THE PAIN, PLEASURE, PERCEPTION AND PORTAL DIAGRAM
This is a diagram I sketched to represent my birth experiences. Many women's view and understanding of birth before actually having given birth is one filled with fear, hysterics, pain and suffering. But now having birthed my babies, my experience has been quite a far cry from what is depicted in the movies, books and magazines.
Right before birthing, the pain was at its most intense and I was close to giving up. Then at the moment I birthed, I felt I had been completely transported to another realm temporarily only to return with the soul of my child.
WAYS TO ENCOURAGE A PORTAL BIRTH
Creating a safe and warm environment for you to bring life to Earth. Here are some of the things I did personally:
- Long before your birth, visualise the birth you deserve and wish for and when the time comes surrender to the process. It is ok to dream of your ideal birth and it is also okay if it doesn't turn out the way you had planned. But more often than not, women find their births traumatic not because it wasn't what they dreamed, but because they felt out of control, unheard and choices were made for them.
- Communicate your birth plan with your partner or support person beforehand. My husband ended up being my biggest advocate. When in labor I didn't want to make decisions in fight or flight mode. He knew what I wanted and pushed for that with the midwives and reminded me what I had wanted when I was close to giving up.
- Use affirmations - we have created a deck to help you this, or have your nearest and dearest create a banner of affirmations for you to hang up in your birth space.
Create a dark or dim space. Especially in the hospital, opt to turn off those bright white lights and use some electric fairy lights or electric candles.
Music - this can be so transformational as many of us relax or unwind with music. Create a playlist that will calm you. I had a playlist but ended up with the Gayatri Mantra on repeat. The mantra is a declaration of appreciation to both the nurturing sun and the Divine.
Learn breathing techniques prior to birth, these will come in handy during labor but also when you become a mother and things get overwhelming.
Make use of essential oils that are safe during pregnancy and labor but can also bring you calm.
Move freely if possible. Often women are strapped up to the monitors but nowadays there are wireless options and if you're not at risk, you can request for the midwives to check (should you wish) via the doppler intermittently.
Try different positions - the often used on your back with legs bent generally speaking, does not serve birthing women.
I used a hot compress infused with jojoba oil that my husband applied to my perineum as I pushed and that helped prevent tearing.
" I walked into birth feeling excited. I almost had this sense of euphoria...I was hoping to transform the word “pain” and change it to “gateway.” Everytime I had a contraction, it was a gateway, an opening. I was one step closer to meeting my son. "
~ Freida Pinto
Actor, Film Director and
Chief Impact Officer of Anya
"I hope for women to understand that if empowered with knowledge and choices, we can try our best to change what is now regarded as "common" but not normal. Our divine power was designed to birth and experience it in all its joy and glory but we have lost touch with it."
Founder of Elan House of Wellness
See Instagram post here.