This post is a three-step guide on how to heal the birth experience for new and not-so-new moms.
WHY BIRTHING REQUIRES CLOSURE
“But I’ve done this before. Why am I afraid?” was the thought on repeat at about the seventh-month mark into my second pregnancy — that sobering time when many women realize that their baby is going to eventually have to come out.
I was surprised by the anxiety rising to the surface.
After my daughter’s birth, I felt like I’d earned the title of warrior goddess. Nothing had ever felt so thrilling, magical, and empowering.
And I was so comfortable going into it. There were butterflies of course but excitement was the overpowering feeling.
But for some reason, this time, all I felt was unprepared and frightened.
I went inwards, to the place inside that holds deep wisdom. Wisdom passed down from generations of women who came before.
The answer given was: I’d never healed from my first birthing experience.
Women don’t often revisit the shadow aspects of giving birth.
We instead enjoy the relief that we’ve made it through. We conquered Everest. We feel the rush of achievement, and then immediately get to work fulfilling the needs of our new little one by being the best mamas we can.
As exhilarating and magical as the birthing process is, it can also be intense and shocking — especially for someone going through it for the first time — and it warrants a look back. A nod to the woman who withstood so much in those moments, who courageously powered through and brought a brilliant new light into the world.
Let’s squeeze her on the shoulder and ask her, “You okay?”
Here are three ways to work through the emotions your mind and/or body may have stored during your experience birthing.
HOW TO HEAL THE BIRTH EXPERIENCE
1. The birth story
Write down the birth story in as much detail as you can. Be one hundred percent honest — this is just for you. No one else will see it.
Now read it back to yourself.
Which parts of the story light you up? Give you a warm and expansive feeling?
Which parts bring a tightening sensation? As if your body is resisting the memory. And where is that resistance located? Is it in your stomach (your solar plexus chakra)? Is it in your chest (your heart chakra)? Is it in your womb (your sacral chakra)?
If no negative sensations arose, move to step 3.
If you did experience some discomfort, put your hand on that part of your body and take a few minutes to sit with the resistance. It’s an emotion that wants to be known and needs to be felt.
Just breath through it. Feel your belly and chest rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall.
Say to the feeling, “I feel you, and I’m here.”
2. Let it go
You’re brave. It’s not easy to face what had been stored deep in the shadows. Those emotions have now been witnessed. And it’s time to bring them into the light to be cleared.
Here are three ways of clearing them. Bonus points if you do all three!
The emotional freedom technique is my go-to for clearing deep emotional residue. It’s both fast and effective. If you don’t already know how to do it, here’s a post with info.
Crank up the tunes to your favourite song and MOVE. Let your arms flow. Your torso sway. Allow your body take your where it needs to go.
Place your hands on your womb. One on top of the other as if holding it.
Envision an incredible star shining above your head.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of five, imagining yourself breathing the star’s light into your body.
Now envision the dark, negative emotion inside you.
Breathe that darkness out of your mouth for a count of ten. Put some force behind it. Let it be a deep belly breath out and hear the breath leaving your body.
Repeat this technique, breathing the starlight in and the dark emotion out until you feel the tension inside ease. I suggest at least a few minutes.
Take one final breath of light in and imagine that light glowing and expanding through your whole body and all around you as you release and breathe out.
When you heal an emotion, you allow space for other emotions that need to be cleared to present themselves. The ongoing process of healing and clearing our energy is part of a spiritual lifestyle. We’re human. We feel and we release. It’s what keeps our energetic field strong and clear.
If you feel you need additional support you may want to explore healing modalities like acupuncture (that can release energetic blocks), Arvigo Maya massage (you can do this as early as six weeks postpartum), and hypnotherapy.
If ever an emotion feels overwhelming, speak to a female therapist trained to help you work through it.
3. Thank your body
After the thrill and overwhelm of integrating a new baby into your life, it’s totally understandable if there wasn’t a moment to stop and thank your body for all that it accomplished.
But this is a crucial step in the healing process.
Acknowledging and thanking your body for the magic it created will help bring closure to the birthing experience.
Put your arms around your chest as if giving yourself a warm hug. Then, internally or out loud, thank your body.
“Thank you body for your grace and transformative abilities. You are loved.”
“Thank you body for being the portal in which this beautiful new soul emerged. I love you.”
“Thank you body for your strength, wisdom, and beauty. I am grateful.”
You can also do this by gifting your body something like a warm bath, a massage, some new blissfully scented body lotion, etc.
What you and your body did was miraculous.
As women, we sometimes forget that we’re each a living, breathing, portal — allowing souls to enter into the physical realm.
We are the mystery of life.
We are the key to being.
And we are magnificent.