Kristy provides support for pregnant and laboring mothers and for transitioning families after the birth of their baby.See all posts »
Information Overload During Pregnancy
There are so many things that we experience when preparing to birth our babies. Our minds are racing with thoughts about the pregnancy and the growing baby, about our changing bodies, what labor and delivery will be like, how we will be as parents, how life will be with baby...the list goes on.
It’s a wonder we can even think straight.
We are told and given so much information from our doctors, midwives, doulas, and other mothers — not to mention all the books and online information we take in — it can leave expectant parents spinning.
When I meet with expecting parents we review the information they know about labor and delivery. What we find is that there are certain myths around birth and all it encompasses. Interestingly enough, many of these misconceptions are handed down from their families. Other fear-based stories actually come from strangers and even their physicians. Almost everyone who has gone through birth has something to say. Unfortunately it not always positive, and much of the information new parents receive is focused in the negative. This cynical point of view can interfere with their ability to focus, and can set up blocks that may keep them from relaxing and prevent the labor from progressing smoothly.
Fear and anxiety can be very powerful — if you don’t learn to turn it around and use it to help you, it definitely can be harmful.
Other information for this journey comes from the many books on pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenting. There tends to be a desire to read as much as possible while pregnant. How much information can one person retain? I do believe you can read so much that it clouds your thinking, overwhelms you, and can make you anxious and worried about every possible thing that could go wrong. It’s an important thing to educate yourself, but there comes a point when you need to just be in the journey and let the process happen.
My advice? Slow down on the reading. Pick two books that help to inform you and bring you focus, and importantly that help to inspire you and lift you up. Choose books and information online that help to empower you. Choose things that will focus your mind in a positive place so that you can stay connected with your baby and your body. Being prepared is not just understanding what is happening in labor and with the birth. In childbirth, what you really need to know mostly comes from understanding yourself and trusting your body and baby as well as the process.
So next time someone wants to tell you a negative birth story, ask them (nicely)to back off. If you get the urge to spend hours searching online about every detail you can find on birth, go for a walk and breathe with your baby. Stay away from the birthing television shows— instead go to a prenatal yoga class and connect with other pregnant mamas. Choose to be surrounded by goodness and let your brain have a rest from the overload of information.