I have been to see a brand new baby today and it has made me look forward to my next group of parents in waiting even more.
With every new mother born, the importance of what I teach is amplified. The impact of a confident birth clearly seen in that new mums face, exhausted but in control of her new world.
It's always a bombshell moment for mums preparing for birth to hear, but hear this; your own mind gets in the way.
It is so important that a woman can STOP THINKING. To birth easily and quickly, you have to turn off the thinking part of your brain–the neo-cortex.
The problem is that the neo-cortex inhibits normal bodily actions. When you are thinking–when your neo-cortex is in control, you don’t release the right hormones, your body can’t relax.
Birth is harder and longer.
It’s like sex. You have to turn off your brain first in order to enjoy it. You have to be making the right hormones and the right brain waves to get into it. You can’t enjoy it if you’re full of adrenaline and cortisol. You can’t birth, either.
Michel Odent explains; “To give birth to her baby, the mother needs privacy. She needs to feel unobserved.” - She needs to turn off her thinking brain.
Here are 4 things you can avoid in order to help you switch off...
All conversations require a woman to use her thinking brain. This is one reason a lot of women in advanced labor, when asked questions, will just repeat “I don’t know” or not answer at all. It’s too much work to process a question and certainly to come up with the words to answer it. High oxytocin rates in labour can make a woman appear as if she is in her 'own world'. My mother-in-law recalls being flicked on the head when she didn't respond to questions of 'are you alright?' - she was perfectly alright - until they did that!
All light, but especially fake light, turns on the thinking brain. Birth requires us to be in a dream-like state, the same state we ask you to practice drifting into during your Hypnobirthing course. Light makes us more aware of our surroundings, our primative brain starts looking for threats, our thinking brain questions what we should or should t be doing.
Anything that “makes you look” or requires attention is distracting to a woman in labor. Things should be as familiar and predictable as possible. That means turn off your smartphones and focus on your birth board images instead.
Anyone or anything that is observing you in labour is going to inhibit your birth by stimulating your thinking brain. Sphincter muscles are shy, that is why we close the door to go to the bathroom or turn off the light when having sex. When we are observed we observe ourselves and this increases adrenaline. Adrenaline is not your friend in labour.
Michel Odent says for the safest birth you need “one experienced and silent midwife sitting in a corner.” So let's all sneak off to our birth caves and turn off to turning ourselves on!
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