Bless your blooming body…

image

As your body blossoms and you bloom into labour, remember that the astonishing arrangement of oxytocin-adrenaline-endorpin release is like a delicate flower, for full effect let it open in its own time. Your own endorphins are 20 times more powerful than morphine. Give them a little time, release your fear and feel them flow as your blooming beauty brings forth your baby

Advertisements

Overheard…

“…yeah, just ask for an epidural and all the drugs…………………I’m sure then it’ll be fine….”

I was standing in the queue at the parcel collection office, two women in their early 20s were chatting, and I overheard this snippet.  It made me think.  I know many women are fearful of labour and childbirth.  What I question is why so many are fearful of a natural process, a beautiful journey that sees the interplay between mother and baby unfold so powerfully that it results in the birth of a new soul and the emergence of a mother.  And yet, they are not fearful of accepting synthetic painkillers and accept epidurals without asking the risks involved.  Many women ask for epidural in the belief it will make childbirth easier.  What they are not told is that it can inhibit their production of oxytocin, which can both reduce the effectiveness of uterine contractions, therefore making labour longer (and therefore inevitably harder) and also reducing it to such a level that the intended, natural peak of its release at birth is not sufficient to trigger that moment of all-consuming love…

This is what women should be afraid of, that their reliance on medical pain relief will affect their ability to labour and to birth their babies, and subsequently may inhibit their motherly instincts for a time.  It is essential that women also come to understand that several types of analgesics (pain medications) are associated with more crying, less breast-seeking behaviours and less sucking (ie inhibition of breastfeeding) and that babies may be less alerd, less able to orient themselves and have less organised movements than babies whose mothers did not receive medication in labour, and that these differences were measurable for the whole first month after birth (The Breastfeeding Answer Book, La Leche League International, Third Revised Edition 2003, Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC & Julie Stock, MA, IBCLC).

Women are afraid of the great unknown of labour & birth that has been the norm of human existence for thousands of years, and yet perfectly prepared to accept medical intervention that has existed for mere decades.

It is time that we encouraged all mothers to know what medical interventions mean – not simply how they may *benefit* the mother, but how they may affect her in other ways, how they may impede her natural ability to birth her baby, how they may mean her baby is born sleepy and less able to breastfeed effectively, how they may impact her health in the long term.

Until we ensure that women are presented with the risks as well as the *benefits* of intervention, there is no such thing as freedom in birth, no such thing as informed choice for pregnant, labouring, birthing women.

Don’t be afraid of what we know – that women have survived & even relished labour and childbirth for millennia.  Be afraid of what you don’t know when offered drugs that will make it *easier*.

Want to find out more – these are some good places to start…

www.aims.org.uk

www.thebirthiwant.org.uk

Want to see a good birth, a beautiful birth, what it really looks like? Check out this amazing film (only about 5 mins) and then have a good look around the rest of the site too ❤

www.documentingdelight.com

from http://www.documentingdelight.com – Madelaine’s Birth

Of stones & bones

Hagstones hold such fascination for me. Stones hewn smooth by rolling waves…holes and channels worn by micromovements…the smallest grain of sand can create its free passage through given waves and time…

Water through stones…Babies through bones…the everday ordinary miracles brought into being by waves and time…

Give a birthing woman time and her body’s waves will do the rest…

Let her breathe…feel her breath ebb & flow…let her move…feel the rolling of her hips, her spine…let her vocalise…feel her true voice flow with the building energies…let her rest…feel the quiet power of deep currents beneath her calm surface…

Breathe your baby into your arms

Breathe.  Inhale…Exhale…find the small pauses at the end of your out breath, just before the breath returns to your body and again just before you let go of the breath.  Find the stillness of your breath, and as you notice those small pauses, those brief stillnesses, feel yourself connecting to your breath.

