Believe it or not, but telling your birth story is good for your health. There are various health benefits that come from sharing your own birth story. These benefits range from improved mental health and physical health to even better relationships.
Let’s dig a little deeper on why telling your birth story is healthy.
You may not know it, but there are physical benefits to your body that come with sharing your birth story. Telling your story can help reduce pain, lessen tissue tension in your pelvis and abdomen, and improve the overall homeostasis of your nervous system.
Your body is able to store emotions, stress, and trauma in its tissues, specifically the tissues and organs of your pelvis and abdomen. Our body has a tricky way of hiding past experiences inside of it. When this happens, we may experience pain, muscle guarding and tension, or restrictions in movement.
If we don’t allow ourselves the mental release of telling our stories, it can manifest physically. Just like we need to physically release scar tissue on our body, we need to mentally release any emotions that may go along with those scars, whether they be negative or positive. This can be accomplished by telling the story of what created the scars in the first place.
There is a strong mental and physical connection in our body. If we store the possible trauma or emotions of our own birth story inside ourselves, it can negatively affect us physically. When we hold onto those emotions, we may cause an imbalance in a part of our nervous system. By holding on to emotions without release, we might increase the activity of our sympathetic nervous system, which can put our body into a constant “fight or flight” mode. The sympathetic nervous system essentially “ramps us up” and can lead to muscle tension, pain and tissue restriction, fatigue, and constipation.
However, if we share our birth story, we can release the emotions that may be impacting us physically. When we release mentally, our body goes through physical changes. In going through the mental release of telling our birth story, we activate the part of our nervous system that is responsible for calming our body down, or the parasympathetic nervous system. When this happens, our muscles relax, we have more energy, pain decreases, digestion improves, and we feel so much better both physically and mentally!
We have all heard how keeping emotions inside ourselves can be bad for our mental health. When we don’t talk about them or work through them we may experience increased anxiety, anger, isolation, and depression. We talk to a therapist about issues we may be having, so why are we not talking about our birth stories?
Whether we feel giving birth was positive and freeing or painful and traumatic, telling your story can help release any emotions you may have that might be holding you back mentally. Every single life-changing experience is stressful and trying, no matter if we feel it was positive or negative. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or anxious during any big life change; however staying in this state can be negative for our health.
With any big emotion, it is important for us to let it out and experience it! By letting out big emotions that go along with your birth story, you can reduce or eliminate any long-term mental stigma that you may carry along with it. By letting it go, you will feel more open, free, and accepting of your own birth story (and the stories of others).
Be honest with me (and yourself), do you really think your partner has any idea of what you were actually experiencing during labor and delivery? In their defense, how can they? Well, by sharing your birth story, along with your emotions that went along with it, you can help your partner understand why you may feel the way you do about your experience. It may open their eyes and give them a deeper understanding and appreciation for you and what your body went through. Maybe your partner can even share their version of the birth story with you. Wouldn’t this be a great way to further bond with them?
Sharing your birth story is also a great way to bond with other moms! We have all had our own unique experience, so why not share it? Although each birth is different, it is still a shared experience, and something we have in common.
Our birth story can also be educational for others. Whether it’s telling your story to a first-time expecting mom who has yet to experience childbirth, or to the mom who has grandchildren and hasn’t realized how different the experience may be now, we all have an experience to share that can be educational. There is no better way to learn than to hear the story from someone who has gone through the experience!
As we know, every birth story is unique in its own way. Whether it was quick and easy, difficult and painful, or even had to go the surgical route, our bodies and minds can hold on to the emotions of our birth. However, if we open up and share our experiences, our body can have positive effects, both physical and mental!
So, are you convinced to share your story yet? Share yours in the comments below!