How do you prepare for an Ecstatic Birth?
The day your baby is born is one of the most momentous days of your life. Childbirth can be one of the most transformative ecstatic experiences in a woman’s life.
Unfortunately, that is not the typical experience our society is serving up in labor and delivery. Most women emerge from childbirth in a haze, many of them unconscious victims of trauma (as I was). We accept this because that is what we are taught childbirth is meant to be, culturally, religiously, and societally. If we make the same choices as everyone around us, this is what we will usually get.
To have a different experience, a woman must be willing to make different choices, to prepare with her mind, body and soul in a different direction. Ecstatic Births are not the norm (yet) and so it requires a certain ferocity to forge a different path.
How you give birth is fully intertwined with how you live your life. As you will see a lot of the Ecstatic Birth prep I discuss will also support you in living a more conscious, empowered, and joyful life. These are practices you can begin to integrate into your daily life right away whether you are already pregnant or hope to be in the future.
I’ve outlined the main points right here on the blog or go ahead and watch this video of the live class.
How to Prepare for an Ecstatic Birth
1 Flood Your being with Positive Birth Stories, Images, and Videos
Our culture has been telling a negative story about birth for thousands of years going way back to the story of Adam and Eve. If you want a different birthing experience, you will need to create a different cultural conception for yourself. Surrounding yourself with positive images of birth will open you up to all the possibilities and will begin to reprogram your subconscious beliefs about birth. Similarly you should surround yourself with people who can support your vision for the birth you’d like to create and avoid the skeptics and downers.
2 Empower Yourself with Knowledge
Enrolling in the most comprehensive childbirth education class you can find is just the starting point. Educate yourself to the max about every aspect of birth and please, start early! A huge part of having a pleasurable birth experience is setting it up right. It is important to get clear on your birthing options, to fully understand the pros and cons of your choices, and to know the related outcome statistics. Where to give birth and with whom are pivotal decisions and a deep understanding of the birthing process will empower you to truly align your choices with your desires. A deep understanding of birth will also empower you in making informed decisions during your child’s birth.
3 Plan This Event Like You Would Plan Your Wedding
Plan this event like you would plan your wedding so that every detail serves your pleasure. You wouldn’t choose the local catering hall with a mediocre reputation and just hope for the best, would you? Unfortunately that is what most people do with their births. The birth of your baby is a momentous, sacred event. New life is coming forth through you. Honor the magnitude of that and plan every detail of your baby’s birth with your highest pleasure in mind. You want to feel like a goddess entering a temple. Prepare your mind, body, and soul for this day so that you feel healthy, strong, and beautiful. Pay attention to all of your senses and bring in elements that will thrill you, inspire you and turn you on.
4 Begin a Desire List for Your Birth
Write down every birth desire you have, however large or small. Read and update the list regularly. A desire list is preferable to a birth plan. Birth is like life in that things don’t always go according to plan. A birth plan can be a recipe for disappointment. A birth desire list gets you into positive anticipation for your birth which is exactly where you want to be. Watch your patterns on a day to day basis. How do you handle stuff not going to plan? The more you can learn to boogie with the unexpected surprises of life the better you will be able to dance with it during birth.
5 Look Your Fears in the Eye
Fear is the #1 issue that causes pain and complications in birth. Much like the monster in the closet, your fears can feel a lot less scary when the light is turned on. Be truly honest with yourself and with your partner about your fears. Contemplate how you can support yourself through each one. Birth counseling can often be a very powerful tool. This is another area where it really helps to watch your patterns on a day to day basis. How do you handle your fears? Begin to practice bringing them into the light so you can move through them with ease.
6 Practice Listening to Your Intuition Every Day. Sit, Breathe, Relax, and Listen
There is always so much to do, especially once you are pregnant and becoming a mother. You can always do more. How do you know where to put your attention? In order to be as aligned and effective as possible, you will need to learn to listen to your intuition. Intuition speaks in the language of the body which is sensation. Rather than trying to make decisions from the standpoint of “What makes more sense?” start making your decisions by asking yourself “What feels better?” In this class I will share an exercise with you to help you tap into and strengthen your intuitive connection.
7 Deepen Your Connection with Your Sensual Nature
You give birth with your sexual body. Much like during sex the difference between enjoying birth or not is how sensual of an experience it is. Connect with your sensuality often. Notice the conditions that turn you on, that enable you to relax and open. Include as many of these into your birthing environment as possible. The amount of pleasure that you feel in your body is something that you can increase with practice. The more in touch you are with your sensual nature, the more you can call it forth during birth. Sensuality is a powerful tool in birthing our babies with pleasure.
8 Breathe Deeply. All the Time. Especially When You Are Stressed.
Breathing supports flow- energy flow and blood flow- by melting the resistance in our bodies. Developing a habit of breathing through difficult sensations and emotions trains your body to flow through any pain- physical or emotional- rather than getting stuck in it and resisting it. This is a powerful tool in birth. Breathing also connects us to and heightens our senses. Singing and dancing are other great tools to turn to everyday to keep us in touch with our bodies and our pleasure regardless of what else is going on within or around us.
9 Gather SUPPORT!!
Surround yourself with people who will cheer-lead you and enable your vision during pregnancy and especially in the birthing room. Asking for support is not a sign of weakness. Surrounding yourself with support makes you stronger than you can possibly be on your own. Studies have shown that a loving female presence at birth reduces a woman’s chance of a c-section by over 50%. Who will love you up at your birth? Don’t forget to look beyond birth and make sure that you will be well supported postpartum, so your attention can be on enjoying your baby.
10 Celebrate All the Good
You may have an image of the “perfect birth” in your mind. Let that image inspire you, but don’t judge your own experience by that image. Birth is messy (like life). You never know exactly what you are going to get. The difference between an ecstatic experience and a traumatic one can sometimes be how you process it. Start to notice how you process your experiences as you go through your day. Do you celebrate each step of what you accomplish? Or do you chastise yourself for where you fall short? Too often we focus on the latter. Practice noticing and celebrating everything that you do right, every step you take towards your dreams, every gift the universe offers up to you. You will be happier in life and birth for it.
About Ecstatic Birth
Hi, I’m Sheila Kamara Hay Ecstatic Birth advocate and trainer. My childbirth journeys left me exclaiming, “Why didn’t I know it can be this good? Women need to know!” I’m passionate about providing you with tools and resources to create your own Ecstatic Birth.