Tell me a positive birth story. Tell me a story that gives me strength, courage and inspiration. Tell me a story that will make me understand my own true potential, power and ability. Tell me a story so that I can go into labor knowing that I am fully capable of birthing my baby, that my body was made to birth this baby and that I got this.
Being pregnant is such a wonderfully magical and life changing journey. For some it can also be a time of anxiety, worry and concern. Not only are your hormones all over the place, you are also very vulnerable and it can feel like you are heading into the unknown…especially when it comes to giving birth.
For a first time mother that has yet to experience the birthing of a child, the main source of knowledge and information comes from those around her. Fellow mothers sharing their own personal experiences, words from healthcare providers and stories heard in the media, in movies, or from TV, Google etc.
Finding positive stories is not as easy as it should be and there seems to be a theme of women feeling more empowered to share their traumatic stories than those with a positive one. Maybe we feel as though we are boasting if we share that we’ve had a positive experience? Maybe we feel like we will offend someone? Maybe we are surrounded by a world that tells us that birth needs to be medicalised and intervened with. And to keep quiet if we experienced otherwise.
We need to hear more positive stories!
There’s no denying birth can be messy, it can and probably will be exhausting and will take you to limits that you didn’t even know you could go to. It can be raw and you will need to draw upon an inner power that you might not have known you had. But it is beautiful and life changing and something that we should never ever have to enter in fear. Especially not someone else’s fear, someone else’s experience, someone else’s story.
While pregnant with my daughter I was overwhelmed with other people’s negative birth stories to the point where my partner made me promise that we wouldn’t try for a home birth as he was worried about the various scenarios of complications and such. I have to admit that as a first time mother I too was concerned that something ‘could’ go wrong. I was nervous about the unknown and worried that there ‘could’ be complications. It wasn’t until we both took a hypnobirthing course and learned all about the physiological side of child birth, that both of us felt incredibly confident in my ability to give birth to our baby.
And even if a birth doesn’t go according to plan, it doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t a positive experience.
In the end, my birth did not go ‘according to plan’. I ended up in the hospital and it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be. There was no music playing in the background, no incense burning, no water birth that I had planned for.
And yet it was perfect. I had a beautiful healthy baby girl and I still felt empowered and strong and on top of the world. My first birth has given me the confidence to know that I too, can birth a baby, and it has given me the immense belief in myself for the upcoming birth at the beginning of next year.
Writing your own birth story
So mothers, I call upon you to help spread stories of positivity, strength, and power. To help give other women the confidence to go into their births with a ‘can do’ attitude and a knowing that they can trust in themselves and their bodies to write their own birth story.
Everyone has the right to tell their story, whether it be positive story or a story that didn’t go as you’d hoped it would. I would like to urge you to keep stories that could cause worry, anxiety or fear for another time. A time when you’re not in the presence of a woman embarking on the most beautiful journey to motherhood.
On Friday November 1st from 19.30 – 21.30 Hanneke Peeters & Asha Hossain will host the wonderful Motherheart Circle: Trust and peace in pregnancy at Delight Yoga Amsterdam. An intimate and powerful evening for pregnant women to gather and connect. Read more or book your spot here.