We are inundated with a large amount of information on a daily basis. Information overload. During pregnancy and motherhood, it is no different. Cloth diapering, breastfeeding, formula feeding, co-sleeping, cry-it-out method, baby wearing, strollers, what to eat, what not to eat, and the list goes on and on. It’s overwhelming and people love telling pregnant women and new moms what to do and what not to do. There is a feeling of judgment as well. I was judged for having a natural birth because as someone said, “you’re just trying to prove something.” Just as women who have C-sections or inductions can be judged. Sometimes it feels like there is no escape.
With all of the information and judgments (both external and internal) abound, how can we sift through it all and listen to the quiet voice inside called our intuition, your “mama-bear wisdom?” As you listen and read and learn about all the ideas, options, and options out there related to pregnancy and motherhood, take in the best (for you) and leave the rest. But, how? As you navigate your way toward motherhood, try out some of these ideas to help you tune in to your true north. Tune in what’s best for you and your baby and leave the rest.
Breathe – Just slowing your breath can help you to tune in. Sit or lay down for a few minutes and focus on your breath. Breathe in slowly and breathe out slowly. Do this for two to five minutes. Once you’ve spent some quiet time listening to your breath, check in with how you’re feeling. Your thoughts and feelings about a particular idea, issue, or decision can sometimes be clearer after we slow down.
Get quiet – Find a quiet spot for a few moments. Even if it’s in the bathroom, wherever you can that works for you. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take a few deep breaths then ask yourself, “Am I making this decision from a place of fear or love?” Tune into where you’re feeling the sensations in your body. Regardless of what you are trying to decide or consider, our body can be a great gauge for what might be best for you and your baby. Where do you feel fear in your body? Where do you feel love in your body? Creating this awareness can be very helpful. Whenever you’re making a decision or thinking about something, determine if it’s coming from a place of love or fear. This can help you to move forward with more confidence.
Talk it out
Talk about your ideas, uncertainties, etc. with a trusted friend. Your friend doesn’t need to tell you what to do or what not today, sometimes it’s just the act of sharing that will provide you with the clarity that you need to move through the chaos to the clarity.
Write it out
Journaling is very helpful to clear out the clutter in our heads. It helps move whatever is swirling around inside out and onto paper. Get clear on what you want or need to do by writing about it. If it’s private, you can always tear up the paper when you’re finished. It’s not necessarily about having your thoughts written down to read later, it’s actually the process of writing that can be the most powerful.
Try out one or more of these ideas or create your own. To move through the clutter and chaos we need to listen to your body. Listen to your heart and learn to trust yourself. There is so much information out there. Listen, learn, educate and empower yourself, but only take in and keep what feels best for you and your baby, and leave the rest. The more often you listen to your intuition, your “mama-bear wisdom”, the stronger that “muscle” so to speak, will become and the more empowered and confident you will feel as a woman and as a mother.