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8 Questions to Process Your Birth

Labor, birth and the first few days postpartum are a whirlwind.

There are SO MANY intense moments, one after another, that it’s impossible to process them in real time. Another contraction is coming, or the baby needs to nurse again.

You’re in survival mode.

When a mother experiences an intense moment of her birth, all she can do is put that moment in a metaphorical chest of drawers in her mind and keep going.

Birth doesn’t allow her the luxury of time to process it.

At some point during those first few weeks postpartum, it’s important to open that chest of drawers and reflect on the challenging and beautiful moments.

Every birth has beautiful moments and challenging moments.

-Shelley Rahim

Whether the moments in that chest of drawers are intensely traumatic or intensely beautiful (usually both) they need to be understood in order for mothers to experience emotional wholeness and well-being.

When challenging moments are left unprocessed they can become negative self-beliefs. For example; if a birthing mother was hoping for an un-medicated birth, and ended up with an epidural, her negative self-belief might be “My body failed.” This negative-self belief could become, “I’m a failure.”

Yet, if that moment is processed in the early postpartum days, the negative self-belief has an opportunity to transform into self-love and compassion. Through journal-writing and asking self-reflective questions, the mother can discover self-compassion. She may realize that under very difficult circumstances, she did the best she could, and ultimately made a very wise decision for herself and her baby.

Intensely beautiful moments that are left unprocessed are missed opportunities to discover inner-strength and newfound love.

For example; a birthing mother who ended up with an emergency cesarean experienced a moment of beauty in the midst of the pain. She felt a deep love awaken within her for everyone in the operating room. She felt peace in that moment.

This level of understanding about that beautiful cesarean moment requires excavating. Reflection and journal writing will reveal aspects of yourself that are only born through the experience.

Each moment of the birth experience is filled with potential for personal growth and awakening.

-Shelley Rahim

The way to maximize this potential is to ask self-reflective questions and use stream-of-conscience writing to answer them.

  1. What was your favorite moment?
  2. What did you do that was AMAZING? List 10 things.
  3. Reflect on the most difficult moment. What inner or outer resources got you through it?
  4. When was the first moment that you felt like a mother?
  5. What did you learn about yourself that you didn’t know before giving birth?
  6. List 3 ways that giving birth and becoming a mother has changed you.
  7. In what ways did you display courage?
  8. How did giving birth teach you to surrender?

Stream-of-conscience writing is best!Just let it all flow, without censoring.

“Knowledge comes from books, experts and advisors, but wisdom is cultivated through experience. It’s a knowing in your bones rather than a knowledge in your head. Wisdom cannot be acquired without struggle. It is essential for a person to be challenged in a way that makes them question what they believed was right, or who they believed they were, in order to unwrap the gift of wisdom.” 

-Nikki Shaheed, Heart Centered Pregnancy

By writing your birth story and answering these self-reflective questions, you are owning your story, rather than your story owning you. You will discover self-compassion and inner strength and be able to talk about your birth experience with pride.

You will pass on a legacy of birthing wisdom in your maternal lineage.

Loving you from here,

Shelley Rahim

💖 Please share in the comments what you discovered by asking yourself these questions! 💖


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Hi, I’m Shelley. I’m an Ayurvedic Postpartum Chef and Educator helping women and families around the world embrace the sacred window of postpartum.