I’m going to need you to hear me out on this one. Let me explain. I am going to use an example I learned from the book Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. Picture you are with two friends (we will call them Jack and Jill) and you are playing a game. You stand on one side of the room and Jill stands about four feet in front of you and Jack stands about eight feet in front of you, both are looking at you. Jill steps to the side and holds out her arm directly in front of your path to Jack. Your goal will be to pass through Jill’s arm and make it to Jack. You will do this twice. For the first time, you will focus completely on Jill’s arm. With all your focus on Jill’s arm you will walk in a straight line through Jill’s arm to make it to Jack. Ok, now for the second time. For the second time, Jill is still going to have her arm out the same way as before, but this time your focus is going to be completely on Jack. Your goal is going to reach Jack and you keep all your focus and energy on Jack. What you will quickly learn is walking through Jill’s arm is significantly easier when your focus is on Jack instead of on Jill’s arm.
When it comes to labor and delivery and ultimately motherhood, Jill’s arm is labor and delivery and Jack is motherhood. When you focus all your attention and energy on labor and delivery, guess what? It becomes harder! People are ultra-focused on labor and delivery right now. Especially when it comes to pain management, women everywhere are studying up on how to get through labor and delivery. Learning about pain management, breathing techniques, and even hypnobirthing is important but when all the attention is on how to get through the birthing process, we can lose sight of why this all happening. Allow the education and preparation for birth be useful tools to put in your toolbox but remember the ultimate goal, which is meeting your baby.
You’ve never met your baby and some of you have never been a mother so it might be hard to envision motherhood and your baby. Start by simply practicing. Imagining holding your baby, nursing your baby, soothing your baby, and taking care of your baby will get easier with practice. Taking a newborn care class or a breastfeeding class can help you imagine life with your baby even better. You will see images of people taking care of babies and breastfeeding as well as the gain the physical skills needed to do those things. Having both the images and physical skills will enhance your ability to envision life with your baby.
When you are in labor, the pain may become overwhelming and even scare you. You will find that combining the breathing exercises and other pain management techniques along with thinking about and visualizing your baby in your arms, the labor itself will become less overwhelming.
If you do want any additional information on childbirth preparation, newborn care, or breastfeeding classes, please feel free to reach out to me, Christine Galatis, by phone at 781-727-6275 and ChristineGalatis@gmail.com.
Lots of love to you mommas!
Millman, Dan. Body Mind Mastery, Training for Life and Sport. New World Library, 1994.