Last night I finished watching "Birth Story", a documentary on life at the farm with Ina May Gaskin. I cried throughout the film as watching a birth, whether live or on film, is always the most magnificent human experience to witness. Life on the farm looks simple. Simple lifestyle with profound contributions to society. I sat humbly in my bed and listened to every single word so intently. I was listening for inspiring words, statements, advice, suggestions and wisdom. Besides the birth, I think I was moved to tears at the simplicity of the words spoken. Ina May spoke few words at each prenatal visit, while training others and when attending a birth. The Words she did speak had a clear purpose, intention and meaning and that left me in awe. There is so much to say about birth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, new family life etc., and yet when fewer words are spoken more might actually be understood and certainly more will be felt. Through the screen I could feel the warmth and wisdom in each room we entered with Ina May.
When you are preparing for your birth, have conversations with your team and ask them to keep the talking and questions to a very bare minimum. You can ask them to use short clear sentences, mantras and/or affirmations to help you stay calm, relaxed and in your sacred space. You can type these out or make index card size, colorful art pieces to bring for your team. Here are some suggestions.
* I am a strong and capable woman
* every contraction is a wonderful part of my birth story
* my body was made to do this
* I will meet my baby soon
* me and my baby are here together
* I am relaxed and strong
* I am present and calm
These are just a few suggestions. Feel free to use these or make your own.
Code words are not just for emergencies. If you want some private time with your partner, you can ask for that. I suggest to my clients that they choose a word that they can say to each other that indicates that they can ask nurses, Dr., doula, etc to step out for a few minutes to let them connect. If mommy and baby are fine, take an opportunity to do this. This is a nice time to say things that you might not feel comfortable saying to each other in front of people. This private time can be used to have a let down of emotion, to get clear about what is going on or to just have a make out session which can help you relax into your labor and delivery.