How To Reprogram Common Birth Blocks

When we were born, we were perfectly innocent. We loved, trusted and revealed ourselves without reserve.

Over time we learnt that certain responses were unacceptable to those we loved. We adapted our behaviour to be accepted by our parents, friends and community.

In conforming to this world, we forgot our blueprint—our original design. Our mind (the origin of thoughts) and heart (the origin of feelings) became wired to live out of sync with the blueprint of God’s design for us. We started to think thoughts God would never think about us. We started to feel things God would never feel towards us.

These 2 things hugely impact birth:

Then, over time, these repeated patterns are “written” into our cardiac-neural circuitry, affecting how we think and feel on a daily basis.

Our thought-patterns and feeling-patterns form the backdrop of our reality. And they influence how we make sense of our pregnancy, our birth desires and our parenting journey.

These patterns are our programming.

We’re going to take action to reprogram these patterns in UNBLOCKED. But for now, let’s talk about the way our programming affects birth.

Our programming influences our birth choices, often without us even realising it! If our programming is like an iceberg, then our choices are what’s seen above the water and our beliefs are everything submerged. Beliefs are what people don’t see so much but they are what determine the choices we make.

For example, most people in higher-income countries choose to give birth in hospitals. Yet studies have found that, under most circumstances, it’s as safe, or more so, to give birth at home. Why do women choose to get into metal boxes and sit in uncomfortable seats when labour is heating up? For convenience sake, wouldn’t more women not be bothered? This might reveal a belief that “birth is an emergency waiting to happen,” or something else.

That’s an example of how everyday life can challenge our heart coherence and cause our systems to get out of alignment, lowering the immune system and causing a temporary drop in energy stores which shows up as sickness.

As I said at the start, we can either be in thought-patterns and feeling-patterns that are in line with God’s blueprint for us, or they can be out of sync.

We all know what it feels like to wake up and feel tired, and maybe we look in the mirror and feel disappointed with a particular part of our bodies. Or maybe our partner doesn’t do the thing he said he would do. Or the stop-start traffic on the way home makes you feel annoyed. Whatever it is, I think we all know that our thoughts and feelings impact how we feel about ourselves.

Women, unlike other mammals, have been taught that labour is hard work.  They’ve seen it in movies, heard about it, and have been warned about it since they were little girls. Women who are aware of imminent agony seek aid during childbirth, which is a highly unique behaviour among animals. The majority of pregnant animals do the exact opposite, locating a quiet area away from the group and giving birth in peace.

Instead of using this section to talk about common birth fears and reason with you intellectually that they’re uncommon or unlikely, so you can put your mind at ease. Instead of that approach, I want to show you how you’re wise to have uncertainties—and how you’d be even smarter to put them to good use. I’ll show you how.

How you do life is how you will do birth.

How you do uncomfortable situations in life is how you will do birth because birth can be unusual.

It can be uncomfortable not so much because of what it is but because most of us aren’t familiar with what’s needed for labour surrender. I like to get into the grit of what things are and aren’t. Surrender isn’t a concept; it’s a physiological reality. It’s a flow state where you allow life to happen and flow as it wants to (organised heart rhythm). When we surrender to our proper place as vessels for life (not controllers of life), we get to witness the flow of energy through our bodies. It is magnificent! We have an incredible place, but’s it’s not at the helm of the ship steering; we ARE the ship, and we’re floating on the ocean of God’s love and empowerment.

The #1 thing that stops women from experiencing a calm, straightforward birth is programming.

When we were born, we were perfectly innocent¹. We were created by God to love intuitively, to receive love and to willingly contribute to our tribe, among other things. We loved, trusted and revealed ourselves without reserve.

Over time, however, we learnt that specific responses, beliefs and actions were unacceptable to our loved ones—our parents, caregivers, family members, etc. We modified our behaviour to be accepted.

Even if you had an idyllic childhood, you probably learnt programming from other places (friends, media etc.).

