Lori Bregman is a renowned doula, life coach, healer and author of The Mindful Mom to Be. She is also the founder of the Rooted for Life Pregnancy Coaching Program, a complete mind, body and spirit support system that helps women throughout fertility, pregnancy and birth as they transition into new motherhood.
Think back to when you were a kid and the things that you remember the most about your parents. It probably was the times they spent engaging with you that stand out the most, perhaps playing a game or going somewhere special together. In today’s world, we are all so busy that disconnecting and unplugging from social obligations, work, technology and social media doesn’t come easy for most. I always say: it’s not the amount of time you spend with your children that matters but the quality of the time you spend. That’s what makes an impact and lasting impression.
Your pregnancy is a miraculous time. Everyday new things are developing with your baby, and your body is working so hard to support that. Stop and acknowledge all that’s happening in this present moment. Take the time each day to unplug. Practice being present with yourself and your baby within, your surroundings and those around you.
Remember that when we are in a state of fear or worry, we aren’t in the present moment. Usually, we are worrying about what could happen or might be. And, when we worry about the “what ifs” we are creating problems that might not ever come to be. Instead of worrying, bask in this miracle that is growing inside of you and be in awe of your body for being so strong and capable of making, carrying and birthing this child.
In all my years as a doula, I have never seen two women birth a baby the same or have the same pregnancy. What might be right for another might not be right for you. It’s wonderful to be inspired by others, but be careful not to compare yourself to them. We all have different ways of coping and doing things that make us unique and special. Know who you are and follow what feels right for you.
Many will be projecting their views and ways on to you about how they did it or think it should be done. If you don’t have a strong sense of self, you could get swept away, spinning out in confusion. Take the time to explore and educate yourself on all your options, notice where you are leaning towards, what excites you or where you get that “YES, this feels right” moment. Follow it. This is your way. Remember: others aren’t raising your child, you are.
Share and go over your birth intentions with your Doctor or caregiver, doula, mom, partner or whoever else is going to be in the birth space. It’s important everyone is on the same page as you. Make sure the people that you are inviting in this sacred space have positive energy and are nurturing, as you will be riding off of their energy.
It’s OK to set a strong boundary and not have people come to your birth that you aren’t comfortable with being there. When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, the kitchen gets messy and too many peoples’ idea, options and energy can ruin a recipe. This is you and your partner’s special day – a day you will never have again – as you welcome your baby into this world. Only invite those you really want or need to be there.
The better you care for yourself during pregnancy, the better you are parenting your baby within.
Your baby is growing inside of you. This means that the foods you eat and the products you use all go into the foundation from which they will grow from. They are also simmering in your energy. Practicing yoga, taking baths, going for walks in nature and exercise all help distress and shift your energy to calm and relaxed, which is a much nicer environment for your baby to grow in. I am also a huge fan of journaling. Write down anything that you are worried about or that is stressing you out. Getting it out on paper helps release it from your mind and body.
It’s also important to remember that women go through a purging period called nesting. During pregnancy, you might not be able to tolerate certain people or places. Don’t force yourself to be around them if you aren’t feeling it This is your natural instincts to protect your space.
Your relationship with your partner sets the bar for all your children’s relationships in the future. The more solid you are with each other, the more secure your child will feel. If there were problems in your relationship before having a child, having a child will just add salt to the wound. Take this time to heal anything that needs fixing. Get on the same page with your values, morals and parenting styles.
Someone once said to me, “what emotionally comes up along the path into motherhood is something that needs healing for this particular child or for you to be integrated as you birth yourself as a mother.” For some women it might be learning patience. For others, letting go of control and surrendering or learning how to receive. Before you have children is a great time to do some inner healing work on yourself.