Why You Need to Build Habits for Birth, Not Goals
Everyone has goals. I have goals. You have goals. Ask any young girl and chances are they have the goal of getting married and having a family from a very young age. Others may be driven to be on the High School team or to be successful business people.
A goal is the desired outcome of the result of the action. A healthy vaginal birth. You can focus on it and drive yourself to complete it. With a goal when it is completed it is over, finished, and dismissed. You will either have to create another new goal or return to our old practices.
Reaching a goal does not happen overnight. It requires an intention, a strategy to accomplish the goal, and building the habits that are part of the strategy. Without a strategy and its corresponding habits, you cannot reach your goal.
A habit is a strategy that exists in the background of your daily life that exists to help you reach a goal. By exercising for one hour three times a week, I can keep my body healthy and align a baby in my pelvis for a healthy vaginal birth. Unlike a goal, they become automatic choices making difficult tasks easier. They can be considered baby steps to a goal.
Specifically, for childbirth, the habits built before and during pregnancy will continue to be valuable in the labor and delivery room. They will also continue to have an impact after birth, once you are home and recuperating. For example, a woman who has exercised her entire pregnancy will naturally have more endurance and strength in labor which will facilitate a smaller, healthy baby being well aligned in the pelvis which makes for a healthy vaginal delivery with minimal tearing. Simply having a goal of vaginal birth will not develop the strategies needed to accomplish the outcome without the hard work.
So, I encourage you to develop some new pregnancy habits such as exercising for three hours a week, sitting on a birth ball instead of a chair, spending 30 minutes a day reading about birth, and having a sit-down dinner as a couple or as a family. These habits will help you to attain your goals but also create positive life change impacting your whole life long after birth.
Exercise for 1 hour, 3 times a week or lose 20 pounds in 4 months
Practice good body posture & using a standing desk or stand for 6 hours a day
Read 30 minutes a day or read 5 books this year
Have family dinner nightly or schedule 7 free hours a weekend for the family