So, you’re preparing excitedly for the birth of your first baby, or perhaps your fifth?
You’re a diligent Mama, doing all the “right” things that are recommended for natural birth.
Excellent nutrition – tick.
Regular movement – tick.
Independent childbirth education – tick.
Pre-natal yoga – tick.
Reading empowering birth literature – tick.
Watching positive birthing videos – tick.
Birth hypnosis training – tick.
Pilates – tick.
Doula or independent midwife – tick.
This all sounds fabulous, Mama!
I would seriously commend you for your dedication to positive, natural birthing and planning a gentle start for your baby.
And I wonder too if you’re aware that birth is primal and involves a huge level of trust and relinquishing control?
That’s right – letting go of the need to mirco-manage every fine detail.
Do-ing which brings on line a parts of your brain, the amygdala and neo-cortex, which look out for the presence of danger.
It calls you to be vigilant, on guard.
Your adrenaline levels will often go up and oxytocin levels plummet as you scan your external reality.
I would go as far as saying that the word control has no place in natural primal birthing!
Birthing your baby without the need for obstetric input is about having done your groundwork early in pregnancy.
Putting together a birth team that is aligned with your desires for your baby’s entry into the world.
It’s about opening fully and surrendering to the mystery and magic of your exquisite female body.
And trusting that support will come your way, from many and unexpected sources.
It’s riding your edges, being completely honest about your fears, and still having the vulnerability and courage to step through to the other side.
It’s about getting familiar with the intricate workings of your body which is already programmed to ease your baby into the world naturally – with or without a roar!
This level of birthing is about being as primal as you’ll ever get in your life – to feel your raw power as Woman and Mother as you move your body instinctively to climb your personal Everest.
And it is the realm of transformation like none other.
A place to meet your strength and majesty possibly for the first time.
To set yourself up with utmost trust and confidence for the years ahead as Mother.
A time-limited opportunity to grab now or to postpone, perhaps forever.
For even as you may be a sophisticated twenty-first century being, don’t forget that you are at your core a mammal!
A female human with an inbuilt ability to birth your baby as aeons of mothers have done before you.
Would we truly have over seven billion of our species on this planet if this were not the case?
If birth were inherently dangerous and labouring mothers always needed the watchful eyes and gadgets of modern medicine as we’re led to believe today?
So, how do I learn to get into this powerful primal zone, you may ask?
Truth is, your mammalian heritage already ensures that your birthing hormones will be completely on your side in labour.
Oxytocin and beta-endorphins will promote efficient surges of muscle activity to open your pelvis and usher your baby out through your vagina.
This does mean opting to birth as far as possible without drugs so that your natural hormones can have their fullest impact.
They will take you into the trance of labour where the primal aspect of your brain is activated and the busy logical thinking part takes a back seat.
In this state, your perception of pain may be dampened and time seem to stand still.
There will be less room for fear to rear it’s head for this potent cocktail will support you to remain in the moment with just
your sublime birthing body and your precious baby soon to be in your arms.
It’s a case of really knowing what will enhance your flow of oxytocin, beta-endorphins & other feel-good hormones, and what will inhibit it.
What are the conditions that allow you to feel safe, cared for, warm, sensual and focused?
That quieten your busy mind and let your primal being have centre stage, without inhibition or apology?
The things that keep you in the zone where your birthing body can do what it already knows how?
How free and effective are your breath and instinctive sounds to help open your body?
Are you confident in exploring movements that bring comfort, even pleasure, and allow your baby’s easeful descent?
How can your sensuality and your sexuality support you to birth your baby?
What are the sounds, smells, textures and level of lighting that would be conducive?
Are there particular people who would help keep you labouring in the calm and safety of your birth bubble?
Can you honestly ask for what you need, and be okay with that?
Are there ways of being touched and spoken with that would benefit you?
Or would you rather that there was no talking at all?
The language of the primal brain is sensation.
Meeting this in your body will more likely keep you in the zone.
Shying away from sensation, no matter how intense, will take you out of it.
Being fully in touch with your primal self is also about getting familiar with how your nervous system is wired to protect you from perceived threats.
How you can call on it to inform you of your true Yes and No – your instinctual boundaries for yourself and your baby.
Building on your inner authority, your body’s profound knowing.
And how you might avoid having it over-react in the highly sensitive zone of birthing.
To minimize the triggering of a fight, flight or more commonly, a freeze response which would disconnect you from your body, your feelings, or your whole birthing experience.
And may disrupt your bonding with your newborn baby.
Or even set you up for the symptoms of birth trauma.
So dear Mama, while you’ve been drawing a huge learning curve in your birth preparation journey, there may also be things you’ll need to unlearn for primal birthing!
To unplug from your active mind full of birthing facts and trust in the power of your magnificent birthing body.
Or at the very least, to prepare for birth and motherhood through the intelligence of your instinctual body, and not just your thinking brain.
Then, all that will remain is for you is to surrender to the power of your exquisite birthing body and meet yourself like never before: triumphant from birth and forever changed.
If you’re feeling ready for this level of birth preparation, I’d love to support you in the special time leading up to the birth of your baby. You can find details of the next Primal Mama: embodied birth education series here.