Labor or giving birth related strongly with the pregnancy, of course. The way you giving birth is depend how much you prepare your body, mind and soul during the pregnancy. So, before i write about my gentle pregnancy i wanted to tell you it was the encounter between me and with gentle birth which brought me and applied gentle pregnancy. Gentle Birth philosophy is in my path and i’m glad i knew it
Pregnancy is a special moment for almost every woman. After misscarriage in July 2013 i was so grateful to have another chance to pregnant 3 months afterwards. I was so happy but almost hopeless in the same time. Why? I just been living in France for 2 months before the pregnancy hence i live in small but lovely city called Bourges which i presumed the health provider and services will be very limited. I was always wanted my delivery will be gentle, at home, very private and intimate with my husband inside the water, assisted by midwife and accompanied by a doula. And hell where would i got those in Bourges ? I had no idea, neither my husband. My discover of a group called ‘Gentle Birth Untuk Semua (GBUS)’ actually was in July 2013, i never really read seriously all the documents there that’s why i was a bit mixed up between gentle birth, home birth, water birth, and non-assisted birth.
It took me a while to read and understand that gentle birth itself is a philosophy or a believe i would say. Meanwhile home birth, water birth or non-assisted birth are just the methods. And i do know many people were missleading about these terms. Why i ended up read it very carefully? After i knew that law in France does not protect the midwifes who provide their birth service at home (even they are not allowed to open their own clinic) i was angry, dissapointed, sad, frustrated! I couldn’t understand why even when my husband tried to explain many times. So, it means there will be no home birth for me. Meanwhile i contacted an Indonesian doula; Mba Hanita which from her i knew where to contact a doula living in France. Briefly, she’s only in France only in summer which will also be my due date, added she lives in Blois which only 1,5 hours driving from Bourges.
Bref… after reading, reading and reading again added with self healing TAT practise, i surended to the options i had in Bourges. I think the most important thing is how our mind, body and soul when giving birth. Pregnancy is the best time to prepare it, once you might think “i will do yoga later, i have plenty of times to due date…” but ZAP… time past very fast, i tell you very fast. Don’t get yourself regret anything behind because you didn’t practice. So this is what i did during my pregnancy in order to prepare mind, body, and soul (as i said) and also knowledge. Knowledge is power
1. Heal your trauma and your worries
GBUS group and lots of gentle birth practicioner recomend a documentary movie called “Birth as We Know it”. This movie was an opened eye for me. The scene when a woman gave birth in the water was moved me, i was crying like a baby first time i see this, imagining how gentle and very peaceful it was. One lesson that i will always remember: ‘Preparation during pregnancy includes deep emotional healing. Because pregnancy activates a woman’s birth trauma. So first thing a woman need to heal her own birth trauma in order to avoid recreating it at the time delivery’.
That is why heal your trauma is one necessary thing, includes your worries about pregnancy and labor itself. There are lots of healing method, i wouldn’t talk about this specifically here, because i knew only Tapas Acupressure Technique (TAT) and it suits me very much. Hard to explain how glad i was each time after i did TAT. Sometimes i think how magic it is, the technique is so easy yet the result is satisfying, no it’s not a magic, that’s how our body and mind work together and i just enjoy it
2. Prenatal Yoga
I will never get bored to force people to do yoga in their pregnancy (if you are not used to yoga before please go to yoga studio where there is prenatal session and consult with the guru). I practise yoga quite long before pregnant and luckily i didn’t have morning sick so i already started my yoga from the begining of pregnancy actually. What i got from yoga? A lot!! i didn’t have back pain, sore or any other discomforts, or even i had in the late of pregnancy (week 38) i knew how to handle it simply with certain pose of yoga. In 1st trimester i did pilates yoga 2x per week (with some modification in pose of course), then 3x per week with yoga flow until the delivery. I even did my flow yoga one day before give birth. I joined in a studio near my house for prenatal yoga and pilates yoga then i also do yoga at home from youtube. I found Lara Dutta’s prenatal yoga was very good for me and flow yoga by Summer Hutington (youtube). Again, if you are not use to it, don’t do it at home without you guru.
