Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - May 2013  

Meditate Your Way through Childbirth

by Sweta Parikshit Dalmiya

“Beloved Gurudev is working His wonders with the young mothers to be! Kindly find attached an account of the labour Sweta went through it was actually a difficult vacuum delivery. She gave birth to a 3.2 Kg baby boy and herself is all of just 5 ft. in height.” – Dr. Shirin Venkat

We all wish to be as wakeful and present during the process of giving childbirth, in spite of already knowing that the pain is going to be intense.

In just this same way, I too was jittery whenever I thought of my labor during my early days of pregnancy.

Then I came across a gynecologist – Dr. Shirin Venkat who is also a practitioner of Pranayama & Meditation who willingly offered me to join pranayama and meditation session conducted by her for all her pregnant patients.

For a person like me who had never indulged in practice of either of them instantly agreed with her and started to attend the next possible session taken by her. And this definitely is one of the Best Decisions I’ve made in My Life!

Her class includes one hour of complete relaxation and calming of mind and body, starting with a few breathing exercise and moving on to half hour of total calm guided meditation by Guruji.

At first I agree it was tough to sit through an entire hour of quiet and peace, but as I attended these sessions regularly, it just made me realize how amazing it is to find time out for yourself away from just about everyone and everything around.

Meditation is a state of thoughtless awareness.

Pranayama - meaning "extension of the prāṇa or breath” plays a very vital role during meditation.

Dr. Shirin helps realize the importance of diaphragmatic breathing during meditation. This breathing technique helped me pass my labor with much ease.

Here is my short story through my labor and delivery where in Pranayama and Meditation played a vital role.

One Monday morning I casually went to Dr. Shirin for my weekly check up at 37 weeks of being pregnant reaching there just to find out that I was already in an early stage of labor and that I had to be admitted immediately. On reaching the hospital I was being monitored for my contractions and also the baby’s heart rate. The baby’s heart rate was doing excellently and so were the contractions, minor but present. The most surprising part was that I couldn’t feel any pain from the contractions. I was kept under observation overnight and the doctors waited till 7 am the next morning. The contractions by then had increased, but yet I had no pain. I was finally induced around 9 am. Slowly and gradually around 12 noon the contractions increased and so started the pain gradually…

In an hour’s time the pain was quite severe… at that moment I kept telling myself to stay calm and relaxed and the only way I could do that was by concentrating on my breathing.

As soon as fear enters your body, your body tenses up and labor becomes difficult and painful.

Concentrating on my breathing helped me overcome the fear and helped me conquer self-relaxation.

Due to this I don’t recall myself screaming in pain at any level of the contraction.

Towards the later and final stage of my labor while I was surrounded by the entire team of doctors and nurses, I could hear them discuss that it was too late to inject me with an epidural and that I would have to go through this normal delivery without it.

Yet again was a challenge for me to fight against the pain and go through with a successful delivery.

At that point of intensity in childbirth, I was fully at war, pitted against the pain. That’s when I heard my doctor assure me that I’m doing good and coping very well and that I need to do just exactly what she guides me through.

I made sure that between every contraction, breathing and chanting Om as well as the universal mantra Soham during longer breathing in my mind helped me push my way to the process.

All I could see and rather all I wanted to see during the entire delivery process was my doctor, Dr. Shirin’s face – so calm and so relaxed in spite of knowing that what she was doing was complicated.

It’s amazing to have a doctor going through a tenser and stressful moment of handling the patient giving childbirth in a complicated situation without showing any expression of stress and nervousness on her face.
She was one of the major reasons I myself was calmer than any other patient would have been at that moment.

So finally, after 24 hours of labor, a complicated case of delivery, a perfectly talented and well balanced doctor who encouraged me to be a good and obedient patient, and of course an excellent and supportive team of doctors and nurses I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy at 2:49 pm on 9th April and this moment made my husband and me the happiest couple and proudest parents in this world!

In short to conclude:

Breath is the bridge between the body and the mind. Regulate breath, and the body and mind will follow.

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Shirin Venkat, a practicing Gynecologist and Obstetrician, is the center leader in Pune, India. Many of the sadhakas are her patients, but husbands and others are also encouraged to come. To take part in any of these activities please feel free to contact: Dr. Shirin Venkat, Email: [email protected] more about the Pune Center, we invite you to read (click on title)

Dr. Shirin Venkat was also elected to be a member of the AHYMSIN Executive Committee during the 2013 Sangha Gathering.


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