Meditation for Birth


By Olivia Hinebaugh

As I reflect on the process of giving birth to my two children, there is a quote that rings true to the experience.

Don’t think of it as pain. Think of it as an interesting sensation that requires all of your attention.

— Ina May Gaskin

Within this mindset, labor and birth can be a beautiful and wondrous time. Too often we hear stories that focus on the pain, on the complications, on the drama of it all.

This does not mean it isn’t uncomfortable sometimes, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t mean there won’t be moments where you think, “I want this to end.” Accept the pain and discomfort and pay attention to what’s going on in your body.

Everyone describes the sensation of contractions a little differently. When it comes time for those first strong contractions–the ones that take your breath away, the ones where you need to focus inward and not on the busyness around you–allow yourself to feel it.

You may be able to feel baby pressing on your cervix. You have never felt anything like this. You may be able to feel your pelvis flexing and be acutely aware of where your thighs join your hips. You may be able to feel your uterus flex in a way that feels exactly like a really tough workout. But the bottom line:

You have never felt anything like this.

When baby’s head starts to descend, it is a new primal, powerful feeling. Your body has already done so much good work to get you dilated and open. The urge to push is like nothing you have ever felt before.

You have felt baby kick and roll. But you have never felt her head, right there, about to be born. Take a few deep breaths in that moment. Remember what you are doing and who you are about to meet.

Feel yourself stretch. You’ve never been this open, this alive, this strong. Somehow you can be that strong and that pliable and that blissful and that exhausted. And it feels…

It feels however it feels.

But pay attention. Because it is unlike anything you have ever done.

7 thoughts on “Meditation for Birth”

  1. I just gave birth to my 4th baby 6 days ago. I had my first in a birthing center, the next 2 at home, and this last one back at the birthing center. All 4 natural and amazing. After each of them, never have I felt more powerful as a woman, more beautiful, or closer to my Creator. Yes it’s painful, but not without purpose. Feeling absolutely out of control during the pushing phase, carried along by wild abandon as your body takes over… feeling your baby’s head make its entrance, making you a mother once again or for the first time. There’s nothing like that. Awesome post. Thank you!

  2. I have had 7 childre, 7 labors, deliveries and each was different each experience as unique as each child is. I have been induced and have experienced labor beginning slowly working into hard labor naturally without the aid of pitocin. I have experience labor so fast it scared me with the urge to push coming before my water broke. I have woke up startled for no obvious reason only to have my water break 2 minutes later followed by a long drive to the hospital on a freezing December night, hard labor the entire ride, arriving only minutes before her birth. Each was unique in many ways and Iam grateful for that. I feel my relationship with each of my children is just as unique as the births were and our unique relationships began before delivery, before birth, while they were still growing inside me thats where our relationships began so why would every delivery be the same? I looked forward to the pain I knew was coming , with the exception of my first baby I was in the dark not knowing what to expect with her. I learned fast ths pain meant not long till I would hold my baby in my arms. Thank you for writing your article. It brought back many memories of my births

  3. I called each of my two son’s souls into this world. I felt them enter and then grow. I gave their pregnancies the ultimate respect in what I did, how I ate, and how I spent my time. When they were born, I felt honored to be the vessel for them to come through and yes, it was a demanding physical and spiritual experience. I knew I needed to be in shape for it well ahead of time, so I was ready and I had endurance and a true lack of fear. They both came through me in peace and happy feelings. I’m proud I was able to do this the way I wanted for them and for myself.

  4. Hi, Olivia,
    This is a beautiful, clear, strong, honest meditation. Very well done. I like the openness of it, that you don’t try to say this is exactly how it is but “it feels however it feels.” And the challenge to surrender to that! I am a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist and work with pregnant women and new moms. I would like to share this with my clients.

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