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A Detailed Guide For Pregnancy, Child Birth And Motherhood

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A Detailed Guide For Pregnancy, Child Birth And Motherhood

Bringing offspring into this universe is a voyage filled with eager expectation, delight, and often, uneasiness. Amidst this life-altering occurrence, having the appropriate encouragement and direction can truly make a significant impact. Meet Emma Armstrong, fondly referred to as The Exposed Birth Companion, who is dedicated to empowering anticipating mothers setting foot on the remarkable journey of labor.

In her first book, The Bold Childbirth Book, Emma has revealed all her perceptions, personal stories, and priceless suggestions derived from her years of practice as a companion during labor and a specialist in hypnobirthing. As expected, with Emma also possessing great artistic skills, the book is adorned with marvelous illustrations to enhance the assimilation of her easily understandable recommendations.

“I aspire for individuals to conclude my book with a sense of self-reliance and feel assured in their choices regarding their labor.”

The Fearless Birth Book, Naked Doula, Amazon

Handling Trauma in Pregnancy

Emma confesses she has always been intrigued by childbirth, initially desiring to pursue a career as a midwife during her school years. While her midwifery aspirations remained unfulfilled, she became pregnant in 2019 with her son, Charlie, at a time when her mother became critically ill.

“I was deeply distressed when she passed away, wondering how I could possibly give birth without my mother by my side?”

Realizing the need to improve her mental state to welcome her child, she commenced exploring methods to focus on her mindset for self-care and baby well-being, which initially sparked her fascination with hypnobirthing, eventually leading her to pursue doula training.

“I genuinely think that if my mother hadn’t passed away when she did, The Exposed Doula wouldn’t be a reality today. While I dearly miss my mother, I view it as a valuable gift because I have the opportunity to greatly assist and inspire numerous individuals, for which she plays a significant role.”

The effect of trauma on both the mother and baby during pregnancy is a topic Emma frequently addresses in her book. She firmly believes that regardless of the emotions you are currently experiencing during pregnancy, it is crucial to allow yourself to acknowledge those feelings rather than suppress them.

Instead, Emma recommends connecting with other expectant mothers who may be going through similar experiences and reaching out to your midwife for guidance on seeking support.

“We often feel guilty for experiencing sadness, particularly because Charlie was still in my womb. I feared he would be profoundly affected by it. Yet, by accepting those emotions fully, the healing process accelerates. Grief may never fully diminish, but it does become more manageable. You can truly transform those emotions.”

Adjusting to Motherhood

Not only did Emma have to quickly adapt to life without her mother, she also had to simultaneously transition into the role of a mother, an identity shift that many individuals find challenging.

“Pregnancy serves as a perfect moment for self-reflection. What truly brings you happiness? What doesn’t bring you joy? What brings you contentment? What brings you sorrow?”

Emma suggests that contemplating these questions and nurturing self-awareness during pregnancy will pave the way for a stronger connection with your newborn upon their arrival, enhancing your self-assurance during the birthing process.

“You will approach that birthing journey

Allow space to truly understand yourself and have faith in your instincts and emotions. Personally, I believe it’s crucial to establish a connection with yourself throughout pregnancy. The more you can achieve this, the better prepared you will be for the transition to motherhood.

Guidance for women anxious about childbirth

If you are experiencing unease or doubt regarding the birthing process, Emma imparts some insightful words concerning your tolerance for pain. “Pain thresholds are merely a construct. It all resides in our minds.”

“Our response to pain is entirely molded by our mindset.” Emma expresses. “Hence, the significance of mindset cannot be overstated, as understanding your perception of pain and how you respond to it is crucial.”

With her extensive experience, Emma acknowledges the distinctiveness of each birth. Whether challenges emerge from the baby’s position or external factors, the key is to stay composed and maintain authority.

“Pause the panic momentarily and assess your current predicament. What adjustments can you make? What are the variables within your control? It’s often not a reflection on you. Perhaps harsh lighting or someone causing irritation.”

Aside from altering external circumstances, it is vital to recognize the potency of your mind in dictating your capabilities to cope with certain scenarios.

