If you are like many mothers-to-be, you’ve been focused on preparing for baby in a myriad of ways: tracking down and acquiring those must-have baby essentials, preparing for birth physically by visiting childbirth classes and prenatal yoga, cleaning and a creating a space just for your newborn and so much more. After all, there is a great degree of truth to that old adage “a mother’s work is never done.” It’s not until later in pregnancy that you may discover that some ‘cleaning’ of another kind is in order. Here are some tips to help you mentally and emotionally feel tip-top before you meet your dear one:
1. Maintain a self-validating frame of mind
It almost seems as if from the get-go that there is always someone offering well-intended advice as to how you should feel or act whilst growing your wee one in your womb. From “Don’t eat that,” “Stop complaining. It could be worse” to “You’re worrying too much” or “Everything is fine.” Depending on the day and the random surge of pregnancy hormones coursing throughout your body, this can be mentally and emotionally encumbering. By the end of pregnancy, you may be doubting whether your worries or concerns are even justified. THEY ABSOLUTELY ARE. Any thought, concern, worry, fear or emotion is a part of you and thus worthy of validation, exploration and clarification.
2. Identify, accept & validate
If you find a certain thought or concern repeatedly drifting into your mind or encounter similarly themed dreams every now and then, it is a clear sign that some aspects of these thoughts or concerns are deserving of your attention. Identify, accept and validate their existence. It is your subconscious mind’s way of communicating a deeply important need with you. No matter how small and insignificant a thought or concern may initially appear, you may find that it is only the tip of the iceberg.
3. Explore & clarify
Explore where these visiting thoughts may have their roots. Discuss them with a trusted family member or friend who is capable of truly listening without passing judgment or offering a solution. This will allow you to fully and uninhibitedly fall down the rabbit hole of your mental wonderland. Depending on the depth and emotional complexity that your contemplations and conversations reveal, you might find that visiting a local Beratungsstelle such as the one at Häberlstraße (The Counselling Centre for Natural Birth and Parenting e.V.) proves to be an invaluable pillar of support – support that both you and your baby deserve. If your concerns are of a medical nature, seek the advice of a trusted care provider and work with him/her to create a plan as to how your concerns can be addressed in the case that they should arise.
4. Work toward some degree of resolution
Not every concern or fear that emerges during pregnancy lends itself to being entirely resolved. Do the best you can with the support you have – go as many steps down the path as your mind and body allow. Save the next steps for another day & another time & another burst of energy. As with all things in life, we can only ever do that which we are physically and emotionally capable of doing at any given moment.
Caring for others starts with caring for yourself. And caring for yourself starts with recognizing and validating all aspects of your being. Wishing you a peaceful and empowered birthing experience.