Have you wondered how to avoid a challenging birth? Or how to best heal postpartum?
We are joined by Kimberly Anne Johnson, a Somatic Experiencing™ Practitioner, educator, and author, who helps women heal trauma, awaken their power, and feel at home in their bodies to start living life on their own terms.
In this episode, we discuss:
How the transition to parenthood can change our lives
Why awareness of our nervous system is important when preparing for birth and postpartum.
What factors impact birth trauma and healing, and how to avoid a challenging birth
How intergenerational and community support can create a more supported postpartum experience
Listen to the podcast now:
Welcome back to another episode of the Mindful Womb Podcast! Today, I'm thrilled to dive into a powerful and transformative conversation that can reshape your perspective on pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Today we are join the incredible Kimberly Anne Johnson, together, we explored the profound impact that becoming a parent has on one's life and how it can influence the work we do. Let's unpack this remarkable journey.
Kimberly's Path to Motherhood Kimberly shared how becoming a mother was a pivotal moment in her life. Before motherhood, she was deeply immersed in her yoga practice and was a yoga teacher and bodyworker. However, once she became a mother, she realized that her usual tools didn't quite fit the new challenges she faced. This realization was the catalyst for her transformative journey.
Finding Healing Through Transformation
Kimberly's journey into motherhood forced her to seek new ways to heal herself and cope with the changes. This pivotal moment became the foundation for her first book, "The Fourth Trimester." This book delves into the complexities of postpartum life, covering emotional, physical, energetic, medical, and sexual aspects.
Embracing Parenthood's Changes
Kimberly's transformation didn't end with her first book. Motherhood changed her perspective on the world in profound ways. She transitioned her calling into a career, and her view of gender equality evolved as she navigated her role as a single mother. It became clear that societal expectations for mothers and fathers were vastly different, leading to a deeper exploration of gender roles and parenting responsibilities.
Choosing Your Birth Experience
For expectant parents, the journey begins with the decision on what kind of birth experience they want. Kimberly highlights the importance of not making practical or convenience-based decisions. Birth is a monumental, life-altering experience that stays with you forever. Regret over decisions made for the wrong reasons can linger. It's crucial to focus on the kind of birth experience you truly desire, not just what's convenient or expected.
Preparation is Key
Preparation is paramount. Understanding that the current medical system isn't always aligned with the best interests of a birthing person is crucial. Education is your ally here. It's essential to be informed, make choices that empower you, and seek out the support you need to create the birth experience you desire.
Not Extremists, But Advocates Kimberly notes that some people view birth workers as extremists. However, this perspective often arises from the assumption that the medical system will take care of everything. It's essential to understand that the birth experience can be very different when you actively participate and make informed decisions. There are many books available that shed light on the state of birth in North America, revealing that it's not always physiologically based. Effort is often required to ensure a positive birth experience.
The Magic of Postpartum
Kimberly emphasizes the importance of the fourth trimester. Just as in trauma triage, specific needs must be met in postpartum. These universal needs include dimming the lights, keeping warm, providing warm beverages, lowering one's voice, and ensuring the new parent isn't alone. Meeting these needs can help metabolize any birth experience.
Repairing Beyond the Fourth Trimester
For those who didn't have an optimal fourth trimester or faced birth challenges, there are still opportunities for repair. The female nervous system has iterative cycles, similar to postpartum. These cycles offer chances for repair even beyond the initial postpartum period. Repairing physical and emotional issues is possible with the right support and self-care.
Taking Control of Your Birth Story
Your birth experience is an incredibly personal journey. It's not just about the moment of birth but also about the preparation and postpartum period. The choices you make and the support you receive can have a profound impact on how you feel about your birth story. By taking control, being informed, and seeking the support you need, you can empower yourself to have a transformative and positive birth experience.
I hope this conversation with Kimberly has shed light on the incredible power of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum transformation. Embrace this journey with an open heart and a readiness to rediscover your own strength and resilience. Remember, you have the power to shape your story.
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