Preparing your mind for birth is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do to have a wonderful birth experience. Our minds are incredibly powerful and the thoughts we think have a physical affect on the rest of our body.
We see this in daily life all the time.
If you imagine that you are eating a lemon, that THOUGHT ALONE will cause your mouth to start salivating.
If you’re worried about something, those THOUGHTS can cause a tension headache or a “knot” in your stomach.
If I think about my newborn baby when I’m out running errands, that THOUGHT triggers my milk letdown and I’m suddenly dripping milk all over the grocery aisle floor.
Our minds and our thoughts release hormones and chemicals in our bodies all day long – whether good or bad. And this is SO TRUE during birth! Your mental state and the thoughts you think during birth will greatly affect the length, ease and comfort of your labor.
If you are worried or fearful about anything, that will produce stress hormones that will slow labor, cause you tense, and make everything much more painful.
On the other hand, if your mind is peaceful, joyful, and trusting, it will produce oxytocin and endorphins that will speed up labor, give you those lovely, euphoric feelings and make labor much more comfortable and enjoyable.
Watch the video above (or read below) to find out what you can do NOW to prepare your mind to be your ally during birth instead of your enemy:
Practice being in the moment.
It’s really important during birth to fully be in the moment and fully present to what your body is doing. If you’re not fully present and your thoughts are wandering to the nursery at home that isn’t set up yet, or “what-ifs” about the delivery, it will slow your labor. You need every part of you fully engaged in the birth of your baby – and this includes your mind!
Often if labor is stalling, it’s because the mom is thinking about something that she needs to get off her chest or let go of. Once she does, babies are often born surprising quickly. SO, practice now. Take moments throughout the day to practice letting go of worries, the endless to-do-list in your head, and any other issues that tend to occupy your thoughts. Practice being fully present in the moment and just being present to God, your baby, your body, and the miracle of life growing inside of you. Practicing this now will help you do this easily and quickly during labor ☺.
Worry with God.
Fear is about the worse thing possible for your body and your baby during birth. Fear causes you to tense up, making the contractions more painful and very unproductive. And fear can also cause you to make decisions that aren’t really best for you and your baby. Fear blocks all the good hormones God designed your body to release during birth that make labor enjoyable and comfortable. SO, we need some good tools to tackle fear and get free from it. My favorite way to do this is to play the game ‘Worrying with God.’ Click here to read my blog on how to play this fun and liberating game! It will greatly enhance your birth experience.
Renew your mind through Scriptures and Birth Declarations.
It’s really important that we think like God thinks as we approach the topic of birth and that we understand birth from a Kingdom perspective. If we just listen to what the world says about birth, we’ll be convinced that it’s a painful, scary experience that you either have to suffer through or get an epidural to avoid.
But the Bible says that birth is a beautiful gift and blessing that God gave to us as women – a gift to be enjoyed. And that He will empower us and equip us with everything we need to birth our babies well and in his joy and presence.
One great way to start renewing your mind and to think about birth differently is to soak in the scriptures. I really encourage people who take my class to listen to scriptures as they fall asleep at night so that the Word is able to wash over their mind. I provide a soaking track of scriptures on my labor prep cd, but even if you don’t take my class, you can make your own list of scriptures that speak truth about God’s heart, nature, and promises to you for your birth.
I also encourage you to make a list of “Birth Declarations” that you can speak out loud during the days to help renew your mind. I provide a bunch of these in my class, but you can also write your own. Just write out statements that you know to be true about birth and God and his promises to you. For example, one of mine is “The process of giving birth is a gift and a blessing from a good God! This is better than Christmas!”
Let go of control.
As you near your due date, it’s really important to let go of control and surrender the whole thing to Jesus. It’s so easy to want to control our birth stories, but birth is one of those things that you just can’t control. You can plan and prepare, but ultimately, you can’t control your experience.
The best thing you can do during labor is to let go of control. Surrender it all to Jesus and let him take control and lead you and your body.
Prepare for birth mentally by letting go of control and choosing to enter your birth open and expectant. And then don’t over-think things during labor. One of the best things to help labor progress quickly is to turn your thinking mind off. Turn your thoughts off and let your body and Jesus take over. Just be in your body. It’s usually when a mom stops talking and thinking so much and I can tell she’s just fully in her birth zone, that I know, ok, NOW we’re going to have a baby soon!
It’s really important during pregnancy to learn about the labor process and how to partner with the way God designed your body to work. Read books! Take a childbirth class!
I highly recommend taking my Kingdom birth class so that you learn about all the details of birth through a Kingdom perspective. You learn how God designed labor to work and how you can partner with His beautiful design.
The more knowledge you have about the birth process, the more calm your mind will be on that day. Instead of worrying, “Is this normal?” or “What’s happening now?,” you will understand what is happening in your body and feel confident to know how to work with it. I’ve heard too many negative birth experiences that were really only negative because the couple didn’t educate themselves on the labor process ahead of time and then became fearful during birth because they weren’t sure if what was happening was normal or not. They then made decisions out of fear instead of wisdom and their birth experience went downhill. Don’t let that be your story. Prepare your mind by LEARNING about God’s beautiful design for birth!
So those are my top 5 ways to prepare your MIND for birth! Do them and your mind is going to be in a great place to birth your baby in joy and peace! You can do it Mama! I’m excited for you!
Stay tuned for my next entry coming up on the Top 5 ways to prepare your SPIRIT for an amazing birth experience! Make sure that you are subscribed below so you won’t miss it when it comes out. =)
Bless you! I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.