I think that a good preparation for childbirth means to help the expectant mother to overcome the fear of childbirth. Sometimes this fear stems from previous experiences of childbirth, but more often it comes from the stories of other deliveries.
There are several methods of learning and everyone has their own way of assimilation. Among the many techniques, visualization is a very effective one, even more if you’re predisposed to this type of learning.
To be effective, a visualization should be:
- built with images that support a full range of feelings. Visualizing how you would like your birth, you become conscious of your “mind-body” state.
- creative. A creative visualization is a reality that’s chosen consciously, one that’s not influenced by emotions and thoughts from the past.
The use of positive images has been proven to be beneficial in many areas of human well-being, and also in the therapy for diseases such as cancer. This type of visualization exercises performed during pregnancy helps memorize positive messages, which can be used later, ideally during labor.
In order for this technique to be assimilated in the best way, it is necessary for the mother to be in state of deep relaxation. The use of any relaxation technique in combination with the visualization, will make the latter more effective.
Can visualization effectively dissolve the fear of childbirth?
When a woman is relaxed, she’s in an altered state of consciousness in which she’s able to suspend her own belief-system long enough to receive suggestions. These suggestions help in the realization of the desired objective. During labor the woman also experiences a somehow altered state of consciousness, except that she’s much more sensitive to the words that are used by those around her. If we practice visualization exercises during pregnancy, in a state of deep relaxation, the same words uttered during labor and delivery will be even more powerful and effective.
The use of images and visualization can provide support to the mother, allowing her to trust her abilities, and surrender to the power that acts through her. With a little practice during pregnancy, women can learn to become deeply relaxed and dissolve the fear so that the uterine muscles can work with minimal pain.
Let’s try a short visualization exercise that can be done at any time during pregnancy or labor.
My cervix is like a rosebud.
Ready to open.
I am nurtured by those around me as the rose is nurtured by the soil.
The rosebud gradually, ever so softly, opens and blossoms.
I open and blossom.
My cervix is soft and ripe like the rosebud.
I see the outer petals of the rose falling away.
I see my cervix yielding like the outer petals of the rose.
Every contraction opens another petal of my rosebud cervix.
I welcome each contraction, which helps me open my rosebud cervix.
I welcome and receive all the nurturing around me, which helps me open.
Just like the warm sun opens the rose, the warmth I receive opens my cervix.
I yield and open.
The rose does not resist.
I open and blossom.