More spiritual after childbirth? Finding things hard to come to terms with.

(25 Posts)

Have you not come across the term "lizard-brain"? It's just a term in common usage to describe the most primitive, instinctual part of our brain.

At the state-of-the-art birthing centre I was lucky enough to be able to use, women are helped and encouraged to do their best to transform the medical birthing suites into something more comfortable and primitive, for instance making a "nest" or den using pillows and sheets on the floor, dimming lights, bringing in pillows from home so that there is a familiar smell in the room.

I'm very used to deeply spiritual experiences, but the whole process of pregnancy, labour and giving birth was so much more than that.

Salbertina Sun 21-Apr-13 08:40:35

http://thelizard-brain.com/definitions/def_li.html

Primitive brain, if you will.. "Survivor" brain..

One of my birth experiences did fit with this- i was deeply in my "cave" and needed to be to feel safe (for me this was my birthing pool) and eventually felt like this in my head also- very primeval with the pain-induced meditative state rocked by contractions...Rhythm of it all (and a fantastic mw) got me through.

Not "woo" at all, imho - birth and death are-necessarily-primeval states! Just v hard to convey in a birthing manual (no thanks to Odent who rather makes it seem woo.. And is male!) or a medical textbook!

technodad Sat 20-Apr-13 20:25:53

Some people say I am too pedantic sometimes...

mylittlepuds Sat 20-Apr-13 20:13:58

I think it's just a name for it?

technodad Sat 20-Apr-13 19:16:29

I don't have a problem with the idea that it is an instinctual response (although god clearly doesn't have anything to so with evolution, even if he did exist). But the evolutionary instinct won't have come from lizards, because they are not the same genus.

Chimp brain, or mammalian brain, I could accept those, just not lizard.

mylittlepuds Sat 20-Apr-13 18:46:50

Technodad. Give birth then you can comment grin

Only joking - but...childbirth is possibly the most painful thing a human can go through without dying. Surely there is space there for to have developed a coping mechanism for it. Have you heard about people who save people from car collisions etc being given strength? Things going in slow motion?

It may not necessarily be woo, just a way of coping. Although I would really like to think it's God's work. But there's your paradox, once again. We'll never ever know.

technodad Sat 20-Apr-13 17:37:44

Worldgonecrazy

Don't lizards lay eggs?

mylittlepuds Sat 20-Apr-13 15:50:03

Auro that is so lovely. That must have brought you so much comfort.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions wink

Fwiw, I tried gas and air early on in the painful bit and I hated it - it made me feel all woozy and sick. I couldn't take painkillers because they also made me sick. My mum died 6 years before my dd was born, yet i could clearly see her and feel her and hear her in the labour room with me. it was not a hallucination as some might say. It happened and brought me a lot of comfort at a time when nothing else worked. you would be surprised at a lot of things if you could have an open mind wink

mylittlepuds Fri 19-Apr-13 16:54:04

Ooh do tell more Salbertina!

Salbertina Fri 19-Apr-13 16:10:11

Completely and of course! WGC- totally agree with primeval thing...

It was some stuff by Michel Odent and some bits and pieces I read whilst pregnant - sorry I don't have the references. If you google "going to Mars"+ labour you may pull up some references.

When I said "second stage labour" I actually meant the bit from 4cm dilated to full dilation (the long bit!), not what is usually referred to as second stage labour which is the actual bit once you're dilated and baby is pushed out.

mylittlepuds Thu 18-Apr-13 08:59:27

That's so interesting world!! Very reassuring that I've not gone mental. Where did you find out about this and where can I read more?

In labour, particularly in the second stage, women revert to primeval state. The lizard brain takes over, and this, combined with the gas and air, means that we are often said to be "on a different planet". We become more aware of the chemical/pheronome signals given off by other people, and enter a weird almost meditative state in between contractions. At these times a lot of people may find themselves having experiences which could be regarded as "spiritual". Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. I guess it depends on how much you believe in woo.

mylittlepuds Wed 17-Apr-13 15:53:06

Thank you Pedro! I certainly feel things are more 'worked out' now but it's disarming that it came from me and my subconscious. It would be easier to believe it came from elsewhere maybe? Oh I don't know. I need to stop prodding at it.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Wed 17-Apr-13 15:36:36

It's all likely to be similar to dream experiences. They are unlikely to be anything other than your brain just working things through in your subconscious, but that doesn't mean it can't all help you have a more positive attitude towards things which can allow you to be more relaxed and ultimately result in a better experience all round.

mylittlepuds Tue 16-Apr-13 22:25:12

Thank you Indigo. I need more confidence in myself to trust that it was a valid experience and not me going mental! That's my big fear.

It was just a really weird experience and I've been left feeling content and happy (I'm not used to it).

IndigoBarbie Tue 16-Apr-13 21:42:17

Hey there, I am a spiritual woo person, and I had a lot of gas and air during my labour. I had some very amazing experiences during that time, and now I can't really remember them in absolute detail (3 years ago) but I do recall knowing things that made complete sense to me - and telling my partner how he had to remind me of what I had said.
I can relate to the searching, and in some ways the most information I get now is when I stop trying so hard, and give myself a break - then it all just seems to fall into place. I too have suffered anxiety in the past, but I have also related this to me picking up on other's energies and it actually overtakes my own body. I think I have this under check now. If you do want to chat, I am here xxx

mylittlepuds Tue 16-Apr-13 21:13:58

That's a really helpful post Elfy! Basically I've had a really tough few years since my last labour (serious anxiety issues).

This time the strange gas and air hallucinations kind of (very kind of) 'made sense' whereas last time it was just horrible and they made no sense at all.

I can't remember the ins and out but I felt like someone told me that things weren't going to as difficult for me this time around after birth, yes still hard but not heinous. I feel like I've been given (or developed) a coping mechanism for my anxiety that has only come into action after labour. I was also told to 'stop searching' for some kind of meaning for life as I'm never going to find it. All I've done for the past two years is search as I felt so bereft at developing such heinous anxiety issues. It's like everything has fallen into place - and that's the woo bit that i'm finding hard.

Don't get me wrong - I feel so blessed and thankful that things seen to have started to resolve. Just a bit confused.

elfycat Tue 16-Apr-13 20:52:44

I am 'woo' but I would suggest that with the gas and air and other things on your mind you had a moment where you relaxed and your thoughts and hunches added up correctly. Most of my insights I believe to just be adding up small clues that I have gained/seen/heard and then I have a moment where it makes sense.

A small tremour in someones voice, a small smile that you thought meant something else. A silence when you expected a comment. A lifetime of observing the world around you.

But as I am woo I'd have to suggest keeping an open mind wink

mylittlepuds Tue 16-Apr-13 20:48:03

I did write a big long post but then felt like I was totally baring my soul. Not usual for me as I'm an (over) sharer. I think it best to talk things through with a counsellor.

Thanks for your well wishes :-)

technodad Tue 16-Apr-13 20:26:23

Your comments are extremely vague, so I am not sure you will get much response.

I am a male, atheist, rationalist, so you won't get much help from me, other than telling you that everything "woo" and religious is nonsense.

Good luck in your quest.

mylittlepuds Tue 16-Apr-13 20:08:02

Most definitely could be but it's really freaking me out. I seemed to get a few 'insights' that have proven correct and very relevant to what I've been through.

technodad Tue 16-Apr-13 19:55:24

Was it due to the gas and air?

mylittlepuds Tue 16-Apr-13 19:38:38

I had quite a spiritual experience whilst in labour that I'm finding hard to accept as I'm a 'logic' person and it's just not sitting well!

Is it just me?

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