If you’ve ever been to one of my Prenatal Yoga classes, you know that it’s not just about the yoga. Prenatal Yoga here is about the connection between women and mothers, and having the conversations that count leading up to birth.
We talk about postures to help prepare for birth, hormones that come into play (and how to work with them), laboring positions, how to build your birth team, preparing for the fourth trimester, and [here’s a big one] we talk about fear. We are often told to think positive about what it will be like to birth our babies, to push the negative out of ours minds. But, the reality is that unless we acknowledge our fears or anxieties, they are still there. They’re lurking underneath the surface of our smiles and deep breaths and positive affirmations.
I know because I felt this. I remember having fears and anxieties prior to our baby’s birthday. I remember talking to our midwife about what would happen if I couldn’t handle labor. And, while I thought I had done the work - talked about it, journaled, etc. - I really hadn’t. And, it came up for me during birth. I don’t want that for you.
Birth is a highly psychological process. As mothers, we need to feel SAFE and we need to feel HEARD. In many classes, I encourage our mamas to really think about what their fears as they approach their due dates. And, I encourage us to SHARE them. Why? When we share our fears, we’re not manifesting that they happen, but we are acknowledging that fear exists. When we share, we’re learning that we aren’t alone in how we feel. When we share, we might find solutions or advice that helps us to visualize a positive birth experience and outcome.
Here are some common fears I hear:
What if my baby is too big and doesn’t fit through my pelvis?
What if I can’t have the vaginal birth I want?
What if I’m in too much pain?
What if I tear?
What if my milk doesn’t come in?
What if I poop (ahem...this totally happens and at this point you probably won’t care)?
What are yours? Thinking about fear may be completely contrary to what you’ve read and heard in the past - i.e. push all negative talk from your mind, only think positive. I disagree. Yoga is about acknowledging fear and accepting where we’re at, and then choosing to go down a different path or embody a different feeling. It’s recognizing that we are limitless and stronger than we even realize. So today, please write down your fears about birthing your baby. Then, share them with your partner, doula, mother, sister. Talk about what were to happen if these fears were realized. And, from here, choose a new positive story. Visualize what it will be like to meet your baby. Invite an affirmation like - I am stronger than I know or Birth works - into your mind. And, know that you are never alone.
What is your greatest fear about birthing your baby? Have you tried yoga or meditation to cope? I would truly love to hear from you.
P.S. I’d like to share some of my favorite Instagram handles, too, that helped me move past some fears. Please check out @empoweredbirthproject , @birthwithoutfear , @birthkweens. I'm not affiliated in any way, but I love these feeds! AND, maybe you want to give my new Instagram page some love, too? I’ll see you over at @yogadearmama.
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I share encouraging, informative, and down to earth messages, each with a healthy dose of humor and honesty. Basically, the kind of thing I'd want to read during pregnancy and later postpartum...because gosh motherhood is confusing. When you subscribe, you'll receive my messages on What I wish I would've known before baby & a quick guide on the Yoga poses to avoid during pregnancy.