Birth stone created for a friend
expecting her first baby

The more you connect to your breath, the calmer you feel…

Really?  Yes.  Mindful of your inhalation, mindful of your exhalation.  Mindful of the pauses as the outward breath ends, as the inward breath is at its deepest point.  Mindful.  The breath loves to be watched, witnessed.  It luxuriates in our attention, revels in our awareness.  The breath slows down.  It rejoices in moving more deeply in our bodies, taking us on a mindful journey from the warm air in our nostrils to the expansiveness deep in our bellies.  The breath coaxes our heart into languid rhythm, slowing our heart rate as breath & heart unite in an opportunity to take life at a slower pace.  The heart rate slows.  Blood pressure follows suit, slower, less hurried, less…

Breathe.  Inhale…Exhale.  You have all the time in the world.

Connect to your breath.  Let it connect you to your body.

Warm air in your nose as you inhale, feel it travel through the back of your mouth, down through your throat, into your lungs…bring it deep into your belly, down to where your baby lies curled in your womb…feel it fill your abdomen & be aware of your diaphragm descending into your abdomen, massaging your digestive system &  your lymph tissues, gently massaging your baby…feel it expand your body, creating more room for you to breathe and move, more space for your baby to move & grow…feel your breath in your ribcage and moving up into the topmost corners of your lungs, your heart centre lifting towards the sky, your heart & chest opening, a soothing, gentle stretch across your collarbones…the space between your shoulder blades opening, widening, easing tension out of your upper spine…bring your breath up through your spine, lifting your crown to the sky, lengthening & extending upwards, creating space between the vertebrae…welcome prana, life energy, full of new strength, stamina, healing…

Feel your inward breath nourishing & nurturing you…know that you can breathe to nurture yourself, and your baby…

As you exhale, let go…release the used breath, let go of tension, release fear & anxiety, allow the outward breath to cleanse your body, remove your doubts, and send your exhalation down through your spine, to its root…and beyond into the Earth, connecting you, grouinding you, and feel surrender as you allow yourself to feel completely supported, embraced by the Earth beneath you…let the Earth absorb your negative emotions, your tensions, your fears, she will gladly do so, recycle them, reenergise them, and return them full of goodness & nurturing…

Breathe…breathe into your body, breathe to heal & nurture yourself, breathe to nurture & nourish your baby…

As you breathe mindfully, you bring more oxygen into your system, meaning that you feel more energised, more awake…you help to prevent your digestive system becoming sluggish by naturally massaging your abdominal organs, it also gently massages the spleen & other lymph tissues in your abdomen, further helping to cleanse your body of waste products & toxins…your heart rate slows and your blood pressure may lower…you slow down, noticing how your breath feels in your body, and noticing how your body feels…you are connected to your body and your baby, able to take time to connect, to breathe…

There are myriad ways to control the breath, to enhance your breathing for more energy, to cool or heat the body, to bring balance to your breath & to your mind & emotions, to release anxiety, tension and fear, to prepare for meditation…

There are myriad ways to prepare for labour, for birth, for having your babe in arms…

Cradle of Love ~ Nancy Bright

Other posts will explore those myriads, and some of them you may like, others you will leave, but the one truth in all of it, is that ultimately in mothering, all you can do is surrender… and the only way you can do so, is to trust your breath – it is the only thing over which you, and you only, always have control.  You can learn all the breathing techniques in the world, but getting to know your own breath, learning to watch your own breath, is all you ultimately need…trust your breath & it will teach you all you need to know…trust your instinct & you will know how to breathe when it is time to bring your baby Earthside…
Your breath is your best friend, get to know it.  Breathing mindfully is all you really need to know – simply watch your natural breathing rhythm & don’t even try to change or control it.  Witness your breath.  Connect to your breath, your body, your baby.  Keep coming back to your breath.

Mindful mothering can start now, with your baby in your womb, sharing your body, sharing your breath.  Mindful breathing brings mindful labour & birth, it guides you into mindful mothering.
Breathe…you have all the time in the world…

OMx