As a mom, partner, and yoga teacher, I consider myself somewhat of a professional cheerleader. Everyday I give other people all sorts of pep talks to help get them through hard times, encouraging them to stay positive no matter what happens. I have a tendency to neglect myself in this regard, though. So when faced with the prospect of labor and delivery, and all of the things that could go wrong, I seriously needed a pep talk. Honestly, there are reasons every mom should do a pre-labor pep talk.
Even the most self-aware, experienced, "been there, done that" mom-to-be can use some pre-labor encouragement. Let's face it, there's a reason labor is called labor. It's freaking hard. You can do it, though, and even if you feel like you can't, there's no turning back now.
For me, labor didn't go as planned and was different than I expected it to be with each one of my pregnancies. In the end, though, and with some support, love, encouragement, (not to mention some fantastic pain medication), I was able to make it through. Yes, even when I had to throw my birth plan out the window. Each time someone different said all of the right things to help me mentally prepare for the challenge. As a result of their support, I actually found that I was better able to be my own advocate and cheerleader in the process.
For that reason, and so many others, I think every mom to be needs a pre-labor pep talk. Here are just a few, in case, you know, you need a little encouragement before you ump on the pre-labor pep talk train:
Because You're Your Own BFF
In motherhood you need to learn to love yourself so you can, in turn, do a great job loving your kids. With that in mind, realize that receiving a pre-labor pep talk is important. As women, and especially as moms, we constantly push ourselves to our capacity and beyond. Realize that you don't just need a pep talk, you deserve one, mama.
Because Child Birth Can Be Scary
I'm sorry, and even though childbirth is beautiful, labor and delivery is also incredibly terrifying. Not to mention that pretty much anything can happen. Heck, I've been through it three times and each time was different from the others and scary as hell. I needed someone to help me calm my sh*t and prepare myself for what was to come.
Because Labor Is Hard Work
No matter what kind of labor you end up having, or if you end up with no labor at all and have major surgery instead, child birth is taxing both physically and emotionally. Most of us can use a pep talk to ready ourselves, because we can use all the good vibes we can get when the going gets tough and the contractions get tougher.
Because You Can Do It
No matter how challenging it is, though, remember that you can do this. Moms and moms-to-be are badass. You can do it, and when you feel like you can't continue, remember that it's too late now to change your mind anyway, so you'd better push through to the end. Literally.
Because Positive Thinking Is Powerful
I might sound like a total hippie when I say this, but there is power in positive thinking. Now, I'm not saying that you'll win the lottery by wishing for it hard enough (if that was true, we'd all win our $1 back), but you might just find that you have enough strength to make it through child birth if you are able to relax and feel good about the process.
Because It Might Distract You From The Pain
Labor hurts. For me, 18 hours of back labor seriously made me question whether or not I wanted to have more children. Somehow, I made it through and with some kind encouragement from a badass certified nurse midwife. I even went on to have more babies.
Because It's Easy To Forget Your Plans
The thing about labor and delivery is that it's so incredibly personal. Different people want and need different things to make it through. If you have a birth plan, it's sometimes helpful to have someone remind you about what you decided and why.
Unfortunately, if you are anything like me, the birth plan you think you wanted goes right out the window when you're in the throes of labor and delivery and all that comes along with it. In that case, your partner, nurse, OB-GYN, or support person can remind you that it's OK to be flexible and change your plans.
Because There's No Backing Out Now
Pregnancy can feel like running a marathon. Trust me, I've done both. And labor and delivery is like running another marathon right after crossing the first marathon's the finish line. Then, at some point during transition, you realize that you'll never really stop running ever again. It's too late to turn back and moms-to-be don't get to quit in the middle of labor. Instead, you let someone cheer you on and tell yourself that you can do this. Because you totally can.