Stage 1 – Weaving pearls of wisdom to connect with the beautiful baby inside you

pregnant-woman-1512961_640Congratulations! So, you have seen the two pink lines and you are feeling elated, happy, excited, overwhelmed, scared, responsible. You might be experiencing very strong emotions, the reality might not have sunk in as yet. So, now, what do we do next?

I would love to share what I did when I commenced my journey of motherhood. I started talking to my baby, the little human being that had come to me. This might feel weird to a few mothers and very natural to a few other. However, once we are able to shift our mindset, we as human beings rise to a higher level of consciousness.

I read these eloquent lines somewhere on the Internet and these lines resonated with me on a much deeper level since it fully encapsulates our feelings as mothers.

When someone is expecting, she is not “expecting a child” she already has one. She is not “going to be a mother” she already is a mother. The baby is not “on the way” the baby has already arrived.  If we are going to change the way society treats unborn children, “we have to change the way we talk about them”.  

And, let me just add, we will have to shift our perspective on how we perceive unborn children.

My very good friend and the founder our community, Jayprakash Velu (better known as Velu) has spent years researching the origin of the journey of the soul.  He has spoken to Siddha gurus, ayurvedic practitioners, midwives, holistic healers and from years of his dialogues with these noble souls and deep meditation, he has some very delicate and beautiful information to share with us about the journey of a soul.  I wouldn’t want you to shift your beliefs based on your religious opinion, I would instead like to invite you to delve into understanding the journey of the soul and it’s emotional well-being with me so that we can co-learn together.

From Velu’s learnings, “we have come to understand that the soul always comes from a different dimension, from the sky. It travels to the ground, and then enters the soil, later into the father’s food three months before the act of conception. If the conception happens, it enters the body of the mother. In next few days, it is the nature in combination with their karma, that decides to start the process or not.”  

Our ancient scriptures, many alternative education philosophers believe that the soul chooses the life, the soul has chosen you to be his/ her caretaker/ parent/ mother-father.  The child is ours, yes, but the soul belongs to the world and the soul has come to this world with a purpose.

It doesn’t matter which religion we belong to, the soul is at the crux of human life.

With this understanding, we will be ready to stretch our horizon and look beyond the tiny little dot that we might be able to see on the sonography monitor. Now, what you see is the physical form but what a mother experience is a spiritual form, it is the true form. Being true to this understanding, a mother should commence talking to the child in her womb from the start.

“Eat right, eat healthy, take care of yourself” is the advice that you will get from your family, friends, and doctors. Yes, that is very important. But, what we are going to talk about is how do we as mothers nurture a beautiful relationship with our children while building a healthy emotional state for your child.  

WHY? There is an old saying which says “Precaution is better than cure”. In today’s modern times, we are blessed to have many Theta healers, past life regression healers among us. In numerous conversations, these healer friends of mine have pointed to one fact, the fears, the stress, the complexes, the stigma that an adult faces, the root cause of all these problems goes back to their childhood and the journey they had as an unborn child.

“It is easier to build up a CHILD than it is to repair an ADULT”. Choose your words wisely.

In ancient texts, there are numerous references to the unborn child understanding every feeling, every emotion that the mother experiences and also understanding every word that the mother says and hears. Hence, we often hear our adults say be careful of what you say in front of a pregnant woman.

The famous story of Abhimanyu from Indian mythology Mahabharata where Abhimanyu not only learns the art of warfare and archery while in his mother Subhadra’s womb, but also, learns how to break the whirlpool like army formation by listening to his father Arjun’s words is a very good illustration for us to understand that the unborn child is already a person in himself/ herself. Caught in a whirlpool by Devdutt Pattanaik

How should I talk to my child?

Talk to your unborn child with love, respect and gratitude. Give your child the same respect and dignity that you would give to a fellow human being. Talk to your child in a dignified tone that you would use for a person-to-person contact.  

Why should we talk to our unborn children in a respectful tone?

Because it gives our unborn children an affirmation that they are respectable, independent human beings about to come to this world. Isn’t this what we want our children to grow up thinking about themselves?

