Self-doubt is one of those things everyone at some point struggles with. As a chiropractor specializing in women’s health and interacting with pregnant and postpartum clients, it becomes even more apparent. I recently had a mom who was at the mid-point in her pregnancy tell me that she was starting to doubt herself. She questioned that she could actually do this: give birth. The more I talked with her to get a better idea of her situation, it was clear that she didn’t have her support system in place yet. She needed to focus on the Mindset pillar. “I can’t do this,” is often followed by the cliché response of, “Yes, you can.” But you CAN! Melissa Hemphill, one of the BIRTHFIT Senior Leadership Team members, has a great quote that immediately popped into my mind when this mama was speaking of her self-doubt: “As women, we must respect the wisdom of our bodies.” Women’s bodies were designed with the innate ability to reproduce. With that ability, we also have the choice to decide how we want that process to go. You can decide how you will nourish and take care of your body throughout your pregnancy. You can decide what books you will read and what classes you will take. You can decide if you want a natural childbirth. You can decide to have an epidural. You can decide to use Pitocin.How
But what is your mindset behind those decisions? Do you want an epidural because you doubt that you can labor and give birth? Are the people close to you encouraging you or bringing you down? I recently had a mom tell me she really didn’t want to have an epidural unless absolutely necessary, but all of her family members were encouraging her to just plan to get one: “Your sister got one, and so did I, and those births turned out fine.” Well, what kind of support system is that? If I was trying to lose some weight by exercising and eating well and my family/friends were always bringing me fast food, how would that turn out? Mama’s mindset is directly affected by her surroundings through her daily interactions, readings, activities, and conversations. In my birth doula course, one very important question stuck in my mind that whole weekend and still does: “How will she remember that day?” Will she remember getting shuffled through, with no choice in the way things went, and no support from the people in that room? Or will she remember it as a beautiful day, wherein she was fully present, making informed decisions, and feeling the love in the room?
I don’t know about you, but I would choose the second experience 10 times out of 10. And it starts with MINDSET. You CAN do this, but it’s much harder when you’re surrounded with communication from yourself and those near you that says you can’t, or shouldn’t do it the way you want to. Get your support team in place and don’t doubt that innate ability you have in you. This is why I encourage expecting moms to take the BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series. In this series, you and your partner will become educated and prepared for birth through our four pillars. You will discover your birth desires and establish a mission statement for that day. No matter how you want that day to go, I am here to support you as a birth doula, a chiropractor, and a BIRTHFIT Regional Director. I’m here to help you feel prepared and empowered for one of the most amazing and beautiful experiences of a woman’s life.
Be on the lookout for the Prenatal Series starting at BIRTHFIT-Lincoln next month!
Dr. Tracey Eischeid
Doctor of Chiropractic, Birth Doula