And why tuning into your body during pregnancy helps with birth
From a young age we many of us are conditioned to NOT listen to our body.
We are encouraged to keep going, even when we want to rest.
To push through, rather than listen to what our body is telling us.
Rather than let our menstrual cycle ‘get in the way’ we often conditioned to pretend like nothing is happening and that we don’t have a cycle that impacts our hormones, our body, our energy levels, our emotions, our need for rest and restoration.
So when we hear ‘listen to your body’, ‘ just do what feels right for your body’ in preparation for labour and birth, it can feel like a foreign concept. We’ve spent so much of our lives being told, either explicitly or implicitly, to not listen to our body, that we don’t know where to start.
How can we start to tune into our body and what it is trying to tell us?
Whether you perform it on yourself or have someone else do it for you, massage can help you tune into what feels good and may also help boost endorphins and oxytocin
2. Get into the groove
Put on some music and move in whatever way feels fun or right at the time. This is not about being the best dancer (thank goodness – having two left feet certainly seems to be my thing!) just about letting go.
3. Pay attention to your cycles
Whether you have a menstrual cycle or not, there will still be cycles that your body moves through. Keeping a daily log of how you are feeling, your energy levels, your emotions can help you start to plan your time based on your differing needs.
4. Get into nature
Being in nature can help you switch off from the demands of life and the modern world. allowing you the space to start listening to your body. Even better, take your shoes off and start to ‘ground’ yourself into the earth.
5. Pay attention to your breathing
Take a moment right now to focus on your breathing. What is it doing? What is it telling you? Notice that as you pay attention to your breathing, it starts to slow. From there, start to bring your breath into your belly, taking a few long, slow deep breaths in and out. Focusing only on your breathing – that’s it, nothing else.
7. Practice mindfulness
We often move through life so quickly we neglect the very thing in front of us. Next time you have a meal, a glass of water or a cup of tea, take your time. Savour each mouthful and notice the sensations in your body as you go.
Meditation can not only help you relax, help with sleep, help manage anxiety and depression, it can also increase self-awareness. Meditation can also help you increase your intuition and may help you start to tune into what it is telling you.
Once you start listening to what your body is telling you, it’s time to honour it….
Rest if you need to
Where possible, change your day’s routine, workout or appointments to honour what you need rather than sticking to a rigid schedule. Just because you always do a gym class on a Wednesday – do you need to today?
Move as it feels right to do so
Want some more ways to tune into your body and cultivate self-trust? Check out my new Ultimate Birth Preparation Toolkit