What should I talk to my child? What should I say?

In my experience, the first thing I feel a parent should do is thank their child as a sign of gratitude for choosing them. The child shares the energetic fields with both the mother and the father and when the father starts to connect/ communicate with the unborn child, father’s affirmations sets the foundation for inviting fathers into the parenthood journey.

A parent can start communicating by saying “thank you for choosing me as your ma and thank you for choosing <<your partner’s name>> as your papa” in their native language.  

The second step would be to welcome the soul to your womb and you can do so by simply saying “Welcome, my child to my womb. Let us start our journey from today.”

As an analogy, let us compare this situation to an adult visiting a friend’s house to live with the friend for six months. How comfortable would you as an adult feel if your friend says these simple words, “Thanks buddy for coming and staying with me, we will surely have a great time”.Wouldn’t it be beautiful for an unborn child to feel honoured? For a moment, just put yourself in the position of your unborn child and experience the joy of your mother welcoming you to her. This joy is what our unborn children need to experience for leading a truly happy life.

It is also important for the mother to start getting prepared for the coming nine months of pregnancy. The mother can also start giving positive affirmations to herself.  Just listed a few illustrations below:

  • I choose to see beauty in the whole process of bringing a new life into the world
  • My body is physically ready to experience these beautiful nine months of pregnancy.
  • My pregnancy will be a happy, healthy and a beautiful journey.

A parent can now simply add a few thoughts of their own to commence this beautiful journey with their child.

These simple messages are very powerful and act as a stepping stone for establishing a lifelong relationship with our unborn children based on mutual respect, trust, transparency, communication and honesty.

By taking this first tiny step, your boat has sailed and we can now let our inner voice guide us from here, for inner voice has no reasoning, it is what we know is the right thing to do. It is our inner voice, it is the absolute truth.

Author: Ishani

Ishani Shah-Verdia is a mother of a world-schooler, facilitator, an advocate for children's rights, believer in alternative philosophies and a traveler.

Birthing

Birthing is a sacred process of delivering the child the mother has nurtured over nine months in her womb. Read along to know about this sacred journey the mother embarks upon and throw light on the various options available in these modern times for the birthing process and the support you can count on.

Birth is not only about making babies. It’s about making mothers;strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength. – Barbara Katz Rothman

When one would nudge a grandmother or grandaunt to tell us their birthing stories, beautiful stories emerge which make us feel that birthing was a simple process then. As a grandmother recounts how she would just slip into a room in their home when she feels ready, delivers the baby with the help of a midwife and get back to the usual business after couple of hours as if nothing has happened. This would be the same story for all of her 12 babies! Without any sophisticated technologies or highly educated doctors or zillions of books/web pages which give weekly descriptions of pregnancy – how did our ancestors do it so easily?

Similar birthing stories vary from culture to culture. Quoting few birthing stories from the book “The magical child”:

“When an australian aborigine mother is ready to deliver, she drops back from her tribe, alone, She digs a hole in the sand, squats over it, delivers her infant, waits for the placenta to discharge, catches and eats the placenta(which is more nourishing than liver and ideal for the mother at that moment, a practice followed by many economical cultures, such as the Eskimo), puts the infant to her breast and runs to rejoin her tribe. She is gone an average of twenty minutes.

The Ugandan mother, as is typical in non technological cultures, follows her usual routines until some five minutes before the baby appears.She retires to a place of privacy, squats, delivers her young (perhaps with a help of midwife, perhaps not), and resumes her ordinary routines within the hour.”

Natural birthing has many advantages. The mother feels more satisfied with the whole birthing experience and can instantly connect with her child physically after the birthing has taken place. She feels normal and not drugged in any way.The child is also more alert and can easily latch on to mother’s breast and the mother also can initiate breastfeeding sooner.During the process of natural birthing, the muscles help squeeze out the liquid from the lungs of the child and the chances of having any respiratory issues at birth are nil. The birth canal has good bacteria which helps boost the immune system and protect the intestinal tracts of the child.The intestinal microbes plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the infant.Pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding seed the microbiomes and hence have a long term effect on the health of the child.

