Blissful Labour & Birthing
This most simple breathing technique has transformed thousands of womens' experience of labour and birth. Slowing down your breath and keeping your primary focus INSIDE and with the beautiful wave-like rhythm of your breath allows you to move into a trust, bliss and connection with your body and baby. In part 2 you connect directly with both your body and child through mantra-type affirmations and positive visualisations
Part 2: Affirmations for Labour
Blissful Birthing Breathing
Close your eyes, move your awareness inside your body, and slow your breath right down. Bring your in-breath into your belly, and use your longer out-breath to relax completely. Let your whole body, and your breath, go into super-slow-motion.
Try this rhythm – breathe in – 2 – 3. And out – 2 - 3. Breathe in – 2 – 3. And out – 2 – 3. It doesn’t matter if your rhythm is slower or faster than this, but breathe as slowly as possible without tiring yourself. Find a position which facilitates this – supported squatting, kneeling on a cushion, perhaps on all fours. You should be able to open your legs and move your hips, to help your in-breath come into your belly, and to adjust your body during a contraction.
If you are practising rather than in labour, imagine the labour has started now. As you feel a contraction begin, watch the contraction as if from a distance - notice how it rises to a peak of intensity, and then fades away again. Instead of allowing yourself to be sucked into the contraction, you simply watch it, and keep your primary awareness on your breath. You’re not suppressing the contraction, but simply watching it from a distance, while your main focus stays on your breath, which is soft, slow and rhythmical.
Use the ujai breath to help slow down your breath if you like, allowing a hissing sound to come from your throat. The sacred sound of your breath draws you into a place of perfect peace and connection. Try painting a circle with your breath, the in-breath drawing half the circle inside your body, and your out-breath completing the circle outside your body. The circle paints itself continuously – the first half with the in-breath, and the 2nd with the out-breath. It draws you in to a hypnotic state of relaxation and focus within.Your breath is everything – it is all that there is. The perfect rhythm of your breath, like the coming and going of waves in the ocean, is intensely pleasurable.
With your out-breath, let go of any tension in your body, relaxing your face muscles, your scalp, your neck and shoulders. Relax your diaphragm, your back, your hips and legs. Your body feels heavy and soft. Even during a contraction when your tummy is very tight, you can let go of tension in the rest of your body.
Use your out-breath to let go of any fear or panic which arises. Imagine that you are a beautiful majestic oak tree, with great roots extending down through the soles of your feet into the Earth. Send any fear down through your roots to be healed by Mother Earth, and feel her sending love and support into your body. As you let go of both tension in your physical body, and fear or panic, so you decrease the pain that you experience in labour – this is a scientifically proven fact. Stay focussed on your breath, keeping it soft and rhythmical – and watch the contractions coming and going, just as your breath comes and goes, just as the waves in the ocean come and go.
Use any of the techniques already described to keep your awareness with your breath. When you notice you’ve lost your focus and are going into panic or overwhelmed, just bring your attention back to your breath, slowing it down, and bringing your in-breath into your belly. Consciously let go of tension in your body with your outbreath. Feel the preciousness of this moment, right here, right now, in which your body prepares your child for birth into this world! Trust your body. Trust the sacred process of birth. Let go of fear.
2. Affirmations/Visualisation for a Positive Birth
Choose to use this time to communicate with your child. Your baby is absolutely able to receive telepathic messages from you, while in the womb, and after birth. Send this message right to him or her, with the energy of your unconditional love. You are safe, you are loved, you are welcome. You are safe, you are loved, you are welcome. This is like a mantra that you can coordinate with your breath. As you reassure your baby, you reassure yourself - reminding yourself that everything is happening in the perfect time, at the perfect place, in the perfect way. Even if you are not in this moment experiencing the birth you hoped for, you can still believe this - everything is perfect as it is right now, and you and your child are safe and well.
Send this message to your child so that he or she knows that any anxious thoughts or feelings do not mean that all is not well. You are safe, you are loved, you are welcome. Now try a mantra which helps you to connect with your body, and work with it in trust. Say internally, my body is able to give birth to this child - easily, safely, joyfully. My body is able to give birth to this child - easily, safely, joyfully.
The knowledge of how to give birth is in your blood-line - from your mother, your mother's mother, and the long line of women before them. The knowledge and ability is in your blood; it is in your genes; it is in every cell of your body! As you stay with your breath, letting go of tension and fear with your out-breath, you stay IN YOUR BODY and in touch with it. You move your body when this feels right, and rest when your body wants to rest. You are one with your body.
Repeat - My body is able to give birth to this child - easily, safely, joyfully. With this affirmation or mantra, allow yourself to FEEL trust, and love and gratitude for your body. This means you are working WITH your body, and not fighting against it. As you say these affirmations, picture the outcome you desire in the birth - picture your baby being born, safely and joyfully, and being placed on your tummy. Picture the baby in your arms, or at your breast, or with your family. And FEEL the emotions you will feel in those moments - the feelings of joy, the sense of achievement and celebration. Picturing this desired outcome and feeling these emotions as if this has been achieved already literally draws that reality towards you!
Make up and use any other affirmations or mantras which you resonate with. You might say,I let go of fear -
I love and trust my body! Or,I send love to my body. I send love to my Baby. We are safe and protected through this process. If you hear the thought 'I can't cope any more!', replace it with 'I have the strength to see this through.' Be creative. Choose to create the outcome you desire. Through your thoughts, affirmations and visualisations, you create your own reality, in every moment. Know this to be so!