Whether you are aware or not about the power of visualisation, I am here to tell you how this could help you throughout your pregnancy and to prepare for birth. We might have been using our visualisation skills without us even realising and toward the wrong outcome: imagining worst case scenarios which cause stress and anxiety. It takes practice to get your mental imagery to flow smoothly and to direct it towards the positive. Some of us might feel they don’t want to build up false expectations and be overly optimistic, but using your visualisation skills is really about staying present and creating a mental image of what you want your birth to look like. Don’t create any attachment to that imagery, just use your imagination, your 5 senses and let that image materialise as best you can.
Lots of athletes use visualisation to help them achieve their best performance and there have been studies showing that subjects could improve how they did a task just by imagining themselves doing that same task.
Of course, in the process of practising your mental imagery you might come across some fears or situations which may present themselves; acknowledge these and use your visualisation skills to see how you are going to deal with those circumstances. These will help you and your brain to be more perceptive when it comes to recognise the resources you will need to support you throughout your pregnancy and childbirth as well as draw into your life the right people.
I remember the mental images I built during my visualisation practices were of a dolphin giving birth to her calf. I had seen a video documenting the birth of this baby dolphin so many years back and I remember watching mesmerised thinking how the dolphin kept swimming in the water as her calf slowly made her way out of her. Using a birthing pool was on our birth preferences so it only came natural for me to channel that dolphin. And dolphins are my favourite animal!
A very helpful way to work on this skill is to create mood boards or writing things down like affirmations. I will write a seperate blog on the power of affirmations. Some people really need a physical image in front of their eyes. You might find it a bit cheesy but don’t be put off so quickly, just try it and see if it helps you to visualise. If it doesn’t, bin it but when you are preparing for one of the most life changing experiences of your life a bit of positive visualisation can only help.