Open Up—Do Not Tense Up
During birth, stretching you open is what your baby does. Unfortunately, opening up to such a large object as your baby can make you feel you are being torn apart and ripped open. Your body's normal reaction is often to tense up against the stretching. These "too-intense" sensations have been associated with the word "suffering" that people worldwide have attached to birth.
What most pregnant women don't realize is that tension usually plays a major part in how much difficulty a baby will face as it makes its efforts to be born. Sadly, a lack of simple skills means that too many women store internal tension in their bodies during labor. This is so common that it is one of the main causes of hung-up, long, tiring labors that too often lead to increased medical intervention. As that is the case, you need to learn to open up and work with the painful stretching. When you achieve this, it is more likely the idea that you are "suffering" will go out the window.
Tension inside your body is something you can control once you've learned how. First, you need to understand tension, then you learn how to get rid of it. Reducing tension is not intuitive or instinctive. Reducing tension is a learned skill and often hard to apply when you instinctively want to tense up. In other words, you need to be counter-intuitive to let go of deep, inside tension during your baby's passing through your body.
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