How to Have a God Focused Labour
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Have you ever thought of birth as a spiritual experience?
While I was pregnant and preparing for a natural, unmedicated birth I realized how amazing birth is and I knew I would need God’s strength to get me through it. My husband and I decided we needed to bring God into the labour room with us. This decision defined the birth experience for me and I want to share with you how you can have a God focused labour and birth.
From the very beginning I would encourage you to start by praying. Talk to God about any fears or doubts you may have about being pregnant, giving birth, becoming a mom or anything that may be causing you stress. God listens to us and He hears our needs.
1 John 5:14 "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that is we ask anything according to his will he hears us."
Pray for your baby and also pray for your birth.
One thing that really helped me during this time was to read about labour and birth in the Bible. I actually love how to Bible often references a woman in labor when talking about a man going to war. Reading these Scriptures actually gave me the mentality that I AM A WARRIOR WOMAN. I was encouraged to think of all the mothers have come before us, including those in the Bible with all kinds of rough conditions who delivered their babies. They were strong and I am strong too (and so are you)! I expected pain during childbirth but imagining myself as a tough warrior made it more bearable to mentally prepare for. For some women these Scriptures might be a little discouraging, but for me I saw it as empowering. We are all different so find something that you find empowering.
LABOUR AND BIRTH TIME
Now as far as bringing God into your labor room I think the first place to start is with prayer. With those first mild contractions start talking to God. Tell Him how it feels, ask Him for strength and just stay in tune with Him and recognize His presence. As time continues you may need your husband or birth partner to be the one covering you in prayer as all your strength is dedicated to the labor.
Bible verses are also going to be a great encouragement for you during this time, especially Bible verses with a promise or those that remind you of God’s power. For me hearing God’s word reminded me that He was in control of everything. He made my precious little baby, and He was going to bring her into this world at the right time. My husband is a memory verse whiz so luckily for me I had him whispering verses in my ear the entire time. He’s amazing! Although when I was in transition, which happens before it’s time to push and a woman can become very still and quiet, I had to ask him to stop talking because I needed total silence and calmness to focus.
Music can also be extremely relaxing and helpful for you to have a
God focused labour.
Playing your favourite worship songs can be a nice distraction to listen, to and the words can encourage you. For me, I made two different playlists, one that was slow and calm and the other was a bit more upbeat. I intentionally chose songs I knew the words to because I knew for me that would be the most encouraging because I would be able to sing along. I saved the playlists on my phone a few weeks before my due date and enjoyed listening to the music before labour was even close.
The next thing I would suggest, is having God-centered birth affirmations (you can download these ones for free). Birth affirmations are short little sayings for women to say to empower them during their labour. An example of that may be, “Me and by baby are safe,” or “Each surge [contraction] brings me closer to my baby.” Labouring women have found these affirmations to be very comforting and effective. A relaxed woman can have a much more comfortable birth than a woman who is stressed and tense. I was able to push my first baby out “quickly” and one of the things I attribute that to is because I was very relaxed. There are God centered birth affirmations that can also relax and empower a laboring woman such as:
God is keeping us safe
The Lord is my strength
God is in control of my baby and my body
God is with me in this room
Sometimes it’s good just to slow down and think about your baby, your body, and your God. That is why I think it’s also good to have a mantra before you even go into labour. A mantra could be a birth affirmation, or a Bible verse, or even a mix. When I was finally pushing out my baby I kept saying to myself, “The LORD is with me, I will not be afraid!” taken from Psalm 118:6, which holds a special meaning to me because it’s the Scripture where my daughter’s name comes from. I needed a mantra like that to remind me not to be afraid because fear was definitely something I struggled with.
Are you experiencing any fear concerning your birth? A Bible verse addressing fear might make for a good mantra for you. Using a Bible search tool like Bible Gateway can be a great way to find an appropriate verse just for you. My mantra really helped me during the pushing phase because I wasn’t allowing myself to be afraid and I was remembering that God was right there with me, He did not abandon me.
And without fear I pushed my baby out into this world. And there she was…and maybe I SHOULD have been scared?
My daughter lay on the bed in front of me and she was not crying or even moving. This was not something I expected, I thought we would have immediate skin to skin, but instead the midwives frantically tried to get her to cry and breathe. “We have to get this baby to cry!” they would say but they eventually had to take her out of the room to the mini NICU room across the hall. My husband and I just looked at each other and started to pray. We were completely alone in the room at that point and heard another midwife sprint down the hall to help. We prayed and prayed. In this moment the one thing I remember most is the supernatural peace I felt. I have never felt this way before. My husband and I knew we could be scared, we saw our daughter for less than a minute before she was rushed away, but we knew that even though we weren’t with her God was. And then we heard crying. A midwife came into the room and I said, “Is that MY baby crying!?” And she said yes and my baby daughter was ok.
In this unexpected circumstance, I don’t think I would have felt such peace if we hadn’t been focused on God for the painful hours leading up to this moment. And the thing about birth is that you never know what might happen, and what might go wrong. In the scary moment you are going to want to be close to God, and in the awesome moments, you are also going to want to be close to Him to praise Him!
Giving birth can be a spiritual experience and there is room for God in your labour. Invite Him into the labor room to be close to you and it can change your birth experience. As a summary this is what I suggest:
- Be close to God during your pregnancy
- Pray through labour
- Have Bible verses to get you through
- Listen to worship music
- Read Christian birth affirmations
- Have a personal Christian birth mantra
- Focus on God
Would you like some birth affirmation cards to help you stay focused on God during your labour? Download them here!
I would love to know how your birth goes and how you included God in the process. How did your birth partner support this process?
The Moving Mama
Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.
She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.
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