This is a handy tip I've picked up along the way. When an unhelpful thought pops into our minds whether it is about labour, birth, early parenting or something else, adding the word 'yet' can transform how we feel.
There is fascinating research in the field of psychology: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Neurolinguistic Programming for example; which says that our thoughts have a powerful influence on the release of negative or positive hormones and other chemicals.
Thinking positively is powerful. Lying to ourselves is not. The body knows if we are lying and tends not to respond so positively. So this is not about gritting your teeth and repeating positive mantras you don't believe.
Starting where you are is enough. "I don't know if I can do this...... yet" instantly transforms how we feel by adding an element of acknowledging that we probably just need more time. "I can't breastfeed.... yet.." leaves room for the possibility of things getting better. "I don't feel confident about giving birth... yet" might lead to a train of thought about what we need to do to get to that point of greater confidence. Many women report that they bonded more slowly with their babies, myself included, and didn't experience that rush of love at birth. How about "I don't think I'm bonding with my baby.... yet."
Putting pressure on ourselves as Mums is something we seem to find easy to do. I wonder if the power of 'yet', could start to release some of that pressure? Let me know in class tomorrow or in the comments below!