Western medicalization has taken the primal ritual of giving birth and turned it into a medical procedure. It¡¦s time to regain our power and allow our birthing experiences to flow naturally without any time constraints that are best suited for doctor's needs. Birthing is not just about the arrival of a new child. It is also a rite of passage for the woman giving birth, and she should be honored and pampered during this precious time in her life.
Even when medical care is part of the birth, it is a time of self-discovery. Childbirth preparation is a continually evolving process, not a structure of techniques and knowledge. The purpose of childbirth preparation is a time for mothers to give birth in awareness, not to achieve an expected outcome. You must learn to eventually "forget" everything you have learned in books or classes and instead "remember" how to connect to your body and baby. You can't control your birth by planning. Parents deserve support for any birth option that is right for them. But having a knowledge of proper prenatal care, discomfort relief, prenatal tests and medical procedures will help you make more informed decision during your self-discovery process.
When there is an absence of fear during labor, the pain-causing constrictors are not prevalent, and the uterus is able to naturally efface, open, swell, rhythmically, and expel the baby with ease. From the time little girls are old enough to understand and be included in an adult conversation about birthing, they clearly learn that there is much to be feared in having a baby. Even the most postitive-thinking mother-to-be, almost from the very start of her pregnancy, finds herself inundated with comments and advice about all of the things to watch out for and be careful of. These things contain the hidden message, "Be scared? Be afraid."
When we experience stress, messages are sent to all of the receptors in the body, creating exaggerated and distorted reactions. These amplified messages then create physiological and chemical changes within the body. When the body is put on the defensive, the stress hormones (catecholamines) are triggered so that we immediately experience a "fight or flight" response. Catecholamines act as constrictors, causing the musclse within the uterus and elsewhere to tense. It is believed that catecholamine is released in large concentration prior to and during labor when a woman approaches birthing with unresolved fear. Your uterine muscles then begin working in opposition, which can have an adverse affect on the baby.
It¡¦s important to know your fears before birth and release them as much as possible. When you are confident that you can birth, you can bring yourself into a calm, relaxed state from the very onset of labor.
The source of natural analgesic lies within the body itself: endorphins. Scientists try to mimic endorphins with pain-killing drugs. Your own body can be your best pain free resource. Endorphins produce a tranquil, amnesiac condition. You can tap into these natural tranquilizers, thus alleviating the pain-causing hormone, catecholamine.
Your willingness to practice and prepare your mind and body to work in complete harmony will ultimately lead to that safe, beautiful birth experience that you have come to believe in and expect. You will have eliminated the fear that is at the root of what's wrong with labor. You will want to thoroughly search your inner feeligns to discover the areas that you feel very confident about and those that you need to work through so that you can resolve any fears or misgivings that you are holding. Below are just a few areas of concern to pregnant women that may surface during labor. Journal and work through these.
\ Your own birth
\ Other birth stories
\ Previous labors
\ Medical care
\ Prior relationships
Contractions can hurt, but pass quickly and should not be feared. A good strong contraction, means your body is working. Contractions are energy rushes that enable you to open up so the baby can come out. If you worry about the pain, then you’ll tense up and not be able to relax. Breathe into each contraction and picture your cervix opening up slowly like a rose bud to a flower.
Every animal knows its remedy and from man’s observations of animals, has come most of our knowledge of herbs and their uses. All the chemical elements of which our bodies are composed are contained in the roots, barks, leaves, flowers and fruits of herbs. Each family of plants has its own peculiar habit of taking from the soil a specific group of chemical elements. By using herbs in their complete form, the body’s healing process utilizes a balance of ingredients provided by nature.
Herbs are very useful during pregnancy. I highly recommend taking daily. Maggie’s Medicinals Pregnancy Tonic, which includes red raspberry to tone the uterus, nettle to balance the nervous system and supply rich minerals, including iron, and hops to relax you and keep you in the flow. All of these herbs are very safe and non-toxic to the mother and the baby. They can be taken for an indefinite amount of time. I recommend one cup a day during your entire pregnancy, followed by the Maggie’s Medicinals Breastfeeding Tonic once the baby is born.
To purchase Pregnancy Tonic or Breastfeeding go to the Herbal Formulas in the Web Store.
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