I met the lovely Jen recently and was immediately struck by her genuine adoration of her amazing mama body. It is so rare to encounter a woman who speaks proudly of her body. We shared our histories, our journeys into motherhood, our nicknames for our stretch marks (“love marks” and “baby tattoos”), and our hope for other women regarding their bodies: that they realize their bodies are amazing and beautiful in every shape & size.
One contributing factor that led me to embrace, respect, and love the hell out of my mama body was when I began taking a Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis class during my first pregnancy. Now, I could spend a whole day talking about the benefits of using Hypnobabies for your natural childbirth preparation. Hypnobabies teaches real medical-grade hypno-anesthesia, eyes-open childbirth hypnosis, DONA approved complete childbirth education program, fully trains birth partners and so much more! One seemingly small part of the program is the ‘Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations’ CD track. This one little track is to be listened to daily and is full of approximately 150 one-line affirmations to reinforce your subconscious’s belief that your birthing will be easier and more comfortable, your body knows just want to do, and you hypnosis will work for you when you need it to. This is the only CD that doesn’t have any hypnotic inductions, making it easy to listen to while driving, cooking/cleaning, bedtime, or anytime!
Please understand, I would never have described myself as a pessimist before I gave birth… but I was certainly prone to more negativity than I am now. I really think pregnancy would have turned me into a completely neurotic, over-anxious mama-to-be with every itch, bump, and unfamiliar twinge. But I *loved* listening to the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations CD. It altered my entire approach to my body changing. When I would have a day where I wasn’t feeling awesome about my body, I’d strip down naked, stand in front of the mirror, verbalize the affirmations to my naked reflection and choose to accept that the affirmations were true and know that they would become so. Instead of feeling a pang of disappointment when my first stretch marks etched themselves across my tummy and thighs, I admired the elasticity of my skin, which stretched an unbelievable amount, to accommodate the precious human being I carried inside of me. Would you believe I was sad when my stretch marks began fading sometime in the post-partum period?
Mostly, what I took away from the affirmations was the importance of creating the space for the outcome I wished to have. I wanted to feel positively about my body. I wanted to give birth without fear. I wanted to give birth without pain (and did!). I wanted my child and myself to be perfectly healthy and safe. I wanted to feel confident that regardless of my birthing outcome, I’d be able to make the best choice for me and my baby. Hypnobabies gave me the tools to achieve all of those goals. What surprised me was that re-training my mind in such a manner profoundly affected every aspect of my life, far beyond birthing. I now have this incredibly positive outlook on life and know that if I want something, I need to create the space for it to come to pass.
To learn more about Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis or find an instructor near you, please visit http://www.hypnobabies.com/.
Cassie Friesen is a Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis instructor teaching in Boulder, CO http://www.hypnobabieswithcassie.com/ . She’s also proud to work with a close-knit group of Colorado Hypnobabies instructors who can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/HypnobabiesColorado .