In a vulnerable time such as pregnancy, every friend, neighbor, and lady at the grocery store wants to know how moms are coping with the physical and emotional changes taking place. Usually the questions are asked in a negative tone with a facial expression communicating “oh, you poor thing.” The woman may feel as if she must say something negative in response, and if she doesn’t, she’s doing something wrong. This negativity surrounding the “symptoms” of pregnancy perpetuates the idea that it is a sickness needing to be treated when it could be viewed as a beautiful transformation. A pregnant woman should not be regarded as pitiful, but instead as powerful.
Yes, some parts of pregnancy such as morning (all-day) sickness, back pain, needing to pee every five minutes, and random people touching your belly are not terribly enjoyable.
The truth is that it’s only a short season. Complaining our way through pregnancy almost ensures that we will complain our way through motherhood, because it doesn’t get easier after the baby exits the womb.
Pregnancy is a time to be celebrated. New life is growing; a new future is emerging. Rejecting negativity during gestation is beneficial to babies and helps mamas prepare to remain positive during labor, birth, and beyond. Surrounding herself with love and avoiding excess stress during pregnancy is a beautiful foundation a new mom can build for her baby. Positivity is something people have much control over; it’s a choice we are free to make.
I encourage my doula clients to be proactive in this process of remaining positive.
- If someone starts telling you a pregnancy/birth horror story, respectfully tell her you’d rather talk about something else. Horror stories are not the norm.
- Have open communication with your partner about your needs, hopes, dreams, and plans regarding pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
- Create a village if yours is currently lacking.
- Look in the mirror and don’t allow yourself to think “whale,” but only allow thoughts of how beautifully you are providing the perfect habitat and nourishment for your son or daughter.
- Hire a holistic healthcare provider who sees pregnancy and birth as a normal process, not an illness.
- Take a childbirth class that emphasizes evidence-based birth.
- Practice mindfulness and meditation. Hypnobirthing is great for this.
- Eat nourishing food so your mind has the energy to pursue positivity.
- Stay active, but rest when your body needs it.
- Treat true mental illness with respect and get the help you need before you’re drowning in it. Don’t think you can do it on your own if you truly can’t. http://www.postpartumprogress.com