In conforming to this world, we forgot our blueprint—our original design. Our head (the birthplace of thoughts), heart (the birthplace of our feelings) and gut (the birthplace of our intuition) became wired to live out of sync with the blueprint of God’s design for us.

We started to think, feel and intuit untrue things. Then, over time, these repeated thoughts, feelings, and intuitive patterns were “written” into our cardiac-neural circuitry. These patterns form the backdrop of our reality, influencing how we make sense of our pregnancy, birth and forthcoming parenting journey. These patterns are our programming.

Our programming influences our birth choices, often without us even realising it! 

If our programming is like an iceberg, then our choices are seen above the water, and our beliefs are submerged. People don’t see beliefs so much, but they are a more significant part of our decision-making than what’s seen.

For example, the vast majority of people in higher-income countries choose to give birth in hospitals. Yet, studies have found that it’s equally safe to give birth at home under most circumstances.

Why do women choose to get into metal boxes with uncomfortable upright seats just when labour is heating up to drive across town? Indeed, for convenience sake, more women wouldn’t be bothered?

This choice may reveal a cultural belief. Perhaps “that’s just how it’s done” or “I can’t do it by myself” or “I can’t afford to birth at home” or “birth is an emergency waiting to happen” or something else.

There’s nothing wrong with giving birth in the hospital or having talented people support you in labour. What I’m suggesting is that it’s not about geography at all—it’s about motivation. 

If we allow our sense of safety to be built on our external environment, we will be like a house built on sand. When the rains fall, floods come, and the winds beat against the house, and it falls, and great will be the fall of it (Matthew 7:26-27). Yet, if we trust our safety into the hands of God, then we will be solid and steadfast, like a house built on rock, not moved when external circumstances shift and change (Matthew 7:24-25).

When we start to see our programming, we can ask questions like, “If I’m designed to give birth, then why would I believe birth is an emergency waiting to happen?” 

That’s why God says to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Don’t you see those thoughts like “I’m not safe unless I’m in control of when labour starts” only make sense when we’re out of sync with our original design!

There are a few areas where our programming reveals itself, and pregnancy is one of those times. Typically, it’s in times of stress that we see what we truly believe. You know? When you’re engaged, you think you know you’re wanted, loved, safe and seen for who you are. Then you get married, and there’s a person next to you in bed every morning. It’s wonderful! But you may start to see your beliefs saying: “It’s not safe to be vulnerable with your husband” or “Don’t depend on anyone for anything”. These are perfect examples of programming we’ve learnt along the way that only show up when they’re activated by the circumstance of marriage and intimacy.

Typically, areas now, as an adult, where you’re confident, comfortable and competent are areas where your caregivers could support, encourage and comfort you. Areas of anxiety, fear or discomfort are areas where your caregivers may have had difficulties with their own insecurities in that area.

I’ve found that reprogramming is like popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne. The whole process only takes a bit of wiggling. Once you start, the pressure of the Truth expels the cork, and it can never fit back in again! Any ground we take is taken for life. “You are to take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” (Numbers 33:53).

Here are 9 common blocks that come up in birth:

1“It’s not okay to make mistakes.”
2“It’s not okay to have your own needs.” 
3“It’s not okay to have your own feelings and identity.”
4“It’s not okay to be too functional or too happy.”
5“It’s not okay to be comfortable in the world.”
6“It’s not okay to trust yourself.”
7“It’s not okay to depend on anyone for anything.”
8“It’s not okay to be vulnerable or to trust anyone.”
9“It’s not okay to assert yourself.”

Once you’ve found one message above that resonates with you, write it in your notes. We’ll address it through a Guided Imagining in a minute. A Guided Imagining is a powerfully relaxing guided meditation and a creative way to let God reveal the truth to you. We use them throughout the workshop.

Guided Imaginings can help you to:

  • Envisage how incredible your birth could be
  • Access insights about your birth: pictures, visions, dreams, words etc
  • Reprogram any limiting beliefs you may have picked up about birth

Remember: Our programming influences our birth choices, often without us even realising it!

