One of the most important things for an expectant mother to do is to open up her heart-uterus connection.
When a woman becomes pregnant, a channel or line of communication opens up between her ‘heart’ and that of her baby. The ‘heart’ in Chinese terms is the abode of the spirit, and is more akin to the heart centre (chakra) where we feel love and process the truth about life, as we perceive it, than to the organ that pumps blood round our bodies. The mother therefore has a way of knowing what her baby is doing and the baby understands the truth of what is in its mother’s heart.
For the baby, its mother is its lifeline and the only support it has are the intuited feelings from its mother via the line of communication. If the baby perceives that for some reason mum isn’t wholeheartedly concentrated in giving birth, the baby may oblige her by not doing anything to initiate it. It is believed that the act of inverting and engaging the head in the pelvis is a symbolic act of acceptance that the birth process should start, as much as the necessity of biology. If the baby feels that mum isn’t ready to start the birth process, it will be less willing to engage its head. This is very often the cause of a breech baby or a pregnancy that goes well beyond its due date. I have used this concept time and again with success in my clinics and the implications, for the whole of obstetric care, are immense.
In some cases, breech babies have turned spontaneously following just a phone call in which it was explained to the mother the significance to her baby of her putting too much of her attention on other issues and not preparing emotionally for the birth.
Why should the baby take so much notice of its mother’s wishes? For the baby, birth is the time when it has to leave behind everything it knows, all its resources of comfort, nourishment and perhaps most of all its mother’s love. In fact, the Chinese say birth is ‘leaving home’. For the baby, its birthday is the day when it makes a huge leap of faith and undergoes a rite of passage to the ‘other side’ where it has little idea of what awaits it. Very largely, it is the strength of its mother’s heart that gives the baby the encouragement to initiate the birth process.
It is vital that, for a good birth delivery, the mother needs to be strong hearten about the prospect. This implies too that she should have enough physical vitality, know her own mind about her birthing options, have the support and environment that she feels happy with for the birth, and not have any great worries or stresses that take her attention away from the consuming event that is soon to happen.
The concept of a mother’s urge to nest is also vital to the success of her delivery. Animals seek a safe corner to hide up in, where they feel secure from the dangers of the world to have their babies. We, too, need a safe nest. In our society the emphasis is more often on mental health and stress level ; our nest is a feeling of security — a safe, emotional, mental space that a woman knows she can create when delivering her baby. This does not come without weeks of preparation and decision-making, and involves:
- – resolving, where possible, any external issues that draw on her time and attention to the detriment of the baby;
- – communication with and building a loving bond with the baby; this two-way knowing creates an unshakable confidence between the birthing pair, and holds much sway in the conduct of the baby during the birth process.
As a result, a woman can face her forthcoming labor with strength, which she imparts to the baby. Mothers who :
- – work until close to their due date ;
- – are in any way unsettled in the months and days approaching birth ;
- – are cajoled into accepting routine delivery procedures, against their wishes, without there being a clear medical necessity; are likely candidates for disruption to their late pregnancy.
We must understand that it is the baby’s birth, and that the mother is there only to labor for it. The baby is not a passive bundle with no mind or will of its own until it is born. It needs to be consulted and taken on board, so as to create a team with the mother, otherwise difficulties will arise and so often end up in the hands of the obstetrician on duty. Every time I do this sort of work with pregnant women, I am amazed at their sensitivity and awareness. It seems incredible to me that so many can feel the mood of their baby and its position in the uterus. Many relax into the meditation and, although I am their guide, they find their power and use it to full effect.
For the sake of the new babies, whose first moments are entrusted to our care, mothers must be treated with the greatest care and compassion, and with proper medical care during pregnancy. They must feel secure and confident in the nests of their hearts.