare for Labor
Let’s look at three mindfulness techniques you can use to prepare for labor.
1. Be Mindful of the Language You Use
Leading up to your little one’s big debut and throughout labor and delivery, be mindful of your language. Notice what you are saying. Are you telling yourself you can’t push through the contractions, or are you giving yourself lots of love through birth affirmations and pep talks? Notice how you talk about labor and realize you have complete control over how you speak to yourself throughout the labor process. If you find yourself reverting to the “I can’t do this anymore” language, be mindful of that and turn your words into “each contraction brings me that much closer to my baby.”
2. Pay Attention to Your Breath
This is super important during labor and delivery, and you can start practicing while pregnant. Whenever you feel challenged, be mindful of your breath. Look at how you are breathing. Could you take some long and deep, calming breaths? Being mindful of how you breathe when you feel challenged can be incredibly helpful when experiencing a contraction during labor. Being as calm and present as possible will only help labor contractions progress, getting you one step closer to your bundle of joy.
3. Use Mindfulness to Help with Pain
When experiencing pain during labor and delivery, return to your breath and bring mindfulness to the moment. Acknowledge the pain, but tell yourself it’s a positive pain to help you have your baby. Acknowledge the pain for what it is instead of focusing on how badly it hurts. When you start to focus on how badly it hurts, you can quickly spike your anxiety and negative self-talk, which may ultimately stall labor. Instead, try to welcome these contractions and know that your body was designed to do this! Welcoming them and breathing through them with mindfulness can help you better cope with the pain instead of fighting each one. It will also help your body relax and thus help you conserve much-needed energy.
Mindfulness for Labor and Delivery
Always come back to your breath whenever you feel fatigued, distracted, or discouraged during labor and delivery. This will help you re-center yourself and get back to where you need to be to reach your end goal, which is holding that beautiful baby you have been waiting to meet! The more mindful you are, the better your mind and body will feel throughout each contraction.