Is Pain-Free Birth Really Possible?
This is the BIG question that I get asked from mothers all the time and “hot topic” when I was interviewed on Channel 31 TV in honour of International Women’s Day.
Well, I would never have believed it if you had asked me prior to kids but now I can say without a shadow of a doubt that YES it is very possible and I have personally experienced it!!
So how does that work exactly if I experienced every bit of labour and birth without any medical pain relief and isn’t birth meant to be painful? Good question!
From everything I know now, I truly believe that “When birth is no longer feared, numbed or endured it has the opportunity to become one of the most powerful, positive and transformative things a woman will ever experience in her lifetime.” (you can quote me on that!)
This revelation was so BIG for me, I devoted a whole chapter in my book on “Pain is Good or Nothing at all.”
Having a pain-free birth wasn’t a case of good luck and I certainly didn’t have a high pain tolerance (far from it!) I believe it was just good preparation and for me, was about working through my fears prior to birth and learning to RELAX. I did this with the help of daily walks in nature/ prenatal yoga/ daily guided meditations/ affirmations to find that deep place of inner calm and surrender.
Once my body- mind was trained to go to “that place,” it was much easier to go there during labour. Being relaxed during labour is the best investment you could possibly make as it allows the love hormone oxytocin to flow and the body’s natural pain relief kicks in. At one point in labour I felt like I had left my body altogether – I was “off the planet” so to speak. I think nature is so clever in it’s design and we underestimate our own power.
May I also add that I changed my expectations around birth by becoming self-educated, empowered by my own research, reading the right books and attending an independent birth course that was geared towards a normal and natural outcome and offered tools to get there. This I highly recommend!
I also found that changing my LANGUAGE around birth really helped.
As I explained in the TV interview, by consciously deciding not to use words like pain/ hurt/ contractions and only talking about PRESSURE/ WAVES/ COMFORTABLE etc it really made all the difference to my experience.
I loved to use the visual image of ocean waves and rather than viewing each coming contraction as a big tidal wave approaching, it was more about riding the waves. ie it’s about embracing the process not resisting it. Have you ever noticed with ocean waves that it’s not a constant ie there is ebb and flow and so too with the waves of labour. This means we get a chance to relax and rest between each one which is so important to save our energy.
Do you believe that a PAIN-FREE BIRTH is possible for you? Let me know your thoughts and what comes up for you.
May you approach your birthing adventure with a positive anticipation and a sense of calm.
Yours in calm surrender,