The Power of Intention and Words in Birth Work

The Power of Intention and Words in Birth Work

“Every thought that you give your attention to expands and becomes a bigger part of your vibrational mix. Whether it is a thought of something you want or a thought of something you do not want – your attention to it invites the essence of it into your experience.” Abraham-Hicks

Despite pregnancy being an exciting time, we know that it’s also a time full of fear for many first-time parents. There are so many restrictions on what we can do or eat, and there is near-constant worry about doing anything that will be harmful to the baby. Then there is the crazy way labor and birth are depicted in tv shows and movies, and the overwhelming amount of information on the internet. Aghhhhh!!!!

Early on in my work as a doula, I began to encourage my clients to focus on what they wanted for their births. Based on what they revealed in their pre-work before met for our first prenatal, we would talk about their wishes for birth. If they were fixated on what they didn’t want, I’d have them turn those statements around. What DID they want?

The Mind is a Funny Thing

In my hypnosis training, before I became a Hypnobabies instructor, I learned that the subconscious mind doesn’t understand the words “no or not”. Just look at children, who in their first 6-8 years of life do not have reasoning capability and actively live 24/7 with their subconscious mind. Parenting experts instruct parents to tell children what they WANT them to do. What happens when you tell your toddler “Don’t jump on the bed!”? He’ll continue to jump on the bed, not because he wants to frustrate you even more or is being defiant, but because his little subconscious mind is hearing “DO jump on the bed!” When you tell your child that he can jump on the floor instead, he is much more likely to comply and get off the bed.

Our subconscious minds hold our belief systems, and when we are in an altered state or high level of concentration, beliefs can be influenced, for better or worse. During pregnancy, women are often in an altered state and highly suggestible when they are with their caregivers, in childbirth classes, with their doulas, and whenever they are watching programs or reading anything about birth. Positive or negative ideas about birth will influence a pregnant woman and can affect her birth. In addition, if women constantly focused on what they want to avoid or don’t want, their subconscious mind is affirming that they actually DO want that undesired outcome.

Focusing on What is Wanted

So, I encouraged my clients to focus on what they wanted. I would add to their focus too. I would think about what they wanted for their births and want that for them as well. Before I joined them at the hospital, I would ask the Universe for a great nurse, an understanding doctor, and guidance for all for the best outcome for mom and baby.

What I noticed was that a birthing time encumbered by feelings of fear, defensiveness, and negativity tended to attract a snowball of unfortunate circumstances. From a bitchy nurse to a defensive dad, to a textbook cascade of interventions, it would take a lot of work to make a bad situation better.

However, many times, by focusing on what was wanted, most clients were able to have the births they wanted, or at least minimize interventions, or give them much needed confidence and the strength to accept a different outcome. I’ve had a nurse convince a doctor who “doesn’t work with doulas” to let me stay in the room. I’ve heard an anesthesiologist say just the right thing to comfort a mom whose birthing time wasn’t going in the desired direction. I’ve had clients discuss their wishes with their care provider to postpone an induction successfully and go into their birthing times spontaneously. And so many more seemingly serendipitous events have happened over the years.

I Wonder…

I admire activists whose passion drives them into movements to make birth better, but I’m also often turned off by words that are chosen and the negative energy around some of these efforts. There’s no doubt that birth in our culture could use a few changes. However, I do often wonder…

  • I wonder how a change in perspective and a shift in language would affect birth outcomes?
  • I wonder how birth professionals could change a woman’s experience just by changing their words and encouraging women to change theirs?
  • I wonder how birth could change if women stopped feeding the media frenzy of fear and peril around childbirth?
  • I wonder how birth could change if women shared their stories with pregnant moms to uplift and encourage, rather than “prepare them” or “help them to not make the same mistakes”?

What We Think Upon Grows

Focusing on what we want attracts people, resources, and circumstances that empower us to move forward, whether it’s for birth, parenting, attracting more money or more clients. What is present in our current reality really is a result of past thoughts, and isn’t necessarily an indication of the future. Change your thoughts, change your future reality. Focusing on what we want alleviates fear, gives us courage and makes us more proactive in seeking ways to fulfill our desires.

Can you think of a time in your life that proved this to be true? What can you do to introduce this perspective to the women you work with? I want to hear about it, so come and join us in the Inspired Birth Pros community on Facebook and let’s chat!

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