The brain is a significantly impressive organ. Not only can it store and recall tremendous amounts of information, it communicates with the muscles in your body. This ability is particularly important in naturally inducing labor when you’re ready. Advocates of natural birth strongly believe in a woman’s ability to create the labor she wants through thought. Remember Kevin Costner’s character Ray in Field of Dreams? He ignored convention, followed his intuition, and made a dream come true. Lucky for you, you don’t have to plow under acres of corn field: you just need to envision your body giving birth. So how can you create this vision? Simple: through knowledge, affirmations, and visualizations.
You know that old adage, “Knowledge is Power”, right? Well, in this case it’s quite true. Knowing what’s going to happen, really happen, is essential in helping you relax and remain in control. It will also help you visualize the birth you want. But it’s important to really know the details. For example, do you know how long your vagina is? How long does your baby actually need to travel until he or she is in your arms? Have you watched a real, live birth? Not one of those pleasantly animated ones, but one with a real woman? Knowing what to expect can help you create the birth you want.
Interestingly, the human brain is wired to react to stimuli in its environment. Take a moment and do two things: close your eyes and smile. Did you feel just a twinge of happiness there? Probably. That’s because most people smile when they feel happy—and even if you don’t feel happy, the moment you smile your brain recognizes and associates this action with happiness. Affirmations are like smiling words: they positively communicate to your brain what you want to happen. Millions of people believe in the power of affirmations, and use them daily to create the life they want to live. These little, positive phrases may be just what you need to naturally induce labor. The key to successful affirmations is to hear yourself say them, and believe them. Some women even write them as they say them to strengthen the affirmation kinesthetically. A good affirmation depends on clear, powerful word choice; they should be upbeat but succinct. Here are a few great examples that will help you talk yourself into labor:
- I am a strong, capable woman ready to give birth.
- My cervix is ready to dilate. I am ready to give birth.
- I am ready to meet my baby.
- I can handle a natural labor: bring it on!
- I deserve to have the birth I desire.
- I accept this labor as my labor.
- I am relaxed and prepared for my baby to come to me.
- My baby moves gently along in his/her journey.
Head over to Cafemom.com for a wonderful list of affirmations, compiled by moms!
Visualization is a key aspect of many hypnobirthing approaches to labor and childbirth, and many women strongly support its ability to induce labor. Essentially, visualization entails using the mind’s eye to picture events. In other words, you show your brain what you want to happen, your brain gets the message, and then works to make it happen. So how can visualization naturally induce labor? First, you can try envisioning your cervix dilating. Clearly see the cervix open a centimeter at a time. Next, picture your water breaking. Imagine how that warm gush of fluid feels. You get the picture. Completely relax before you attempt any visualization. Get comfortable, put on some relaxing music, and be the boss of your body!
There’s no harm in trying any of these techniques. In fact, using the mind is the cheapest and only consequence-free method of naturally inducing labor among all of the rumored options that work. And best of all? You can do it in the comfort of your home, in your PJs, or even in a warm, relaxing bath. Just be ready for the next step if it works!