Positive birth exists! There is much within a woman and her partners control that can support this to happen. And we want positive birth to happen as it has a direct influence on the mother’s mental health, connection with baby and healing in the post partum period.
Positive birth doesn’t have to be a vaginal delivery, it can be any type of delivery (planned section, emergency section, induced delivery, water birth, home birth, on the way to hospital birth…add your own!) as positive birth is about the mindset of the mother when the delivery is happening.
Our brains are like plastic, they can be moulded and shaped based upon our experience and how we react to them. Why is this important for labour? Well, when women mentally prepare themselves for labour by practicing certain exercises it can support their brains to be flexible (i.e. able to cope with change) and focussed, calm and relaxed when being in labour. Our brains are naturally hard wired to think worst case scenario (hazard of having a tricky brain) and it is totally possible to over-come this during labour and remain calm and stay within a “I can do this” mindset.
This type of preparation is crucial not only for labour but also for the post-partum period. When we set up our brains in this way we are more able to cope with being a new mother. Why? Because the brain is used to dealing with difficult decisions with warmth, kindness, courage, tolerance and a tolerance of how difficult things can be given the tricky brains we have. When we are parenting from this place it allows parents to connect more with their babies, allows letting in support more likely (defences aren’t up) and most importantly mothers are able to mind themselves. And mothers are the most important person in any family equation.
So really, positive birth isn’t just for the hours (perhaps days) of labour. It’s setting up mother, baby and family for life.
If you are interested in learning more about brain training for birth, visit this website https://www.gentlebirth.com/. here is an app with free 7 day trial.
Locally in Cork the vastly experienced Mary Tighe facilitates courses to mentally prepare for motherhood including this type of brain training: https://www.birthingmamas.ie/gentlebirth/