Lot of support for natural birthing is sprouting up around the world. Many women who want to experience the natural way are coming together to discuss and seek support from midwives/Doulas. Midwives are professionals who are trained to educate and support women to maintain healthy pregnancies and help during their delivery and also support them during their postpartum period.They help the mothers to trust and listen to their body.Women’s body is designed to give birth naturally.The vaginal muscles are built for delivery and the fetus can easily mould its head and pass through the birth canal. Midwives encourage the mothers to follow their natural instinct and to do what is needed to push the child .A complication in delivery is usually not the norm but are exceptions. Such information about the body physiology and how the body works during labour physically and emotionally are conveyed in lamaze classes.

During the birth process, midwife checks for the fetus heartbeat, mother’s blood pressure , pulse and temperature – checks if there is any medical intervention needed for both mother and the fetus.The mother is in her constant care and observation. Apart from the observations, midwifes will support mother emotionally, give her occasional massages and just share the space with the parents and let the nature take its course. Midwifes aim to keep all the interventions including vaginal examinations to the minimum and give constant support to the mother irrespective of the time it takes.

When the birth is undisturbed,just born babies have the natural instinct to find mother’s nipple and commence breastfeeding.Midwives encourage skin to skin contact between mother and baby for the sake of bonding and also for the baby to seek for mother’s breast.

Midwives strongly believe in the independence of movement of the labouring mothers. They are not strapped down to a bed but are allowed to move about freely in the room and take on any position which feels comfortable.

Quoting a similar text from the book “magical child”

“An apparently incidental issue here, which actually turns out to be monumental,is the position medicine men of the West have, since the time of Louis XIV, forced their victims to take: the supine position – flayed out flat on the back and, in a shocking number of cases, even strapped down, a position that would strike terror into the staunchest soul.What does the word supine mean?Helpless and incompetent.This position throws every muscle and bone of the body completely out of line for natural delivery of an infant from the womb and makes that delivery extremely difficult.”

So what is the right way of birthing? There are various natural birth options available.

Water birthing

One of the most popular birthing method where birth takes place in a tub of warm water. Water provides a calming influence on the mother and reduces the pressure on the abdomen. Lot of women have reported to have enjoyed their labour in water  as it provides significant pain relief and facilitates the mother to assume any position which is comfortable for labour and birth. Some people call Water birthing as ‘aquadural’ which is definitely safer and more effective  than an epidural.

Quoting from Waterbirth.org site:

“The effect of buoyancy that deep water immersion creates allows spontaneous movement of the mother.  No one has to help the mother get into a new position. She moves as her body and the position of the baby dictate.  Movement helps open the pelvis, allowing the baby to descend.

When a woman in labor relaxes in a warm deep bath, free from gravity’s pull on her body, with sensory stimulation reduced, her body is less likely to secrete stress-related hormones. This allows her body to produce the pain inhibitors-endorphins-that complement labor. Noradrenaline and catecholamines, the hormones that are released during stress, actually raise the blood pressure and can inhibit or slow labor. A laboring woman who is able to relax physically, is able to relax mentally as well. Many women, midwives, and doctors acknowledge the analgesic effect of water. Thousands of these mothers state they would never be able to consider laboring without water again.”

Birthing centers such as Birth Village, Kochi , Birthing Sanctuary, Goa facilitate water birthing.

Lotus Birthing

Lotus birthing which is also known as Delayed Cord Clamping (DCC) is a practice where the umbilical cord is not cut after the childbirth but the placenta is kept connected through the umbilical cord until the cord dries up naturally – this drying up may vary from 3 to 10 days.This non violent way of keeping the placenta intact with the infant seems to have life lasting benefits.

Quoting text from the book “Lotus Birth”:

“Lotus Birth establishes the baby-placenta relationship and suggests that the mother gives birth to the baby-placenta. As we shall see, there are no sustainable medical reasons for cutting the cord and separating the biological unit that conceived, grew and delivered (or birthed) together.

