Body, Mind & Spirit 6 Steps to a More Sacred Birth Experience Published on May 3, 2017 Article by Beth Salmon for Bodhi Tree For women who choose to have a baby, childbirth can be life’s biggest, most profound moment. But often fear permeates the process, taking both mother and baby out of what can be a sacred experience of a new life entering this world. Whether she chooses to deliver at home or in a hospital, a woman can take steps to create a birth that’s more positive and less fear-based, allowing her to marvel in the mystery of life in the process. “For me, sacred doesn’t mean we wound up at home with the candles and Enya—I hold sacred to mean empowered,” says Aleksandra Evanguelidi, a Los Angeles–based home-birth midwife and founder of The Vital Pregnancy Project. Here, three childbirth experts suggest ways to prepare for the best birth experience: 1. Do pre-conception work. Creating a more conscious birth experience begins even before a child is conceived. If possible, “deal with emotional baggage and underlying health issues long before you become pregnant. Releasing past traumas while preparing the vessel of your body for the tremendous work ahead can help to make space for profound bliss in your birth, while nurturing radiant health in the process,” says Evanguelidi. 2. Hire a midwife or obstetrician who supports your vision of birth. Connect with a doula or birth class to help you create this vision, and then make sure your doctor or midwife is on board. “You have to have everybody supporting you on your wishes and working together as a team,” says Lori Bregman, a doula, life coach and healer from Los Angeles. She works with her clients on a birth plan—keeping in mind that it’s really a birth intention, as anything can happen. If you choose to deliver at a hospital, it’s especially important to discuss your wishes with your doctor in advance. “You can tell the hospital, ‘This is the way I want to be treated and these are my needs.’ Otherwise, the hospital follows protocol,” she says. 3. Remember that every birth is different. To help prepare expectant mothers for childbirth, Los Angeles–based doula and childbirth educator Caitlin Philips looks to the ancient text of Lao-tzu’s Tao Te Ching, or Book of the Way, to provide perspective. “The way the Tao looks at life is a mirror for how to approach birth, because we can’t know how either is going to unfold,” says Philips. “All we can do is prepare and let go.” Only one thing is certain: No two experiences are alike. “I have never seen two pregnancies, two couples, two childbirths, two kids the same. Be mindful of that when birthing. There is no right way to do it for everybody,” adds Bregman. 4. Try to embrace the mystery and release the fear. According to Evanguelidi, many people miss the sacred aspect of birth because they focus on the litany of things that go can wrong, turning the event into a traumatic one. Relying on her background in intuition and healing, Bregman talks openly with her clients about their fears very early in the process—sometimes even before conception. She likes to remind them, “women were made and designed to do this. I tell my clients to be in the moment and take each contraction one step at a time.” 5. Back away from online mommy forums. In the digital age, we all turn to the Internet for research, but in regards to childbirth, try to limit your time online because you may find yourself in a black hole of horror stories. Focusing on other people’s experiences may distract you may from staying present in your own pregnancy and doesn’t do much in terms of preparation because every birth is different anyway. Bregman warns, “If you look to the Internet too much, you’re not trusting yourself and you can lose yourself in it.” 6. Create a sacred space. Having a safe and comfortable setting in which to give birth is key. You can personalize your space at a birthing center or transform a cold hospital room by bringing your own pillow and blanket, plugging in an aromatherapy diffuser, as well as using “music, crystals, spirit guides, memories, mantras, affirmations or personal photographs,” suggests Philips. And lighting is key: “I turn off the lights and use natural lighting,” Bregman adds. Regardless of where an expectant mother chooses to have her baby, the wonder and fear surrounding childbirth is very real for many women. Knowing there are steps you can take to set the negative aside and embrace the mystery surrounding birth can offer a more positive and empowered experience. As Bregman says, “In the end, only one thing will ensure a sacred birth experience: being true to yourself.” This article is not intended as medical advice. Every woman should consult with her physician and/or childbirth team as to the proper steps to take to deliver in a healthy manner. Published on: May 3, 2017 Tags: birth, body, EDITED, health, love, mother, relationship, relationships, wellness Previous Journal Body, Mind & Spirit How to Make Healthy Homemade Chai Next Journal Body, Mind & Spirit Are Resistant Behaviors Holding You Back?