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At What Week to Start Listening to the Childbirth Imagery??

02 Aug

Question:
I purchased your Healthy Pregnancy and Successful Childbirth MP3 set at the beginning of my pregnancy. I am now 21 weeks in and still do it whenever I find the time. The pregnancy set is very relaxing. Thank you. My question however is when do I begin to listen to the birthing set? Is this something I should begin in late pregnancy? Do I just listen to it when I go into labor? What are your suggestions? Thank you!

Jena  ~First time mother expecting a little turkey on Thanksgiving Day!

Dear Soon-to-Be-Mom-of-a-Little-Turkey,

Congratulations!  Gobble, gobble!

You’re smart to ask.  We don’t want people to listen to the childbirth imagery until the last few weeks of pregnancy, in case it has the effect of catalyzing contractions. (We’ve heard from midwives on occasion that they sometimes use this imagery to get things rolling, when labor is moving too slowly but they don’t want to whip out the Pitocin just yet..)

I just went looking for the directions we give on that audio, and here is what it says - we probably should have put this on both the pregnancy and the childbirth introductory instructions, but it’s only on the childbirth intro:

If possible, try to listen to this several times before your delivery – once or twice a day for a couple of weeks if you can. But keep in mind, this will help you, even if the first time you hear it is during your actual labor. Childbirth is a naturally altered state, so it will be easy for you to respond to this imagery.

You don’t want to start listening too early in your pregnancy.  Start at what you think will be the last couple weeks of your pregnancy. Remember, if you’ve been using your imagery for pregnancy all along, you’ve already gotten very good at this.

Pay attention to the parts that you need to hear and play them as often as you need to during your labor. During delivery, you’ll probably need to follow the specific suggestions of your doctor, midwife or nurse.  So feel free to use this imagery to supplement your health care, in the way that works best for you.

Good luck to you!  (And please don’t have Thanksgiving at your house this year!)

BR

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award