People have laughed at me when I mention the word childbirth and bliss in the same sentence.
I’ve also seen multiple women have orgasmic births. Blissful, right?
The belief that childbirth is “painful, scary, and dangerous” is deeply embedded in our society. This ghost story originated in the days (a long time ago) when women in need of assistance during childbirth were denied needed care because they were seen as the “undeserving ill.” This is no longer our reality, yet the fear attached to it has persisted.
There is another way, a more gentle, comfortable, and joyful way.
As a mother, I used the steps below to have a challenging, yet (blissfully!) comfortable natural hospital birth. I’ve also seen many of my hypnobirthing and doula clients use the following techniques to have blissful medicated hospital births, home births, and everything in between.
I’ve even seen women moving through C-sections use a handful of these techniques to claim their experience and feel empowered in knowing they had the right to enjoy their birthing experience, even if it wasn’t what they’d originally planned for.
Flow through all of these during your birth, or choose the ones that feel best to you.
1. Change your language
The words you play in your mind are what your body translates into physical sensation. Be conscious of your inner (and outer) vocabulary, changing up the words that aren’t serving you.
For example, instead of saying pain, label the actual sensations you are feeling, like “pulling, pressure, tightening, or expanding,” Instead of saying contraction (which sounds so constrictive!) say, “surge or wave.” Those alternates have more gentle and comfortable connotations.
Urge those around you to adopt this language as well.
2. Ban negative energy
Anyone who is not enhancing your experience does not need to be in the room. You have every right to ask your birth companion to gently remove any positive-energy-suckers from your space. You can even request a different nurse!
3. Claim your space
Even if you’re surrounded by the sterility of a hospital, your birthing companion can create an oasis with the help of low lighting, soothing music, aromatherapy, soft materials, and a birthing ball — because birthing balls make everything better.
Your inner environment tends to mirror your outer environment.
4. Accept the gift of water
Warm water takes pressure off your hard working muscles, enhances relaxation and expansion, helps you connect with your baby (who is also floating in warm liquid), and prevents people from poking you as much. A bath is ideal, but a warm shower can be just as soothing. Give it a try — I think you’ll love it.
5. Give thanks for every surge (aka contraction)
Remember, every surge brings you closer to your baby. Have a mantra of gratitude you recite through every surge. “My body gracefully brings me closer and closer to the emergence of my baby.” (Or whatever sounds good to you!)
6. Talk to your baby
When your mind shifts from physical discomfort to connecting with your baby, the discomfort will likely diminish by many levels. Talk to your baby out loud, or in your mind, throughout birth. Let the words come from your heart, helping you become more and more excited for the moment you finally get to hold your babe.
7. Envision a cosmic spiral of energy
Hippie or not, calling on whatever “higher power” speaks to you to assist in your birth will bring a heightened level of spirituality and comfort into your experience. Knowing this birth is transforming you into an ultimate goddess transforms it into a sacred journey.
8. Be a belly dancer
Take that cosmic spiral of energy a step further by swirling your hips through each surge, envisioning the energy flowing down-down-down, easing your baby out the birth path.
9. Chant the pain away
Making any sound, in a very low tone, will ease your discomfort and create a concentrated point of focus. When you focus solely on your voice, you’re distracted from the foreign sensations rolling through you, and the vibration of your low tones creates a numbing effect.
10. Breathe down love
Instead of bursting blood vessels and developing the oh-so-lovely hemorrhoids, why not allow your baby the room and oxygen she needs to enter this world? Try this instead of, or in conjunction with, traditional pushing. In the final phase of birth, with each surge, take in a quick and strong breath, then focus on pushing that breath down the back of your throat, through your baby, and out your pelvic region. Repeat until the surge subsides.
11. Remember, you are having the exact birth you are meant to have
Even if you elect, or medically require, intervention during your birth, hold on to the knowing that you are having the birth your body, baby, and self need to move through — even if it doesn’t make sense to you in the moment. Lay back and enjoy the ride, whatever that looks like for you.