5 Ways to Feel Confident About Giving Birth.
Congratulations! You’re pregnant!
Those are some loaded words, aren’t they? So. Many. Feelings. Wrapped up in those three words. It’s normal to feel happiness, shock, excitement, denial, apprehension and even sadness when you find out you’re pregnant.
When a woman becomes pregnant, a lot of things may go through her mind:
I can’t believe I’m pregnant!
Wow. I’m pregnant.
I can’t believe I’m pregnant.
For a lot of women, the doubt sets in very quickly. I remember the day I realized that I had a real, actual human being inside of me who was going to have to come out. I’m not gonna lie- I felt some panic. That’s when I knew that I would have to take some steps to prepare myself mentally for giving birth. I’m not a planner by nature so it must have been some pretty strong nesting instincts that kicked in to make me take charge of my birth experience. In the end, I delivered a healthy baby, the way I wanted and I felt like a TRILLION BUCKS.
So how did I do it? I realized that confidence about my ability to give birth was going to come from the things I said to myself, did for myself and felt about myself while I was still pregnant.
Positive Birth Affirmations
I’m not woo woo, but I believe in the power of my mind. Most of the time, I try to quiet my thoughts, but when I was pregnant that was nearly impossible. Instead, I created affirmations about myself that I repeated so many times I actually believed them! Thoughts like, “Man, I’m scared about giving birth” were replaced with “I’m so excited to go into labour so I can meet my new baby!”. During labour I told myself, “Every contraction brings me closer to meeting my little baby!”. This stuff works, Mama. It costs no money, takes very little time and it works.
Obviously I’m going to tell you to take a class, right? Being a Lamaze childbirth educator, I’m very pro-birth classes. But guess what? I wasn’t a childbirth educator when I had my first baby. I wasn’t a nurse or doula, either. But I found that having information about what to expect took a lot of the mystery of childbirth away and that made me stop worrying about it.
Making Positive Lifestyle Choices While I Was Pregnant
This sounds so simple, but think about it: if you’re eating properly, exercising most days, staying away from alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, you are taking a huge chunk of worry-space away. This is a very cheap, easy way to feel some control over your pregnancy and birth.
Hire a Doula
Ok. I didn’t do this because I had no idea about doulas 27 years ago.
But now that I am a doula, I can’t tell you enough- doulas cheer you on when you think you’ve got nothing left in your tank. When you’re positive that you can’t manage your birth, a doula is there to tell you how strong you are. A doula is like a double-shot of confidence for a woman in labour. And just having one hired and lined up for your birth will make you feel better while you’re still pregnant.
Create a Postpartum Plan
Please don’t gloss over this…you have no idea how much it will boost your confidence to have your postpartum team in your back pocket. And even better than knowing who’s going to be there while you recover is knowing what they’ll do to help you. There’s nothing worse than having 5 chicken casseroles in the fridge and nobody to walk your dog.
So there you have it, my 5 favourite ways to create confidence in pregnancy so you can have a birth that makes you feel like a confident women forever.
Do you have any tips to add, Mama? There's a community of women who want to hear from you! Pop over to the Mamasoup app and join the conversation.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!