Visualizing baby already born and nurtured

Marble relief of a mother nursing her child on a bed
Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0), Wellcome Library, London

Shortly after the birth of my daughter Montserrat in 2011, I wrote a post about how my envisioning of her already born before her birth greatly helped in alleviating my worries as the pregnancy proceeded quickly through its final days and towards labor and birth. It would seem paradoxical that imagining a child already born could have any help in the process of birth. But pressure sometimes mounts towards the end of pregnancy, when a woman or pregnant person gets closer to the prospect of birthing a baby who has been living comfortably inside the body and the womb out into the external world. How will this fairly large creature emerge from my body, one imagines?

It was Stacy Hattori, my wonderful doula, who advised me during my third trimester and the 41st week of my pregnancy with Montserrat, not to think about the details of the birth to come. Instead, she had me focus on my memories of my son Kieran directly after he had been born and was at my breast two years earlier. This image brought calm to me, and I realized that no matter what happened during the birth process, I would indeed have another baby in my arms before too long.

Visualizing baby born and nurtured can have a calming effect for a pregnant woman during her final days of pregnancy. The marble relief of a mother nursing her child on a bed posted above, which is an ancient image from 1st century CE Ostia, Italy, and available through London’s Wellcome Library, depicts a calm scene of a mother reclining with her naked child at her breast. Images such as these are helpful in bringing calm and empowerment to pregnant women and others as they approach the births of their babies.