One of the first things many parents say to me at the beginning of their hypnobirthing course is ‘I’m sorry, I’m just such a control freak!”. My answer to that is, it’s OK- it’s human nature to want to feel in control of the world around you. However, pregnancy and birth are a whole other ball game that requires us to relinquish the control we’ve grown so used to having in every other part of life. Here are 4 things we need to learn to let go of in order to be able to enjoy the experience:
1. Bump size
Have you ever looked down at your belly and wondered if you are the ‘right size’ for your gestational period? Have you looked at other bumps and wondered why yours is ‘so small’ or ‘so big’? Well stop, right now! Every bump size is completely unique. If you are ever worried, then please, don’t ask Dr Google or check #20weekspregnant on Instagram. Speak to your midwife to get reassurance and remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Your bump is the perfect size for your baby.
2. Energy levels
Energy levels will be sky high one day, and at rock bottom the next. Listening to your body and doing exactly what it’s telling you it needs you to do is the best way to manage this day to day fluctuation. For some, the trimesters are quite defined in terms of energy levels, for others it’s a mish mash throughout. Cancelling or postponing plans is something to start feeling comfortable with, but also embracing the wonderful energy that pregnancy can bring too.
3. The big day
This isn’t focusing so much on the ‘when the big day will be’ as we’ll cover that next, but more about ‘how’ the day will go. But please don’t be disheartened- there are SO many things in your control to support your mind and body to navigate however birth goes for you. But ultimately, you do need to let go of any plan. Preferences and wishes are extremely important and definitely something to focus your prep time on. These are things like the comfort measures you would be open to using, the fact you are using hypnobirthing techniques and yours and your baby’s after care. Ensuring your birth team are up to speed on your preferences is important as it won’t be something you’ll be wanting to think too much about on the day.
4. Due dates
I’ve saved the best till last. Did you know that only 3-5% of babies are born on their due dates? 80% are born 2 weeks either side of the due date… meaning that 80% of babies come anytime in a 4 week period. Yet we focus so much on 1 date! Due dates are given to us to plan our appointments, but it’s a really good idea to let go of the thought that baby may be ‘late’ or ‘early’ if they don’t come on that very day. No one wants to be late, and early suggests we might not yet be ready for them. If planning a physiological birth, focus on a due time and coming to terms with the fact that you may well meet your baby from 37 weeks onwards (and that would be completely normal!).
Mindful Birth courses educate you on what to let go of and how, and then help you to focus on all of the things that are within your control. Head to www.themindfulbirthgroup.com to find an online, Zoom or in-person course to suit you.