Finding out you’re pregnant for the first time is the beginning of a beautiful yet tumultuous roller coaster ride into a new life for both you and your baby. Maybe the news came as a complete surprise, or maybe you knew right at the moment that the magic struck. Either way, your first pregnancy is a journey equally unpredictable, by both the prepped-up Mum-to-be, and the disorganised, surprised new Mum.
First, from now on, be prepared for every woman you speak with to share her birth story with you – especially if it was full of drama! Giving birth is like a female rite of passage and one that all mums will readily relive for the rest of their lives. For you, the pregnant lady - the lady filled with jumped up crazy hormones and a newfound unfamiliarity with your body, it can be very overwhelming. The first piece of advice is to expect it, and let it bounce right off. It’s easier said than done, right?
1. Block Out the Personal Stories and the Drama
It can literally be that simple. The next time you’re there in the midst of a story, visualise a protective bubble surrounding you. Make it as detailed as you like, it can be a bubble or a pod, it can be a protective unicorn if you’d like. But just place a little protective barrier before you and let that absorb the story on your behalf. It isn’t always easy to request that the story isn’t told all together. So smile and nod when the story demands. This is also a great exercise to increase your patience with people, which will be a great tool going into motherhood – because the advice and stories do not stop at pregnancy (so I am told by most women anyway).
People will tell you that your aunty experienced this and mum had that, with the implication that it will be similar for you. It is true that some things can be hereditary, but your experience will be your own. Your diet and lifestyle may be completely different to those female members of your family, and the way you nourish and prepare your body during pregnancy will help towards a positive and natural experience of child birth. Like a finger print, every person’s body is completely unique to them and so your birth story will be also. As long as you follow the advice of the health professionals, nobody else’s theory really matters – not even your mother’s – sorry grandma.
2. Try Not To Control the “Birth Plan”
Of course have an idea of what to hope for, but do not set every detail in stone. Whilst it’s good to feel prepared, it can also be incredibly stressful when your blueprint is so rigid , especially if your body decides that it demands something different on the day. I have known women becoming so disappointed by their birth experience that they remained upset for weeks after – and that is not a good start to motherhood. Have faith in your body and the people that will be seeing the birth through with you, but know that just like everything else in life , you cannot plan for every eventuality. The beauty is in the mystery.
3. Keep An Open Heart and Mind
The best way to beat fear of the unknown is to just try and embrace each step of the journey one day at a time. Fear comes from the anticipation of what may happen in the future. It’s a helpful mechanism for keeping us alive in many instances, but not for your first entry into motherhood. Don’t try to predict how you or the baby will be, because the outcome could always be different. Let it be a mystery and remain positive through the process. Practicing flexibility of mind will also come in handy for the challenges of motherhood.
4. Start a Meditation Practice
Practice guided meditations based on patience and compassion. There are plenty of places online to find guided meditations of this nature, and I have a recommended script on my personal website noted at the end of this article.
5. Find a pregnancy yoga class.
Our bodies are incredible machines designed for giving birth but a yoga practice can aid the natural process of opening the body and mind, also incorporating meditations and breathing practices to help with the subjects of this article; patience, fear release and relaxation.
All in all, try to remain present within yourself and with your baby. Be prepared for a myriad of outcomes and know that you can, and will cope with each and every one. Do not try to read the future. Leave that for the clairvoyants.
Be well and good luck. x
Written By: Kerry Curson. Yoga Teacher & Freelance Writer based in West Wales
After practicing for 14 years, Kerry decided to make yoga her full time career in 2013. She has completed 2 further trainings since. She specialises in tailored sequences and workshops that focus on strengthening the mind, body and spirit. Now almost 8 months pregnant herself, Kerry has launched into offering this same empowerment to pregnant women, encouraging them to remain strong and independent throughout their experience. Her online courses are launching later this month.