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.

When we feel pain or discomfort, rather than exploring where this is coming from, we are told to take some pain relief and carry on.
Add to that the comforts and demands of modern living, it’s no wonder that many of us live in our heads, rather than noticing what our body is telling us.


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?

1. Massage

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.

8. Meditate

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

Start making decisions based on what feels right, rather than always relying on external sources to tell you what to do

Want some more ways to tune into your body and cultivate self-trust? Check out my new Ultimate Birth Preparation Toolkit

Kate Vivian is a self-professed pregnancy and birth geek who is finally learning to embrace the chaos of having 3 kids. It was the birth and ‘bringing baby home’ experience of her first baby, and the overwhelming guilt that went with it, that led her to start Bright Mums – and create a world where Mums matter.

 A Certified Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, childbirth educator and postpartum doula, Kate works with Mums-to-be not only supporting them through pregnancy, and birth but also teaching them to honour themselves at a time when the world is telling them their baby is the most important thing.

With almost 2 decades in adult education, Kate has the ability to create a safe space, a non-judgey space. A place where Mums can relax and feel supported regardless of what their journey looks like. 

A keen traveller in a former (pre-kids) life, Kate dreams of the day her kids are big enough to take skiing and they can completely show her up while she is busy falling down mountains.

Click here to find out more about Kate and how she can help you tune into your intuition and feel confident and empowered to walk your own path.