The following are a few suggested ways to prepare for a magickal birth
experience. Preparation is important on three levels: physical, emotional
and spiritual. Without serious consideration of the first two levels, it
will be nearly impossible to concentrate on the third.
A. It is essential that you enter into the birth process as relaxed as
possible. One of the best ways to do that is to know as much as you can
about what to expect on a physical plane, and to develop a support system
that you trust:
- Interview and get references for your primary help. Whether a
doctor or a midwife, this must be someone you are *sure* about and trust to
follow your lead during the birth.
- Educate yourself as much as possible about the physical aspects of
birth. Without adequate information about the things going on in your body,
you will not be able to focus on anything else. Don't just go to the
classes offered by the nearest hospital if you can help it. Make some phone
calls and find someone who you feel approaches the subject from a similar
angle. Don't be afraid to ask questions in class, especially regarding
emergency situations that might arise, and read, read, read!
- Write up a birth plan. State in it clearly what your preferences
are regarding medication, nursing, epesiotomy, etc. Include some of your
decisions about what to do should an emergency arise. Go over the plan with
your support system, including your midwife and/or doctor. Make sure that
you are all in agreement. If you cannot agree, find other people to be with
B. Emotional preparation is extremely helpful. Sometimes difficulties
can arise because a mother has hidden fears about the process, or about
becoming a mother.
- Spend some time thinking about your preconceptions and talking with
your partner about his. Try to bring all fears and concerns out into the
open ahead of time.
- If you are finding things difficult, *get* *help.* There are people
who specialize in childbirth counseling and who can work through the tough
issues with you.
- If you have had a miscarriage before, an abortion or a difficult
birth, examine your feelings about the event. If they are not completely
resolved, *get* *help.*
- Find people to talk to who are either pregnant or already mothers.
Talk about your feelings, your fears, your excitement. Don't let yourself
become isolated. Not all of your emotions will be pleasant ones, and it
helps to share them with others who have been there.
C. During pregnancy, the easiest way to work toward a magickal
consciousness is to establish a routine for yourself. Here are a few ideas:
- Upon waking each day, focus your attention on your baby. Talk to
her. See if you can notice when she wakes up too. Meditate on beginnings.
- Try to spend a little time each day outdoors, no matter what the
weather. Find a special place to go or a special route to walk. Use your
time outdoors to focus on your connection with the Earth.
- Try to eat consciously, not only to provide good nourishment to the
baby, but to recognize, on a spiritual level, the cycles of life present
all around us. What plant or animal died in order to support your life and
the life within you? Be respectful of those other lives, and grateful.
Recognize the way the cycle of our lives reflects the cycles of the Earth.
- Look for symbols that mean birth to you: a perfect flower, a
sculpture, a bowl of water. Find things that feel open, and practice
bringing the energy of openness into yourself, so that when you need to
open your body to allow the baby easy passage, you will already know the
feel of that energy. Plan to bring some of those symbols with you to serve
as a focal point during the birth.
- Create a ritual which you perform frequently, and as part of it,
visualize the birth the way you would like it to be. Include how labor will
feel, how your body will respond, how the baby will move down the birth
canal, how you will open gently to allow the baby to come into the world.
As the birth time approaches, try to do this every day.
- Create a mantra to use during the birth. Don't just make something
up off the top of your head, but allow it to come from the other
preparations you are making. It can be something simple, or a full sentence
-- whatever holds the most meaning for you.
Some examples are: "Open ... open ... open ...", "Let go ... let go ...",
"I am flowing like the river, I am flooding like the tide", "I am She who
brings forth life, I am the Earth, I am the Earth."
Whatever preparations you make, be sure to include the concept that you
cannot fail, no matter what happens, how different things are from the way
you might have hoped or planned. You will do what you need to do, without
self-judgment and by following your heart.