Birth visualisation during pregnancy and childbirth
Absorbing positive birth imagery and video over the months and weeks nurtures a powerful mental 'blueprint'. You need to be as familiar and comfortable with the changes of the birth journey as possible, because we often have a lifetime of birth negativity to overcome... Birth art can be found all over the world from many periods of time... this is nothing new! The pictures below are ancient Egyptian, Roman and contemporary (Amy Haderer)
The picture below (a still from the birth in the squatting position video) initially caused one of the mothers I doula'd for to recoil in horror! Yet she knew she had to overcome this fear of crowning, and with my advice, printed and stuck the picture next to her toilet at home. She encouraged herself to look at it each time, and through desensitisation this became gradually easier. She then thought up an affirmation to repeat regularly: "I'm so big, so wide, so open" (especially when doing a poo!) She also did perineal massage a few times a week. Her daughter crowned with ease... Just three expulsive surges from the moment we first saw her head, and her perineum was intact!
Hypnobirthing visualisation during childbirth...
Ruby, who did the online course says:
"I remained calm and imagined my baby floating towards me in a moses basket down a small stream, and every time the contractions got stronger I imagined the waves bringing him closer to me, which made me smile"
Second time mum Sara says:
"I imagined with each contraction that I was blowing up different coloured balloons for my 3 year old’s next birthday party! This took me to a completely different “world” in my head and I really felt my body take over as I was able to release myself from my “thinking brain” (something I struggled to do with the last birth). My husband was surprised that I was pretty silent for the majority of my labour!"
Maybe you could experiment with a few visualisations during your 'practising contractions' or 'affirmations' MP3... Perhaps your birth partner could remind you of these on the day. Some other useful visualisations are below, though the choices are as infinite and varied as our imaginations!
- Imagining the journey of the breath down to your baby - perhaps golden light swirling around your belly
- Breathing in golden / favourite colour air then breathing away tension / stress coloured air
- Imagining your body is opening like a flower, e.g. a rose
- Visualising the 'mechanics' of birth, e.g. the cervix softening, opening, the uterus muscles
- Imagining your baby is in a basket / papoose out to sea - each wave you can see in the distance represents the contractions that are bringing you closer. You swim / bodyboard / surf up each one, reaching the peak and then down again as it disappears behind you
- Visualise each breath blowing up a beautiful coloured balloon
- Some people just like to imagine enjoying their favourite place in nature - and one mum told me she imagined that lovely feeling of climbing into a comfy warm bed at the end of a busy day
- Imagine meeting your baby to help keep you going... watch 'our hypnobabies' video below ♡