Watch Your Fucking Language

Not the swears, because we all know I love that shit. (You know swearers are shown to be more intelligent, right?)

No- I’m talking more consequential stuff. The words that weaken us, water us down, waste away our power.

I spend a fair while on our HYPNOBIRTHING FOR ABSOLUTE MOTHERS COURSE exploring this concept- why language matters. Initially, I see resistance. I see women, and their partners, thinking- “The rest of this all makes sense so far, but I cannot possibly ask my midwife not to mention pain of contractions otherwise she will think I am completely off my rocker…”.

I get it- ‘sensations’ and ‘surges’ feel a bit too sickly sweet to begin with. What difference can they really make? Turns out, a LOT.

Look for pain, and you shall find it. Look right now. Go on. Scan your body and you will find some kind of niggle you were previously unaware of. Monitor for pain (maybe so that you can assign a number to the severity) and it will intensify under the spotlight of your gaze.

When I ask women to consider avoiding talk of pain, I’m not saying that means it’ll therefore be pain free. (I’m not insane or stupid). But I know, because life tells me every day, that the words we hear affect our state of mind and therefore our bodies.

How are you gonna feel if the person next to you tells you they have nits? What sensations will your mind create at the suggestion? How will your mind, and body respond if someone uses threatening or aggressive language towards you? There are words some people just cannot tolerate- there’s a village not far from us called ‘Vange’- I’ve lost count of the number of people who shudder at the sound..

The words used around you in labour WILL impact on the way you feel, and therefore the way you labour (you know about oxytocin, right?) Almost more importantly, they will affect your perception of your experience when you reflect back on it- and this is the rest of your life, remember.

Were people kind to you? Did they use your name? Were conversations positioned appropriately as, ‘here are your options, the pros and cons, our recommendations, what would you like to do?’, or ‘you need xxx now’?. The language that frames our experiences defines our view of it.

‘Failure to progress’, ‘Poor maternal effort’- WTAF?!

There should be ABSOLUTELY NO SPACE CREATED for a woman who grew a human, and had it exit her body, to feel anything other than magnificent. She ought to be unconditionally supported, respected, and nurtured- physically and emotionally.

Pleased to see this in the BMJ, but saddened that this isn’t the most intrinsically understood principle already.

Make a promise to yourself now that you will not tolerate anything that is unfit for the birthing badass that you are. HOW THOUGH? Many wonderful midwives are fully aware of this stuff and passionately pursuing better birth talk. But not everyone. I hear disappointing stories regularly- online, at playgroups, wherever. So, HOW? You need a birth partner who is ready and equipped to advocate for you. How do you sort them out? We’ll do it for you.

It’s a key part of our Hypnobirthing course, which you can do in a group with me, or privately with Steph in Southend. Chloe will sort you out in Upminster

Language considerations are a the heart of our brand- birth is not something that happens to you, it’s something you DO, like an ABSOLUTE MOTHER. Just let us dig out of you what you already know- you are powerful, courageous and resilient. You’ve fucking got this. #doitlikeamother

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