Birth Support Coaching in Times of Political Unrest
Birth Support professionals are committed to providing essential care and support to pregnant individuals and new parents, helping them navigate the challenges of bringing new life into the world. Pregnancy and postpartum are times of heightened emotions and vulnerability. Amid the current political unrest, the transparent fabric of hope and optimism that subconsciously led our clients to conceive has been interrupted. Staying hopeful and optimistic is less intuitive and demands intentional practice and awareness. At this time, birth support pros must help their clients to repair it. We must expand our skills to facilitate something beyond proper maternal care; we need to coach to evoke hopefulness and optimism. Transformational Birth Support Coaching Strategies are the path to this type of support.
With the current political unrest and the outbreak of violent conflicts worldwide, birth support figures must become pillars of emotional support, offering a listening ear, a comforting presence, and the assurance that, despite the circumstances, the new life they bring will thrive. In times of peace, we work tirelessly to create a haven for our clients, ensuring that the birthing process and immediate postpartum period are as smooth and secure as possible. Amid the current political turbulence, we must expand our skills to facilitate something beyond proper maternal care; we need to coach to evoke hopefulness and optimism.
Creating a Safe Haven
Since the outbreak of the war fronts in Ukraine, Yaman, and recently Israel, expectant individuals and new parents may experience additional anxiety and stress, whether consciously or subconsciously. For them, the stress and dangers are magnified. Therefore, our role is crucial, providing comfort, guidance, and a glimmer of hope in the face of adversity. We become beacons of stability and reassurance. In times of peace, we work tirelessly to create a haven for our clients, ensuring that the birthing process and immediate postpartum period are as smooth and secure as possible.
We must expand our skills to facilitate something beyond proper maternal care; we need to coach to evoke hopefulness and optimism.
Doulas, in particular, play a significant role in providing continuous emotional support throughout pregnancy and labor. Our ability to establish a connection with expectant mothers helps alleviate anxiety and fear, fostering a sense of empowerment during a time when control over one’s life may seem elusive. These unique relationships we establish with our clients prenatally put us at the front line of evoking and strengthening their hope and optimism in this political chaos.
Coaching Strategies for Hopefulness and Optimism
Hope significantly influences thoughts, emotions, and behavior
Hope is a powerful human emotion and cognitive process that involves believing in the possibility of positive outcomes, a better future, or achieving desired goals. It significantly influences thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Hope affects positive outcomes, future orientation, motivation, emotional well-being, resilience, self-confidence, social connection, and growth, moving individuals forward. The decision to conceive and have a child is an act of hope, right?
In the face of hard times, like the world’s turmoil, staying hopeful and optimistic is less intuitive and demands intentional practice and awareness. Here are some strategies birth support pros can use to nurture hope in expectant individuals to inspire and motivate them:
- Offer empathy and support: Listen actively and validate difficult emotions to make room for hopeful thoughts to surface.
- Encourage positive thinking: Help expectant clients and new parents focus on the positive aspects of a situation, highlighting potential opportunities and reframing challenges as learning experiences. For example, the intentional practice of trusting that things will fall into place globally develops parents’ skills to trust that their child will be safe and well in times of doubt.
- Practicing gratitude: Gratitude is an affirmation of the goodness in one’s life and the recognition that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self. It emerges from two stages of information processing: Affirming and recognizing. Gratitude is the recognition that all the good I have is a gift. It is a response to all that has been given. It is fundamentally a way of looking at life. Practicing gratitude decreases anxiety levels by creating dopamine and training the mind to recognize the good. To help your clients celebrate life’s gifts, ask them to list good things that have happened to them along the way without any effort on their behalf. I call those life’s gifts – finding love, being healthy, and conceiving are some examples. Recognizing these gifts strengthens one’s trust in the good that will come.
- Making Lemonade: Offer inspiration and role models by sharing stories of individuals who have managed to thrive in times of turmoil, like Malala Yousafzai and Oprah Winfrey. Hearing about others’ journeys and successes can inspire hope and provide a sense of possibility.
Amid the current political unrest, birth support professionals trained with these coaching strategies might emerge as unsung heroes
- Provide resources and tools: share the necessary knowledge, skills, and strategies to navigate doubt and pessimism. Access to information and practical tools can empower individuals and strengthen their belief in a beautiful future for themselves and their offspring. I love sharing our evolutional bias towards expecting bad things, storing and memorizing bad experiences, and dismissing the good things with my clients. It’s a survival mechanism. That’s also why joy or success are short-term celebrations, while we tend to stay low for longer after a bad experience. I sometimes show them the diagram demonstrating how slowly collective awareness recovers from bad experiences like economic depression compared to the world’s economy. This knowledge can motivate clients to practice hope and positive thinking intentionally.
Nurturing hope is an ongoing process that requires empathy, guidance, motivation, and practice. Transformational coaches help clients reprogram their minds by recognizing negative thoughts, using strategies to reprogram the mind, and practicing new thinking habits. In the tumultuous landscape of political conflicts, birth support professionals trained with these coaching strategies might emerge as unsung heroes, powerfully contributing to the resilience, well-being, optimism, and continuity of life. As my family prepares to celebrate Hanukkah, I hope the light we create will spread throughout the world and touch you.