As a highly sensitive person I value emotional support above everything else.
After two pregnancies and feeling disconnected and let down in the system, I knew going into my freebirth pregnancy I wanted a bit of practical support, but mostly what I needed was emotional & mindset support.
I crave deep connection with other people. Not surface level bullshit conversation, but deep soul level connection.
I need to feel safe with that person so I can be vulnerable and that usually leads to open and honest truth talk.
One of my favourite things about my work is being able to connect with my clients on a deep level and hold space so that my clients can peel back their layers and talk candid with me about how they are feeling and what is really going on.
Often the women I work with feel completely misunderstood by those around them. Either because they are freebirthing and everyone around them is having a hospital birth, or because as an HSP the conversations aren’t going deep enough.
Most of the time it’s a little bit of both mixed in there. Which leaves a lot of women freebirthing who just don’t feel like they really fit in either the freebirth world or the mainstream world a little out of place and alone.
So let me share 5 ways you can get emotional support while pregnant and planning a freebirth!
1. Identify your current support
Firstly, you need to look at your current support circle and identify who is supportive and safe for you to talk to about your freebirth.
Write down 5 people who are closest to you and really feel into whether you feel you can be open and honest about your freebirth journey.
You don’t want to be leaning into people who are really opinionated and forceful with their opinions, especially ones who feel they know better than you!
Here are some questions to help you work out if they are going to be good emotional support.
- What are their views around birth?
- Have they had a birth before?
- Was it traumatic?
- Is your relationship generally supportive?
- What sort of personality do they have?
2. Test the waters with your current support
After going through the above you may have worked out you have one or two people who may be supportive for you during your freebirth pregnancy.
So if you haven’t already, it’s time to test the waters and see what they feel.
I think it’s really important to be careful who you disclose your plans to freebirth with.
If you have a feeling that someone isn’t safe to share your plans with – follow that voice, I’m sure it’s telling you something isn’t right.
Honing into your intuition throughout pregnancy and following through is a great way to build that muscle!
You may like to start by talking about birth in general and your overall view/ experiences or what you have learned about.
The way they react and respond will be a good gauge for whether or not you will be able to have further conversations and take the support to the next level.
If they start talking about a negative birth story, or that a Dr saved their babies life or their life that may not be a safe person to talk to.
Someone who listens, who is respectful and non-judgemental of the information you are sharing and may want to know more about it or your plans.
3. Connect with your partner
My husband was a huge emotional support for me during my pregnancy.
He listened to my worries, allowed me space to cry in his arms, allowed me to talk about birth nearly every single conversation we had (yes birth was on my mind a lot!)
Chat to your partner and let them know how you are feeling about this birth.
Don’t block him out and feel like you have to do this all alone.
You should be working together in a partnership to create a strong foundation for your family.
This isn’t about you doing all the research and carrying the full emotional load on your own – this is a life you are both setting up together and together you should be able to lean on each other.
But I also know from my experience often what is lacking in our relationship is the fact that he is a man!
That he doesn’t have a womb and he doesn’t know what it’s like to carry or birth a baby (because he doesn’t have a vagina!)
So I often felt a bit like… errghhh – but you don’t really understand how I feel…and often he would say nope, I have no idea what you are feeling and that felt a bit lonely.
4. Create a circle of support
I have found as a highly sensitive person that I need a full circle of support around me.
Sometimes I need someone I speak to about “these things” and people I speak to about “these things”.
And because I need what I call “extra emotional support” I don’t like feeling needy or burning out friendships.
So it’s really helpful to have strong supports around me that are available when I need them and I’m not having to worry about “burn out”.
It means that you don’t have to feel frantic, alone, lost or overwhelmed because your support comes in full circle.
Emotional support can come in many forms. And I’ve spoken about a few above. Friendships, family, support from your partner and adding the list is paid support (which I will talk about the benefits of below!)
Check out this article for a full guide on how to create a circle of support
5. Pay for emotional support
Did I mention that paid emotional support is sometimes my fav way of receiving support?
I love the relationships I build with professionals who I pay to support me!
They are paid to have my best interests at the forefront of the time we spend together.
It’s my time to let down my guard. Have time away from the kids. Open up. Be honest and ask for help/ support.
It’s self-care and love all wrapped up into one.
The people that I pay for support are experienced and often have either worked in that line of work for a while or have personally been through the transformation.
Either way they absolutely understand the journey I am on and they know the answers to my problems.
I would much rather pay someone who can help me feel calm and confident then splash around frantically trying to work it out alone, posting into groups and getting a hundred different responses often contradicting each other.
It’s overwhelming and confusing!
So having gotten this far I wanted to recap over the above.
5 Ways to get the emotional support you need as a HSP for your freebirth
- Identify your current support
- Test the waters with your current support
- Connect with your partner
- Create a circle of support
- Pay for emotional support
If you know that you want emotional support from someone who understands your journey, who has freebirthed and just understands how you feel I invite you connect with me so we can chat more about working together in your freebirth pregnancy!