Lotus Birth ensures that the physical body is well cared for by ensuring that the baby receives the full quotient of the oxygen-bearing highly nutritious blood that is in the cord. The infant obtains 40 to 60 mL of ‘extra’ blood from the placenta if the cord is not tied until pulsations cease. The loss of 30 mL of blood to the newborn is equivalent to the loss of 600 mL to an adult. Common practice of immediate cutting of the cord before the pulsations cease deprives the newborn of a possible 60 mL of blood, the equivalent to a 1200mLhaemorrhage in an adult. This is a likely explanation of the strange phenomenon of weight loss that most newborns seem to endure. The new organism is put immediately under undue stress to reproduce the blood it was denied.

The immature liver is supported by the placenta in the offloading of toxins, as the pumping action continues until the cessation of pulsations. Most babies’ bodies are loaded up with these, including any drugs administered during the birth, and have to begin life dealing with the unnecessary toxic waste in their immature systems.”

Placenta has always been that integral organ which physically connects the mother and the fetus – feeding and nourishing the unborn with nutrients and oxygen through the umbilical cord. In few indian cultures, if a girl child is born, they would gently rub the placenta on her as this would ensure clear skin with minimum facial or body hair.

In few other cultures, the mothers eats the placenta which is rich in stem cells and iron content.

Hypno Birthing

Hypnotherapy is used to assist the birthing process. It functions on the premise that most labour related pain is the result of fear and tension, which can be diminished.

Deep relaxation breathing methods and visualisations techniques are taught through the pregnancy and many women have felt labour pains to be less intense while using hypnotherapy technique.

Experience of a mother who has undertaken hypnobirhting – from the website hypnobirthing.com

“Sherry says, “go with your gut and keep breathing”. This was tricky, I was surprised at the power of the NER (natural expulsive reflex) of my own body. Jon got the relaxation track going and I said to myself, “this power cannot be greater than me, it is me.” I talked myself into going with the flow of power (it was not painful, please don’t confuse my surprise with pain) and accepting the pressure. It’s really neat when you stop being scared (I spent two years, terrified to be exactly where I was at that moment) and give in to the reality and majesty of the experience. I was following my own body’s lead to birth and my baby’s desire to be born. I felt so in touch with everything going on inside and truly no pain. I looked to Jon for rejuvenation and calm. 40 minutes later, I held my son in my arms and snuggled to my chest, literally the first person to lay hands on him in this world. “

Some of the options available for mothers in India for natural birthing –
  1. Bangalore birth network URL: http://bangalorebirth.org/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bangalorebirthnetworksupport Contact: Nora Kropp; emailid:bangalorebirth@gmail.com
  2. Birth Village , Cochin URL:  http://www.birthvillage.in/FB:https://www.facebook.com/Birthvillage-Natural-Birthing-Center-129023770511075/Contact : Priyanka Idicula; emailid:birthvillage@birthvillage.in Ph.no: 9895283189
  3. Birth Sanctuary ,Goa (Center in Goa is closed, may open a new center in Auroville pondicherry shortly) URL:  http://www.birthingsanctuary.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/BirthingSanctuary/ Contact : Kasia; emaild id:contact@birthingsanctuary.com Ph.no:09489244823
  4. Healthy Mother , HyderabadURL: http://healthy-mother.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/HealthyMother/ Contact: +91 78930 68666
References

http://www.livescience.com/45681-vaginal-birth-vs-c-section.html

http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/natural-childbirth.html

https://midwifethinking.com/

http://www.birthvillage.in/

http://www.birthingsanctuary.com/

http://healthy-mother.com/

http://www.waterbirth.org/

http://www.lotusbirth.net/

https://placentaremediesnetwork.org

https://us.hypnobirthing.com

Born at Home Documentary

Author: Smitha Ravi

After working as software developer, I shifted my lens to more soulful work which includes freelancing and teaching computer science. I am passionate about our indian culture and holistic living. Being part of swarnaprashna group, gives me a chance to work along and meet people who share the same passion and learn along the way. You can reach me smitharavi97 AT gmail DOT com