What is your Visual blueprint for birth?
What do I mean by your visual blueprint? The blueprint is the program that will tell you how to proceed. The images that you have in your head of what birth looks like, of how birth progresses. Do you picture people racing to get to the hospital? Then an image of a sweaty woman, surrounded by medical equipment, strapped to machines, laying on her back being yelled at to push?
Or do you see a woman swaying, slow dancing with her husband in a living room filled with candle light and soft music. A few people, midwives and friends, in the background, quietly giving encouragement and support. The woman changes her position freely and eventually squats down to catch her own baby.
These images affect our expectations when we give birth.
There once was a time when, as women we were exposed to images of birth throughout our lives. We would witness our mothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins giving birth. We would have seen how natural, normal, and powerful birth can be. This would have created our own expectation for a normal birth.
This is the way it was since the beginning of time. Over the past hundred years birth has become a private event that is only witnessed by doctors and hospital staff and only recently a spouse or birth partner.
Fear of birth comes from the unknown.
This secrecy and privacy, over what was once a social event, has created fear of the birth process. Awareness is the best way to combat this fear.
Reading and listening to birth stories can help to dispel the fear. Hearing the how women describe the joy of their natural birth and the experience from the inside point of view is an important part of preparing for your own birth. Sometimes just hearing someone’s story isn’t enough to erase all the negative images we have seen. Even though this story is the true life experience of the woman telling the story, it is often outdone but all the scary images that have been imprinted on us from what we have seen in media.
Watching other births, attending a birth in person or watching a recording, will help to combat the fear of birth and change the visual blueprint we have in our heads. Watching how different women move and react through labor will give you an idea of what to do for yourself. Seeing is believing. Seeing for yourself how peaceful and calm birth can be and how raw and instinctual can give us faith in our own abilities.
Avoid watching birth scenes from shows like Maternity Ward or TLC’s Baby Story. Seek out good natural birth videos like can be seen in documentaries like Orgasmic Birth and the Business of Being Born.
Seeing and hearing what to expect with natural childbirth will help to raise your awareness, dispel the fear, and change your expectations for childbirth.