“By affirming, ‘I’ll opt for an epidural because I struggle with pain,’ you’ve preconditioned your mind to expect that outcome. Your brain’s confirmation bias perpetuates this narrative until a shift occurs. During labor, this reinforced narrative intensifies the discomfort, validating your preconceptions. It’s essentially a mental chess game.”

Managing health-related apprehension during pregnancy and childbirth

Underlying our mental state is anxiety, which influences our perception of pain and links to concerns about hospital visits, consultations, and potential inductions. These anxieties not only impact our emotional well-being but also manifest physically through symptoms like reflux, headaches, and nausea, often attributable to hormonal imbalances. However, many of these issues can be mitigated through practices like hypnosis.

According to Emma, the childbirth experience mirrors this pattern. “Fear intensifies discomfort as our bodies enter a fight-or-flight response. To combat health-related anxieties, refer back to reframing techniques discussed in my book. Distinguish between facts and myths, confront your fears head-on, and take the necessary time to reassure yourself.”

Building self-trust during labor and cultivating the courage to voice your needs

Emma’s book consistently emphasizes the importance of relying on your own feelings and insight during childbirth, a concept she strongly advocates for. Within the pages, she encourages women to pose more inquiries and have the courage to articulate their concerns if something doesn’t feel right.

“Society has conditioned us to unquestioningly follow medical professionals. However, we seem to have misplaced this fundamental trust in women during childbirth, which is perplexing.” Emma suggests taking a proactive approach by initiating dialogues early, jotting down notes, and requesting necessary updates to your medical records.

“Assertiveness doesn’t have to translate into rudeness. We aim to establish supportive rapport through constructive conversations. Thus, initiating discussions promptly holds significant importance, along with knowing the appropriate inquiries to make, a reason why I’ve incorporated certain queries in the book.”

Selecting a birth companion

During labor, advocating for oneself and remembering pertinent details can be challenging, underscoring the significance of birth companions and birth plans.

“At times, birth partners, particularly men, may feel somewhat redundant, believing that their presence isn’t essential. However, they play a vital role in safeguarding our oxytocin levels. It’s crucial for birth partners to serve as effective advocates, understand the birth plan thoroughly, engage in crucial discussions, and be familiar with the BRAIN acronym,” suggests Emma.

While many individuals have their partners by their side during childbirth, this may not always be the case. The decision of who to have by your side when welcoming your child can pose a challenging dilemma. Should you opt for a close friend or a family member? According to Emma, the focus should not solely be on the support someone provides during birth but on how they make you feel.

“It’s beneficial to ask questions like ‘Can you do this? Can you handle that?’ Certainly, we need someone who can assert themselves and speak up when necessary. Yet above all, how do they make you feel? What is your immediate intuition telling you? Do they instill a sense of security in you? Can you place your trust in them?”

Crafting a visual birth strategy

Whoever you opt to have as your birth partner, one vital aspect they should acquaint themselves with, besides your hospital essentials, is your birth plan. Even though childbirth often deviates from the anticipated path, possessing a clear vision of your preferred labor process can significantly ease the mindset of you, your chosen ally, and the midwives.

You may wonder if anyone will have the time to peruse a lengthy script during your labor. Thus, Emma recommends employing a visual representation of your birth plan instead.

“Consider this: will those supporting you – be it a midwife or physician – truly dedicate time to study a five-page birth strategy the moment you arrive? In all likelihood, not.” Emma’s endorsement of visual birth plans stems from their effectiveness in conveying your needs clearly, even during emergencies.

“I swear by the efficacy of visual birth plans, a tool that my clients have found exceptionally beneficial. Using visuals simplifies the process of ensuring midwives and doctors promptly grasp your requirements, even in urgent situations.”

Emma extends her support not only to the lead-up to childbirth but also to assisting mothers during the initial postpartum phase, emphasizing that there’s no pressure to adhere to any expectations in the weeks following delivery. “This timeframe is for you to simply let go, disregard any external pressures, and embrace solitude with your newborn, allowing yourself to acknowledge your emotions and lower your anticipated standards.”


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