Yoga helps you to prepare your body before delivery. Some poses are really good to open your pelvic and help your baby in the optimal position. Also, the most important thing that yoga helps you to practise your breathing. Why breathing? Because one of the succesful key in give birth is how you manage your breathe. I know, you might think it’s easy because it’s just a ‘breathe’ that you do it without even thinking. That’s right! i don’t say only breath but breath consciuslyis the key
3. Meditation, Breathe and Communicate with your baby
I always love meditation and keen to learn about it. Again, thare are lots of method to medite, but i will not talk about it, since i’m not the expert, i just practised what i have been learned. This method called vippasana. Simply just sit, breathe and watching your mind (which is not that simple) but again, i learn, i try, i do, i fall and still i do it again. With meditation also you can practise your abdominal breathing and pranayama. Meanwhile you do your breathing you can always to talk to your baby, put your hand one in the belly and another one in the heart then communicate all with her / him. It was very nourishing for our soul indeed
I was always want to do acupunctur during pregnancy but too bad, there were no acupuncturist special for pregnant woman here (or maybe i just haven’t found it), it’s okay. There are lots of thing you could do for relaxation. By the way, acupunctur is not just for relaxation, in fact, it is also known to maintain mother and baby’s health during pregnancy. Hypnobirthing and relaxation were two things that i learned from cd and the book (i used books and cd from Lanny Kuswandi -a hypno therapist) and i really enjoy the exercise and during the labor. Believe it or not, i fell asleep during contraction intermittent. The best thing you could do is to learn this with your husband/partner so later in labor he/she can guide you to a deep relaxation
5. Read, read, and READ MORE!
I joined GBUS who provide all the documents, journal, tips and testimoni related to labour. Beside that i also read Sarah Buckley’s book (Gentle Brith, Gentle Mothering). Woah! it was such an (again) opened eye for me. All you have to know about cesarien, induced, peridural, vacuum, how to avoid it, the impacts for you and your baby. After reading all these precious knowledge, you will know why baby’s position takes an important role. That’s why i learned (from this document) how to do ‘belly mapping’ to know if your baby in posterior or anterior position, heads down or up, etc. It’s very interesting and what i like the most there are many tips how to make your baby change his/her position in preferable position (head down, anterior). This position will make crowning easier for baby in the labor and less painful for you because the size of crown is smaller than the forehead. It is also good to know the facts about peridural.. it scares me, briefly, it paralyzes you especially your vagina. Logically the birth is the connection or i prefer to call it work together between you, your body and your baby, so if this process is interupted by peridural and paralyze your vagina.. then how would you connect with your body? How your body can connect to your baby? See what i mean ? Same thing with induced. We know that love hormone or oxytocine are produced by our body in labour
6. Move, move, and MOVE!
Walk. As simple as that, go out and walk. Let your body move. Your whole body needs it. My last light trekking to mountain was in the 6th month of pregnancy. I even swimming until the 8th month of pregnancy. It feels good! Normally, we do need to do sport and move the body so being pregnant is not a reason to stop it. Listen to your body what kind of sprt or movement that feels comfort with, remember every women is a different, so does the body. For me, walking, cycling (just until the 4th month), swimming, and pilates are the best for me and my body
7. Connect with the earth
The last but yet so important is this. Go out and breath, sit in the park and feel the earth, touch the soil by your feet, feel the grass by your fingers, smell the flowers and those heavenly aroma after the rain. Blend with it, you are part of the universe, and whisper it to your baby: how beautiful life is and impatiently waiting for you. Be kind, be gentle and feel the peace
8. Hear only what you want to hear: good things
When you are pregnant, not only you who feel the hapiness, people around you(friends, aunties, cousins) also happy for it and often they will voluntarily share their expereinces about pregnancy and labor, and often again it was negative experiences. When it starts, change the topic immediately or politely say, thank you but i only want to hear good stories. You must insist because their negative experinces will stick in your mind unconsciously. You must hear often about the power of mind? Well, i’m afraid if you always think and listen tothese negative experiences over and over it will happen. So, choose wisely what you want to hear.
Fuh… finally i can finish this writing, i really hope it helps all the mom -wannabe- out there as this is also my first pregnancy. Actually, i wanted to make the same page with Gladys’ birth but i thought.. nah, it’s already too much, i think i’ll write about my gentle birth in the next page. I promise you, it will be very beautiful :’)