The Mind/Body Connection


Several years ago I learned about the power of positive thinking. It's a huge focus for anyone interested in pursuing goals. One area in particular that I've learned the importance of positive thinking is in childbirth.

Our mindset plays a role in how our bodies respond to the birthing process. Unfortunately, in our society, the connection between our minds and bodies is often neglected. A woman who goes into birth with feelings of fear, negativity, and tension, might discover that her birth will be adversely affected. Contrast that with a woman who thinks of birth as a natural process that G-d has designed women to experience. The woman who thinks of birth as a natural process with faith rather than fear will have a much smoother birth with less risk of medical interventions.

I've been reading the book Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and I am fascinated by some of the stories of women's births that are featured. One case in particular described a woman who began having contractions, her cervix opened to seven centimeters, but then stopped and remained there for hours. She held on tightly to a fear of dying during childbirth. Once this fear was mentioned out loud, she relaxed, dilated to ten centimeters and had a healthy baby within two hours. Most doctors and many women today assume that there's something wrong with the woman's body when labor doesn't progress at the average rate. Perhaps women need more encouragement and support during the birth process thus avoiding unnecessary medical interventions.

One thing that I like to do is say positive affirmations to myself about the birth that I envision and use the power of visualization to make it clear in my mind. I also limit my discussions about negative birth experiences. I aim to read birth stories that are empowering as stories teach us in ways that we can remember.

How do you prepare yourself for childbirth?