Journal: Programming

Babies do not come out of the navel (as I assumed as a little girl! lol), and they do not come out neatly from an egg. They come from your sexual centre, from the innermost part of you. On the way, they pass through tissues that are used for sexual pleasure and connection.

We underestimate how significant it is for a woman to choose labour—to choose to birth. Sure, you may find yourself pregnant or even end up birthing a baby, but choosing it is a whole other thing. 

When a conscious choice comes into the mix, so untapped power is also introduced. The woman may not yet know the breadth of this power. Still, in the hindsight of her life, she may trace it back to that birthing moment and the seed of confidence that was also birthed that day, alongside her baby.

I want you to consider your upbringing. This is not about bringing to light mistakes, shame or misfortune. It’s not about dishonouring caregivers or parents, nor is it about rehashing any pain of the past. It’s valuable to look at our programming to actually experience the real, tangible good life the Lord has designed us for.

We usually pick up our most poignant programming from our same-sex parent or caregiver.

Journal Prompts:

  • Resting vs powering through: What was your primary caregiver’s relationship like to relaxation? Did they allow themselves to stop and rest when they were tired, or did they model to you that you need to push through until you’ve finished a task, etc.? (Rest is crucial for pregnancy and labour, so if we’re uncomfortable with rest, it can be hard to have enough energy available for the process).
  • Being naked vs being covered: In your family, did your parents call the vagina and other genitalia by their names? Or did they use language like ‘private parts’ etc.? (Sexuality and nakedness is part of birth. Most women will give birth naked or with just a crop-top on. You can’t have thoughts of modesty taking you out of the experience of labour; otherwise, birth will slow down).
  • Being assertive vs being polite: Were you celebrated for sharing opinions and having a voice, or were you praised for being polite and keeping quiet? Do you return food if your order has genuinely been confused? (Choice is crucial for labour because only you know exactly what’s going on and what feels good. You need to be okay to tell someone to stop stroking you on your back, for example, if it’s uncomfortable.)
  • Making noise vs being quiet: Was it taken lightly if people in your family made bodily noises, i.e. yawn, break wind (fart), burp? In other contexts, like during sex, do you feel comfortable making noises of pleasure with your partner? Is this strictly avoided? Preferred? Tried a little or every now and then? What is your comfort level around you, letting out a sound? If you went into the bush in the middle of nowhere by yourself, could you let out a ‘hurhhhh’? How about in a car park near your local shopping centre? Could you let out a wee little ‘hooo-eeee’? (Noise is often part of labour, as it can be part of sex. Even if others are made uncomfortable by birth noises, you can’t be phased by that because it often focuses the pain and makes it doable and more manageable).
  • Saying no vs saying yes: If someone holds a pamphlet in your direction at a shopping centre do you take it, even if you don’t want it? Could you say no without feeling guilty? (Saying no is essential for you and your partner in labour, so you can refuse specific interventions if they’re offered or select others).
  • Following your instincts vs following the rules: Have you ever done something that didn’t make logical sense at the moment but that you intuitively felt was the best choice? Or round the other way, did you feel to do something, hesitated, then found out later it would have been wise? (Instincts tell us messages internally, and without those messages, others can feel out of the loop and use their own wisdom or experiences to make choices on our behalf. We need to tap into our instincts, even if they go against others’ rules or policies).
  • Trusting your intuition vs following another’s intuition: Have you ever taken preference over the Holy Spirit’s leading, or an inner knowing, and discarded another’s insight? Perhaps in the arena of health, your career or your relationship? How did that pan out? Did you regret it? Or around the other way, did you listen to an expert’s advice and ended up in a muddle because it went against your own inner knowing? (Same as above).
  • Taking risks vs avoiding risks: How risk-averse would you say you are? In comparison to your parents? Your partner? Do you have multiple types of insurance? Do you allow certain types of risk but not others? Are you uncomfortable with social risks (i.e. chatting with strangers at parties), but you’re comfortable with investing money and risking it that way? How heightened are your senses to risk in this world? Do you consume news? Which sources do you consider worth listening to? (Uncertainty tolerance is part of birth. Scripture calls it trust and faith. We need to grow our trust muscle to surrender to the process of childbirth that we’re made for).
  • Embracing uncertainty vs controlling uncertainty: Are there times when you’ve tried to control the outcomes, even when there was nothing really that you could do? In your dating relationship, did you try to make your partner like you? Do you feel like your job is threatened and at any moment could become unstable? What was your anxiety like on your wedding night (if it was the first time you had sex)? How easily were you able to down-regulate your emotions, connect with your partner and enjoy the moment? Was that challenging? Did you feel uncertain about whether the experience would be successful for you both? (As above).

