In hypnobirthing we talk about the power of language.
A woman in labour is an incredible and strong force! I am continually amazed at our power 🙂 Despite this, it doesn’t take much to knock a woman’s confidence when she is in the vulnerable state of giving birth – and many things can do this, words being one of them.
How information is relayed and the choice of words used can make a big difference. Often, couples choose to use the word ‘surge’ or ‘wave’ instead of the word ‘contraction’. A surge of energy or a wave in the sea will have a rhythm to it, it begins, builds, peaks and then peters off. Just like a contraction, but a far nicer way of picturing and feeling it – and can also help with visualisations during labour. You know when it starts that it will build and after around a minute, will be gone.
You may also like to consider in advance not only how you feel about having internal examinations to establish (amongst other things) how dilated your cervix is, but how you’d like this information delivered to you.
For example, would you like your partner to relay this information to you, or are you happy for the midwife to tell you? Remember that an examination only offers a snap shot of time and it may have taken you ‘X’ amount of hours to get to being 5cm dilated, but this doesn’t mean that it will take the same time again to get further on.
Perhaps you’d find it easier to stay in a relaxed and confident zone if you heard the information this way:
“You are progressing beautifully [insert how many c.m. if this is something you really want to know]! You have so much confidence and calmness about you. Just take one surge at a time and know that each surge is bringing you closer to meeting your baby.”
“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind” – Rudyard Kipling
Of course, Kipling is describing how a certain choice of words can change and influence how a person thinks and feels.
How do you want to receive information when in labour?