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#19: Setting Healthy Boundaries During Pregnancy and Parenthood

On this episode of the Mindful Womb Podcast, we explore the profound journey of childbirth, the complexities of birth trauma, and the crucial postpartum period with Kristen O'Dell, a Family Nurse Practitioner specializing in neonatal care.

In this episode, we dive into the following:

  • The Role of Support in Mitigating Trauma

  • Postpartum Mood Disorders

  • Bridging the Support Gap Postpartum

Listen to the podcast now:

Welcome back to another episode of The Mindful Womb Podcast. Today we're diving into a topic that resonates with many of you—setting boundaries during pregnancy. You know, that strange phenomenon where suddenly everyone's got an opinion on your belly, your birth plan, and your parenting style? Yep, we're tackling that head-on.

The Right to Set Boundaries

You have the right to set boundaries. In a world where non-confrontation is often the norm, especially for those assigned female at birth, it's time to prioritize your comfort over others. Boundaries are a radical form of self-love, a skill essential for a grounded and sustainable life.

Dealing with Unwanted Belly Touching

The infamous belly rubs! Some love it, others cringe at the thought. Your belly, your rules. Whether it's a well-meaning friend or an overly enthusiastic aunt, you have the right to draw the line. From a simple "No, thank you" to creative deflections like "My baby responds better to sounds," find what suits you. And remember, care providers should also ask for permission during prenatal visits and birth procedures.

Handling Unsolicited Advice

Pregnancy seems to attract advice like a magnet. Information overload? It's a real struggle. Establish a core group for advice and set firm boundaries with others. Politely deflect with phrases like "Thanks, but I prefer to listen to my doctor" or "I'm getting overloaded with suggestions, and it's making me anxious."

Tackling Personal Questions

Some questions cross the line into overly personal territory. You have every right to deflect or refuse to answer. Whether it's about conception, birth plans, or intrusive inquiries, phrases like "It's too personal to answer" or "We're focused on enjoying the pregnancy" can come in handy.

Responding to Body Comments

Our bodies are incredible, but comments about them can be challenging. Whether positive or negative, it's okay to set boundaries. Express that you're sensitive to body comments or simply prefer not to talk about it. Remember, your comfort comes first.

Navigating Birth Horror Stories

Birth horror stories can be anxiety-inducing. Politely steer the conversation away with phrases like "I'd love to hear your story after I give birth" or "I'm focusing on keeping a positive mindset about labor."

Empower Yourself and Future Generations

Setting boundaries can be uncomfortable, but it's a skill worth mastering. By doing so, you're not just supporting yourself during pregnancy; you're modeling a crucial life skill for your children. So, embrace the awkwardness, prioritize your well-being, and let those boundaries guide you through the wonderful journey of parenthood.

So, let those boundaries be your guide, and let's rock this parenting adventure together. Stay fabulous, you boundary-setting rockstars!


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