Why would you want to prepare for a holistic birth instead of a natural birth? Natural birth typically means, a birth without the use of medications or medical interventions. This type of birth is usually healthiest for a woman and her baby. Birth is designed to work well and the less we meddle, the better the outcome and health of both.
Natural birth is an important and worthy goal for many women. But, we can go deeper. Why does someone want to avoid medications? What are her alternatives for coping and surrendering to the process? Why does she want a hospital birth or a home birth? This is where the beauty of holistic preparation takes over.
Holistic coaching focuses on your WHOLE person – the sum of your emotions, thoughts, beliefs, physicality, soul and circumstances – and how each part affects the others positively or negatively. With holistic preparation, you can bring alignment to these “parts” to empower your pregnancy, birth and mothering with wholeness and health.
What does it look like to put holistic birth preparation into action?
First, we look back into your history. Your own birth, your family’s beliefs about birth, what birth you’d like to prepare for, etc. Holistic birth also focuses on emotional awareness and seeking God’s voice throughout pregnancy and into the birth and parenting seasons.
Also, what team have you chosen to surround you as you prepare for birthing? You team can include a partner, friends, mentors, family and care providers (doctor, midwife, doula, etc) – or none of these! What role does each person play and why do you want each participant close enough to influence you during this time?
Another aspect of holistic preparation is addressing the fears you may have when you look forward to your pregnancy and birth. This is not as negative as it sounds. Birth is full of unknowns that can introduce fear. It’s important to understand why we fear certain parts of this experience and find a place of acceptance: understanding what “could happen and what “rarely happens.”
Finally, if you have trauma in your background, this could slightly or deeply affect your pregnancy, birth and postpartum times. Awareness and readiness to adjust plans is important for you if this is part of your history.
These are a few of the ways you can prepare for a holistic birth; a birth that emphasizes the awareness and integration of your body, mind and soul. Once you are aware of how much your emotions impact your physical body, or how important support is for your mind, and how God can guide you through your experience, you will never want “only” a natural birth. You will want a peaceful and joyful birth using all the gifts of your entire self for a greater level of health and satisfaction in the process of welcoming your little one earthside.