I remember the moment I decided I would no longer allow JUST anyone share information and insight into my life with me. I was sitting across from a couple who was introducing a new concept to me.
I thought they were going to share a rough guide to its principles. Boy I was wrong.
It quickly became clear that the information they were offering could be “heard” as insight into my personality, emotions, personal history, family of origin, and future existence.
I started to feel extremely uncomfortable (naked) as the “information” invaded my psyche. I was easily influenced by what they were suggesting (no matter how hard I wanted to just file it under belief or opinion) and it was harming my perception of self. None of this “information” was evidence-based or integral for my personal path, and it really pissed me off that I had invited this encounter into my life.
I wish I could say that I have evolved beyond taking the things that others say literally, or personally, but I haven’t… entirely. Maybe you can relate, as you gather information and tools for your pregnancy journey.
Perhaps the trickiest part of pregnancy is the Maven portion. It’s one thing to have the inherent wisdom and it’s another to accumulate knowledge for empowerment. The reality is one cannot be without the other. And becoming stealth and ninja-like in your Mavenry is the key.
“Inherent wisdom comes from the light and the dark places that have graced your life so far and maybe from past lives too, if you’re into that kinda thing.”
We can discover this wisdom by connecting to our heart or core on a daily basis through meditation, yoga, or quiet contemplation. Helping with this step is one of my favourite parts of my work as a doula.
Knowledge comes from gathering hard evidence. Maybe you can relate to this too: EVERYONE in your life now has “evidence” to offer you. Some advocate for painless, orgasmic births. Others swear by staying with the sensations and really getting into them. Some women birth at home and others in hospital (that one usually comes with a lot of opinion). Some eat twinkies because they feel they are eating for two, and others decide to tune into what their body needs nutritionally. What these individuals are offering you isn’t scientific evidence, but their personal experience. This can be valuable, but it shouldn’t be your only source of information.
Hard evidence, scientific evidence, is gathered from a large enough sample of birthing women and babies that it is statistically relevant.
“I’m not a statistician!” you cry. Don’t worry, most birthing women aren’t. So how do you gather evidence-based knowledge to become the maven of your own pregnancy and birth experience?
- Education: asking questions and seeking answers.
- Due diligence: questioning the source of your information. If you’re not crunching the numbers yourself, assure yourself that the numbers are coming from reputable sources. Helping with this step is one of the most important parts of my work as a doula.
- Take the time to continually research all your mentors and the people you learn from.
Here’s the thing and the big lesson I learned from the story at the beginning of this post: it is extremely important to look into the background of those you learn from… including me. Don’t trust a darned thing I am saying until you have proven to yourself, to the best of your ability, that I am a trustworthy source.
Granted you can’t ask your sister or your BFF to zip it about their pregnancy and birthing experiences, and you wouldn’t want to.
What they bring to the table is valuable, even if just for you to witness for their sake. But please — and this is where the inherent wisdom comes in — stay true to your own experience and values. Be open to your internal compass.
Seek fact-based education to make important choices for you and your baby… because some of that stuff you can’t un-hear, and no amount of twinkie-eating can erase it from your memory.