Visualization during pregnancy, labor and birth. (Second in a series)
Let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is visualization. Let me give you an example that I think everyone can relate to. Remember when you were young and you dreamt or better yet, day dreamed about meeting the perfect partner, having a house with a white picket fence, and some children to look after. Or maybe your dream was to be a veterinarian or a doctor or whatever and you visualized yourself looking the part. Maybe you even dressed up on Halloween as a doctor or a lawyer or whatever. Now that’s visualization. Visualizing how you want things to go.
Sometimes during pregnancy its hard to visualize your baby inside of you. Until, at least you feel your baby move and they grow to the point where their feet or their head are up into your rib cage. Then you can definitely visualize your baby. I know when I was pregnant with my first baby, I couldn’t really visualize the fact that I was pregnant until I felt my baby move. I can still remember where I was when it happened. But I regress. Let’s move on to labor.
During your pregnancy you read books and went to child birth classes. You practiced your breathing and even some comfort measures you learned during your classes. Maybe you’ve taken pre-natal yoga or you have a doula to give you even more information about labor. All great things. BTW, did you know that having a doula can lessen the time you’re in labor by 25%? That means if you had a 4 hour labor without a doula, you could have had a 3 hour labor with a doula. Now how does that sound. Ok, enough of my shameless plug for doulas. Let’s move on.
Some childbirth classes teach you how to visualize your cervix opening like a flower or just plain opening. I found that this visualization really helped me with my third baby. Do I think that it helped shorten my labor? Probably. It also helped that I knew what I was getting in to after having 2 other babies and told myself to relax and go with the flow.
Let’s really explore that a bit more. Visualizing your baby’s head pressing against your cervix to open it during contractions can help. It can also help you relax by allowing you to concentrate on something else besides the pain, which can be very helpful in shortening your labor. Relaxation is really the key to a shorter labor.
Transition is another time during labor that is very painful and a good time to visualize your baby moving down the vagina in preparation for birth. Honestly, I also think that visualization during labor and transition may send a message to your baby that everything is going along as it should and not to be to scared of the process. (Check out my blog on Newborns).
Birth is eminent. Do I still need to visualize? Yes. It’s important now more than before to visualize during pushing. Your baby’s head is right at the opening of the vagina and it’s beginning to stretch. As you push (and please do me and yourself a favor. Unless its medically necessary, please do not have anyone tell you to push.) visualize your vagina slowly stretching to allow the baby’s head to gently descend. Keep breathing. After baby’s head is out, then you can visualize baby’s body turning a bit and then sliding out. All is well and you did it!! One badass mama just had a beautiful baby. Did visualizing help? Well it surely didn’t hurt.
Want to know more about visualization and what it can do for you during this very special time of your life? Contact me today and I’ll be happy to answer any
questions you may have.
Peace, love and visualization to you and yours,