When I was a new doula talking to my clients at our first prenatal meetings, I used to ask them what they imagine their ideal birth would look like. The problem is, a first time mom may not know where to start with that question. It’s all such a big mystery! She may have never have even been to the hospital where she’s planning to deliver so there is a big blank space when she tries to picture labor and delivery. I’ve realized now a better question to ask is, “what will your birth feel like?”
I don’t mean to guess how a contraction feels, or what the infamous “ring of fire” really feels like. I’m asking my clients more to think, regardless of what is happening in their body and around them, what emotions they want to experience. Focusing on the qualities of your ideal birth, rather than the specific details, can also help you be more adaptable when things in your labor don’t go according to plan.
So what can you realistically aim for your birth to feel like? What is important for you to have a positive birth experience? Some qualities might be feeling safe, respected, heard, connected to your partner. Different moms may have different priorities, such as feeling joyful, meditative, fearless, or painless.
If it’s still difficult for you to imagine what you want out of your birth experience, some time sitting in quiet reflection can help. Even better, during asana practice, set your intention to listen to your heart about your birth. The movement and release of the body can let loose some of your hidden desires about your body and your birth. Asana has that amazing way of stirring things up, and bringing feelings to the surface that we might not know are there.
What is important to you in your birth experience? What has asana practice helped you discover about your needs and wishes for labor? Share your thoughts or your birth stories on our Facebook page!