mindfulness based childbirth and parenting - anyone done this?(11 Posts)
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I would be really interested to know how you have been getting on with this.
I started to read a Mindfulness book and follow the meditations just before I found out I was pregnant and was finding it really helpful for general anxiety etc. I am now 10 weeks pregnant and already worried about labour and birth after not such a great experience first time around.
This sounds like it could suit me more than Hypnobirthing so it would be great to know how this works for you.
im reading the mindful birthing book.
not done the stuff in practice yet but think the principles make a lot of sense!
when I hav finished it im going to decide if I need to practice all the techniques or whether I can just use the principles.
I thought it would work better for me than hypnobirthing, bit of a half way house.
I thought the section explaining childbirth was very useful.
I used the Mindful Birthing book for my last baby and found it wonderful. I had a very drawn out labour but it enabled me to get right to transition before I felt I wanted G&A.
Mindful parenting...now, that's more of a challenge
I didn't know about this book but have done a bit of mindfulness/meditation practice prior to birth.
In my birth experience, I found that as long as I stayed with the present moment I could cope. It was whenever I started thinking about how long to go etc that I started losing my shit. I worked out that each contraction was 9 long breaths and I counted them each time (with mooing noises!). Breath 5 was the peak and then I knew I was on the way out. I think breaking it down to a single breath makes it bearable.
I didn't end up intervention-free (had an epidural after 22 odd hours) but these strategies certainly helped me and I felt very positive about my birth. Weirdly when I look back on it all the contractions kind of blend together into one moment in my mind.
"I did Hypno last time after traumatic first birth that I had done NO prep for at all, didn't even make antenatal classes and it was helpful but I didn't like the message that if you thought positively you would have a positive birth because I think it's a wee bit more out of our control than that."
This is why I am wary of hypnobirthing (1st timer with anxiety). There's almost a hint of not-quite 'blame' in there (had stitched? You weren't "hypno" enough, that's why). I also know a RL person who believed utterly in it till something went wrong (not in the UK BTW), couldn't accept sometimes birthing is medically unpleasant/needs a surgeon to help (it's not always unnecessary intervention) and her 'shame' contributed to PND/PTSD.
Thanks for the heads up. Mindfulness sounds like something I should read up on!
I felt the same about hypnobirthing and loved a book I read before my third labour called Birth Skills by Juju Sundin, she doesn't use the term mindfulness but v similar techniques to what you describe, eg practising by squatting with your arms held out until your legs and arms are but I g, focus on a bit of your body that doesn't hurt like your toes. Or focus on movement in a pain free area, eg banging something with your hands, squeezing, or tapping your feet. Was totally brilliant and I used lots of her techniques, squeezing/biting and bashing a spikey ball against my forehead being v helpful. Also visualisation of what was happening. It was a quick and progressive labour and might just have been luck that it was a "better" birth than my first and second but I didn't feel the need to ask for any pain relief at all in that one, the techniques worked so well.
*until legs and arms are burning
I didn't read a specific book but know the principles of mindfulness and found it very useful for both births. I didn't go to any antenatal classes for either birth. I had no intervention in either birth. The first was harder because I had a more proactive MW so she kept interrupting my concentration. The second I was able to assert that I needed to concentrate during contractions more clearly. I worked to meet and not hide from the pain, and also spent time recognising that the difference between 'coping' and 'not coping' is literally having a contraction where you stay present and having a contraction where you tell yourself terrifying stories about not coping. The latter are way tougher!
My eldest is 3 and I practice mindfulness with him particularly because I am prone to angry feelings which I would otherwise pass to him. When it's really tough I include him in my strategising: taking deep breaths, allowing the feeling to be in my body, watching as it fades. It's hard because I sometimes just need to be on top of it but have never found simply sitting on it very calm-inducing. I do try to help him notice and label his feelings and not be judgemental (I'd never tell him to not cry, or that it's alright when he feels it isn't, for example, and try just to label disappointment or rage - "you're cross!" - during a tantrum). So I think I am trying to work with mindfulness as a parent, too.
Would be interested to know about everyone's experiences of this, too. Congratulations, OP, btw. Oh how I long for number 3!
Hi ladies I can absolutely say that mindfulness is a wonderful thing.
I use Hypnobirthing in my first labour. It was not a great labour as waters went prematurely and I felt under pressure for contractions to start. As a result i feel Hypnobirthing led me to stop moving and starting the quiet time too early if that makes sense. I see that hypnotising ourselves is actually almost a way of denying what Is happening. Yes I needed no drugs. But did I actually listen to my body? No.
Second birth I went all out mindful active labour. Then had her in the water. I was in the moment. No drugs. Joyful. I was in labour not in a bloody rainbow!
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