Guided Imagining: Clearing Blocks

Transcript

Go ahead and relax.

Close your eyes and find a comfortable position.

Slowing down your breath. Imagine it is flowing in and out of the space inside your chest. Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual. Find a comfortable rhythm.

As you begin scanning your body, allow any areas of your body where you’ve been feeling stress to melt into the ground beneath you.

Now bring your attention to the space you’re in.

What do you hear?
Notice any smells…
Feel the temperature around your body?

Bringing the focus to your body, relaxing deeper. And scanning your body one more time.

Now taking note of any emotional tension you’ve been feeling this week or lately.

Allowing it to collect like little particles in your heart space, and then picture the Holy Spirit as a vacuum at your feet. These particles are sucked entirely out, leaving you feeling even more relaxed and yourself than ever before.

Now bring your awareness to a miraculous cloud forming in the room. You place your hand on it, and to your surprise, it’s buoyant. Take in the texture and shape. Go ahead and sit on it.

Allowing it to take you up over your town, to your favourite place in nature. After stepping off, allow your feet to stand firmly on the earth and just notice how this space makes you feel so relaxed and wonderful.

The sun is shining. And you notice how good it feels to have the warmth of the sun gently soaking into your back and shining its warm, wonderful light into your heart space. You notice your breathing is easy and a little deeper than usual. In this place, you have complete clarity.

“Now,” God says, “I am revealing new things to you. Things hidden and unknown to you. Created just now, this very moment. Of these things, you have heard nothing until now.”

You jump back onto the cloud. It takes you to your home town and to a moment when you learned about following your body’s instincts. Think back to a time when you learnt about your body or trusting your inner knowing and intuition. Notice if this was an enjoyable or limiting experience for you. And just placing this experience in your pocket for later, to remember.

Now, allow the Holy Spirit to show you the earliest memory when you learnt that you couldn’t have what your heart authentically wants. See if there was a time when you discerned that it wasn’t safe to follow your desires. Place this in your pocket to continue on your journey.

And now in your home town make your way to a memory from when you were in school. Allowing the Holy Spirit to bring your first memory forward when you felt you needed to conform to be accepted. A memory when you had to say yes when you meant no. Or a time when you were shunned or made to feel bad for being yourself and following your authentic desires.

And lastly, as you make your way to your cloud, let the Holy Spirit show you your biggest block around birth at the moment. What area is it specifically? Now, see if a scripture or picture or phrase comes into your mind to reveal the truth. Ask the Father: “What is your perspective about this block?”

And hoping on your cloud, making your way back into your room, and wiggling your toes a little bit and coming back to this moment here and now.

Now you’ll move to the next section and begin to journal everything you discovered.


Footnotes:

  1. Perfectly Innocent: This may raise alarm bells for you, like it did for me the first time I heard it. I was taught about “original sin” and that we’ve always been “sinners”. As common as the term original sin has become, it’s comforting to realise that it was invented after Jesus and even after the bible was written. I resonate much more with the concept of “ancestral sin” that the early church did use. It’s simply a way to describe humanity’s widespread generational rejection of the abundant life God offers us. Fallen human life is above all else the failure to realise, as St. Peter writes, that we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).