With the rise of the media, comes the good, the bad and the ugly in relation to birth. There are so many websites, Facebook pages, blogs, Youtube videos and of course, the more traditional online newspapers and TV programmes. The way you use social media can totally make or break your birth experience and you probably haven’t realised it yet.
If we remember quickly how our mind works, we store memories in our subconscious. This is the part that we are not always aware of, but there will always be things lurking in there. When you go into labour, these birth memories may be triggered and either positively or negatively influence your body’s physical response. If the memories make you scared, you may produce adrenaline and if they make you feel at ease, you will produce oxytocin.
The fear response is what you want to avoid, yet fear can be instilled in you by the things that you see in the media. For example, One Born Every Minute. This is essentially a drama, although it is advertised as a documentary. The music that plays makes everything feel more tense, the births they show are often very medicalised and there is one very prevalent attitude to birth. The women will be on the bed, pushing as hard as they can. If this is your only experience of birth, this is what you will think your own birth should be like.
The other most common part of the media that provides you with the fear, is the daily fail (other newspapers are available). You will often see headlines that include the word ‘RISK’ and overall, the articles written about birth are generally rather frightening. As a pregnant person, or birth partner, you don’t need to be reading that. Yes, that may be the reality for someone, but not necessarily you.
I’m giving you permission to say NO to negativity. Don’t feel like you must watch OBEM just because you are pregnant, don’t join all the mum or birth groups just because you are pregnant. You don’t have to consent to listening to other peoples horror stories JUST because you are pregnant. You deserve better than that. You deserve your own reality, a positive environment, which fills you with confidence in your own body.
When the online world is so key to our entire existence, reading things on facebook or google may even be the only antenatal education that you receive. Although in person classes are totally the way forward, we know that isn’t an option for everyone. We are going to tell you how you can make the most of social media during your pregnancy and parenting journey…
- Avoid OBEM as we already spoke about, for obvious reasons…
- Follow The Little Birth Company page and join the group – these are filled with brilliant birth tips and support, written by qualified professionals and our group is monitored for any negativity
- Allow yourself to say NO to negativity. You don’t have to join 100 pregnancy groups on facebook, or mumsnet, or any of those websites. Instead, read some positive birth stories or watch some videos on Youtube
- Read a book instead of going online! The Positive Birth Book by Milli Hill is a big hit
- Don’t rely on doctor Google – ask your midwife if you have ANY concerns
- Find some positive affirmations to have on your phone or print off and stick around your house. There are some lovely Instagram accounts you can follow which have these readily available for use
- Unfollow any friends or pages which frequently discuss birthing horror stories. You don’t need to see that
- Take a hypnobirthing course with one of our instructors – they often have their own facebook pages and groups that you can be added to
- Allocate yourself a certain amount of time per day to switch off. I’d recommend atleast an hour. Get off your phone, turn off the wifi. Do something you enjoy that is not too strenuous, relax and breathe. It will be so refreshing for you
- Don’t take everything at face value. Everything you read will always have some form of bias to it, you never know the full story. That is someone else’s story, not yours.
Be safe when looking at social media! One little thing can affect your entire birth and you may not even realise it yet. Definitely give our facebook page and group a look and find your local hypnobirthing instructor HERE if you would like some wonderful classes ????