Most expectant parents recognise on some level that pregnancy and birth are powerful, transformative times. Many of them crave a deeper kind of birth preparation that what’s generally on offer in Western culture. I call them seekers, and this list of questions is for them.
They are not ‘quicky’ questions. I recommend you set aside some quiet time without distractions, pick one, and allow yourself to sink fully into it. Pay attention to the sensations in your body as you feel around within for answers. It may be challenging; keep going. Be compassionate and honest with yourself. Journal, or discuss it with your partner or trusted friend if that helps. Return to it as you approach birth, because your answers and awareness will change. If you find these questions useful, you might be interested in attending a Birthing From Within class near you.
If you have birthed before, what helped you feel most prepared? Please add as many 'cents' as you like in the comments...
What birth scenario or event would I most like to avoid? What, specifically, is scary about this possibility?... What would it mean about me, my child, or the world, if it did happen?... Would it really mean that?... Where does this belief come from?... What other belief is more true and/or helpful?... What needs to happen within or around me for me to feel prepared to cope with this undesired scenario?
Where have I been (consciously and unconsciously) sourcing my knowledge about pregnancy, birth and parenthood? What other kinds of knowing can I access?
What would I really like to do during this pregnancy but have felt unable to? What’s stopping me? What’s the first step I will take, today, to enable me to do it? Who can I enlist for help?
What am I assuming will definitely happen in my birth? What would it mean about me, my birth or my baby if these things didn’t happen? Would it really mean that? What’s more true than that?
What question would I really like to ask but have felt unable? What’s stopping me? Who would I ask this question of? Can I ask it for my baby’s sake? Who could I enlist for help?
How can I celebrate, or honour, my own journey to parenthood? What’s the first small step I’m going to take to do this?
What are my birth priorities? If not everything goes to plan, what’s most important?
What did I learn early in my life about: birth; my body; my abilities; worthiness; authority; power; trust; pain; suffering; vulnerability; responsibility; coping; approval; wo/manhood; mother/fatherhood; family?... In what ways might these show up during birth?... Which of them are true and/or helpful?... Which are not?... What alternative beliefs are more true and/or helpful?
Am I treating myself and my baby with all the love, tenderness, nourishment, patience, and honesty we deserve? What’s the next small thing I will do, or let go of, in aid of this? Who could I enlist for help?
Do I have a person I trust to care for and believe in me during birth, other than my caregiver (who may not be there all the time) and my partner (who will also need support)? If not, who could I ask?
If I have birthed before, are there elements of a previous birth I still feel very emotional about, or 'stuck' on? Am I relying on this new birth to 'fix' those past experiences? Do I need some support to work through them?
What do I need now, in this moment? (Ask this of yourself again and again and again.)
Coming soon… Parenthood Questions for the Seeker.