Historically, we humans tend to be creatures that like to plan. We like to know what will happen and how. We want to be prepared for everything. But when it comes to birth, especially when it’s our first time birthing, it is natural to be full of doubts and worry. One of the ways to deal with this worry is a tendency to over-plan. We make elaborate intricate detailed birth plans, we communicate them to our doctors or midwives, and we attach ourselves dearly to them.
Is that wrong? Not necessarily. But it is limiting. The more attached we are to a specific plan, the less flexibility we will have in the moment. If even one thing goes out of plan, we might have a panic, a massive disappointment and even go as far as disassociating ourselves from the rest of the birth – meaning that we would not be present at the birth of our child.
Should I not have a birth plan at all? The problem does not lie in having a birth plan or not having one. It’s about the over attachment we give to our plan. Sure, you can choose a way you would like things to go. And, probably, you should choose a way you would like things to go, so that when you are given a choice you know which choice to choose. You can have an idea of what it is that would suit you best. But you need to keep in mind, that birth has its own plan. And the challenge as a birthing parent is to be able to be flexible and remain present during the process.
Fortunately, in Berlin, you get many birthing choices. You can birth at home, in a Geburtshaus, in an anthroposophic hospital or a conventional hospital. All these choices offer their own philosophy to birthing. But regardless of which you choose, there tend to still be fears bubbling away in the subconscious. Will it be a canal birth or a caeserean birth? Will an epidural be needed or will you manage through the pain? Will it be an orgasmic birth (and no, this is no joke, they actually do happen for a few lucky ones!)? But the truth is you do not know what will happen during childbirth. As you do not know what will happen during life. Birth has its own plan… regardless of how much we try to pre-plan it.
So what if we took all that focus from trying to predict what kind of birth we will have, and put it into learning how to have flexible minds and how to be present at our child’s birth regardless of what will or will not happen? In our Berlin prenatal yoga classes we will explore techniques of how to keep an open mind during birth. We will use mindfulness techniques to learn how to be present during childbirth and parenthood. We will learn relaxation techniques, that when practiced often enough, will come natural to us in times of need. And although we will use lots of visualization techniques and positive thinking to keep us calm and grounded, we will try to not get over attached to only one way of birthing.
Our new English prenatal yoga class in Berlin starts in September 2015. Pinelopi has taught Hatha Yoga in English for 8 years now and pregnancy yoga to private students at home. After having being pregnant in 2013, she is now ready to offer pregnancy yoga to a small group at our Kreuzberg yoga studio.