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rethink birth part 9 - recentering and the motherbaby
One of the first messages we get when we become pregnant is to focus on the baby, but often, that comes across as confusing, because we are trained to think of babies as both separate and unaware of their surroundings.
Neither are true.
It’s critical to understand that in the beginning, there really is no such thing as a baby. What I mean by that is, mother and baby are one.
What’s best for a newborn baby is, happily, the same thing as what’s best for a newborn mama (because the mother is a newborn, too). Whether it’s rest, warmth, nourishment - all of it can be done together as much as possible - ideally in-arms, skin-to-skin.
The motherbaby is a dyad, and this “4th trimester” extends at least 6 weeks after birth - or the first 40 days in many cultures. Even after the umbilical cord is cut, the mother and baby are entangled on a quantum, heart-frequency level that is still not fully understood by science.
However, a wide and growing body of research indicates that babies are conscious-and-aware beings, even before birth.
Pregnant women are in continual communication with their babies on a subtle level - whether we realize it or not! We can consciously attune ourSelves to connect more deeply with our baby by taking time to recenter, daily.
What is recentering?
It’s simply a way to tune in with yourSelf, to consciously choose to shift into a space that’s supportive of your ideal life/birth experience. After a busy day, you may notice that in spite of taking time to rest, watching shows or scrolling on social media - your body stays tense, and your thoughts remain scattered or busy.
This is a clear indicator that we’re spending too much time living from the mind.
When you recenter yourSelf, you make a conscious decision to put aside your thoughts and begin shifting your focus to your heart-space, where you can feel into what’s most aligned with your highest self.
Another name for this technique is heart-brain coherence, because on a biological level, we are creating harmony, or entrainment, between the electromagnetic frequencies of our heart and our brain.
This can be done in just a few minutes by lying down or standing still, with your eyes closed, in a quiet place (or just for a quiet moment!).
Creating heart-brain coherence…
Place your hand on your heart, take a few deep, slow breaths, and release any physical tension that you’re holding in your body. Soften your gaze, release your jaw, allow a gentle smile to come to your face, soften your belly and chest, and drop your shoulders away from your ears.
If prayer is already a part of your spiritual practice, you can do this practice along with a mantra, verse, or intention for yourSelf and your baby.
Some women like to take a moment of contemplation in the morning over coffee or tea. You can light a candle, or take some time to write in a journal, or sit outside at dawn. You can play music while you recenter, or listen to the world around you.
There’s no wrong way to do this, except to not do it.
Re-centering allows you the space and time, even for just a moment, to check in with your complete Self - mind, body, and emotions - and affirm the best for you and your baby.