Visualizations of cave openings can be very helpful to the laboring woman as she approaches the final, birthing stage of labor. First, the image of a cave by the sea naturally bring to mind the relaxation of an open, blue sea. But the broad image of a cave opening can also be used more specifically by the woman during her pregnancy, allowing her to imagine the release of her baby from her internal birth path and into the world outside.
Once labor commences, she can revisit these images in her mind, envisioning her contractions, or surges, to be like waves crashing to and from an open cave by the sea. In her extensive online manual devoted to Birthing through Hypnosis, Kristin Nemzer describes the visualization of the open cave:
Imagine that your birth canal is wide open with a big opening at the end as if your baby is in a large sea cave that opens to the beautiful ocean. You can imagine that each surge is a wave crashing into the cave and that as it dissipates, the water moves back out of the cave
(Birthing Through Hypnosis Manual, 80-81).
This visualization is somewhat similar to the one that ultimately helped me to birth my first child. As described in an earlier blog post, I imagined my son flowing down a large stream, emerging from the mouth of an open river. After more than four hours of pushing, my son was born shortly after I focused on this visualization and the image in my mind.