Society. Expectations. Desires.
I recently did an Instagram "story" where I shared a quote from Bob Proctor. If you're not familiar, Bob Proctor is one of the contributors to the book "The Secret," which focuses on the Law of Attraction," and is a well known motivational speaker who inspires people to change their lives by changing their minds. The power of the mind and positive thinking can help people change their programming and flip the script and tap into the powers that lie within. The quote I posted was this, "Most people are not going after what they want, they are going after what they can get...".- Bob Proctor. Read that again.
How does this apply to birth? Mindset. It's all about the mindset and this is something I focus on with my doula clients and childbirth education families during our visits, and something I will encourage them to explore on their own. As a doula, I am like a guide. I can point you in the direction, give you the resources, and help you along the way, but I can not do it for you. I try not to take an outcome based approached, but rather, think that success lies in the journey. Birth may not go as desired, but how did you feel during the process? Safe? Respected? Heard? Comforted? Informed? That's success! Although I don't believe that success is in the outcomes, I will often say the outcome is directly related to your motivation. How motivated are you to seek out the things that you want? How strong is your reason, your WHY, for wanting these things? Are you ready for the intensity and difficult conversations? A little mental prep goes a long way!
One exercise I have my clients do is write out "How society portrays birth?" -vs- "What are your expectations for birth?" -vs- "What is your ideal/dream/perfect birth?" For example, I often see this as a general answer: "Society portrays birth as very chaotic, a whirlwind. The water breaks and they rush off. It's fast and it's scary! It's very sterile and medical. My expectations are that I probably will be in a hospital. Even though I'm hoping for a natural birth, I might end up with the epidural. I know I'll have to be hooked up to monitors and an IV but hopefully I can move a little. I'll eat a meal before we check in because I am only allowed to have ice chips. My ideal dream birth would be at home, with my family, music, candles, peaceful, maybe in a tub, eating and drinking, no IV, laboring and birthing in whatever position feels best."
There's not much we can do to change they way society portrays birth (until more consumers start to speak up), but nonetheless, it sits in our subconscious that, "it's just the way it is." The second part, the "expectations," is where I find concerning language that more often resembles "societal views" rather than the "ideal/dream birth." Language like, "probably" and "end up with..." and "I have to (or allowed/not allowed to)" and "hopefully." I find that the "expectation" seems to be shaped by societal views rather than a person's desires. Why don't the expectations more closely relate to the "ideal/dream" birth? What's holding you back from speaking your truth? Are these feelings coming from you or from an external place, like media, society, family, friends? Are these truths even true for you or do you wish you could change it? You have to uncover where your beliefs stem from and if they are holding you back. That's where the power is. Knowing yourself. Your values. You desires. And approaching it all with a fierce confidence, even in the unknown, so much so, that no matter what the outcome, you can say you were able to stay in alignment with your values, beliefs, and desires. Let's chat!