Ever wonder how some women have such a fun and easy labor?
You know the type: the super-relaxed, super-lucky ones who practically sneeze their babies out. How do they do it? Does it come naturally, or do they actually train for it?
I’m just an ordinary mom who had a typically horrible experience birthing my first child.
Thank goodness my story didn’t end there.
In fact, my next two births were so epic that I went on to become the founder of the LoveBirthing Revolution, and I now do everything I can to help make blissful birth the new normal for women everywhere.
What was the major difference?
First of all, that first birth was anything but natural.
Sure, I hired a midwife and went without drugs. But due to naively trusting my midwife’s authority more than my own body, I followed instruction to push my baby out before he and my body were ready, resulting in hours and hours of unnecessary hard work and pain.
The really frustrating part is that I’d hoped, prayed, and trained as hard as I could for a peaceful, painless, easy labor.
So when pregnancy number two came around, I was determined to avoid a repeat performance. I dove in headfirst and essentially gave myself a hack-school online degree in midwifery. And did I ever learn some fascinating things.
Did you know that belly dancing was originally a fertility and birthing dance? And that dancing during labor can actually make contractions pleasant? Whaaaaat?
Of course I can see why it hasn’t really caught on—who wants to be the nutjob belly dancing in the delivery ward? (Sadly home birth still only accounts for less than two percent of American births.)
But the real kicker was a little something called the Fetal Ejection Reflex (or FER). If we’re completely relaxed, our bodies should just automatically eject our babies the moment they’re ready, without us having to do any pushing whatsoever.
It’s all about the hormonal cocktail our bodies release. Fear and stress hormones close the womb to help mama get to a place of safety before she lets her baby out into the world, while calm and relaxation signal the body that we’re ready and it’s safe for baby to come.
To prep for that second birth, I did a ton of dancing, saturated my mind with positive birth stories, researched the science of easy labor, and got deeply in tune with my body, mind, and spirit through daily meditation.
And that birthing experience completely redeemed my first. It was painless, fun, easy, and deeply empowering.
I immediately wanted to share the good news of blissful, easy birth with every woman on the planet, but I found that most people just weren’t interested. It was a little too “out there.” They’d rather schedule a predictable C-section or invest in pain management strategies and stay within the mainstream. That’s cool. No judgment here. Frustration, but not judgment.
However, one woman contacted me and wanted to know everything she could about the way I’d prepped for my birth. So I sent her an article I’d written but never published, “Five Steps to a Pain-free and Fun Childbirth.”
She followed the advice I’d outlined and went on to have a beautiful, blissful, and even orgasmic birth—with her first child.
Every woman is completely different, so what works for one woman isn’t going to work for everyone, but I’m convinced that labor is meant to be different than the average woman’s experience today.
If women knew how amazing birth could be, the world would be a different place.
Imagine if all babies were born peacefully, pleasurably, and in a way that made their mamas feel amazing, invincible, and confident in their own power and authority. What a wonderful world that would be.
If I only had one shot at giving a mama-to-be my best advice, I’d pass on to her my Top 10 Tips for a Fun and Easy Labor:
1. Learn about the science of easy labor.
2. Believe that it’s possible—and possible for you.
3. Arrange for your labor to be as private as lovemaking.
4. Learn belly dancing moves that make contractions fun.
5. Saturate your mind with positive mantras, birthing stories, and videos.
6. Go completely au naturel with your birth (drugs make the FER impossible).
7. Choose the neutral word “sensation” over “pain.”
8. Breathe and move with the energy of each contraction or “surge.” Don’t just get through it; get into it!
9. Expect birthing to feel good.
10. Purposely slow…it…down (just like you wouldn’t hurry through an orgasm).
No two births are exactly the same. So enjoy the process, trust your body, and embrace the wild unpredictability of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Author: Amanda Grace Harrison
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Toby Israel