Journaling is one of the major tools that I use in my work supporting women in their VBAC journeys. It can help you gain clarity around what you want from your birth, how you will make the necessary decisions, how you can build strong relationships with your care providers, debriefing your previous birth/s and so much more!
But before you freak out about how much work this could be (and how the heck do I even get started?!?!) I want you to know that it's a fairly simple process if you follow these tips.
Basically you need something to write with and something to write on. While I have some lovely journals and pens, I've also been known to do some quick journaling on the back of an envelope with one of the kids randomly placed crayons. You can type up your journaling or even use a voice recorder. It's important that it works for you and fits into your life.
Before you sit down to write have a think of what you want to get out of this journaling session. Chasing clarity on your birth philosophy? Doing a quick risk assessment around a particular procedure? Preparing for an appointment with your midwife? It's important that you know what you want to get out of this session (whether it be a 3 minute or 30 minute session) because that way you can ensure that you are using the most effective prompt/s.
Prompts don't have to be tricky and convoluted. Something as simple as: "What do I want to get out of this appointment with my midwife?" works perfectly. What 3 words would I use to describe my previous birth? How do I feel about this procedure? The prompts are usually something that you would be asking yourself anyway - in a journaling practice you just formalise that process.
Now THIS is the juicy bit. This is what makes your journaling "journaling" and not just "randomly writing stuff down". Actually reflect on what you have written. A reflective practice can be simple - at the end of your journal prompt just write: How do I feel about this? Am I surprised by what I've written? Your reflection could end up being a full on critical analysis or could be as simple as just going "huh. That's weird."
It doesn't have to be hard work:
The crux of all this? Your journaling practice needs to work for you. It does not have to be hard work. It does not need to involve lots of expensive note books from kikki k. It does not need to be done every single day. And it doesn't need to take any longer than a few minutes.
And there you have it. A super easy structure to create a journaling practice that can help you prepare for your VBAC journey.
You have the answers. And this journaling practice will help you find them.
Much love, Lizzie. x
PS: If you would like more support with journaling to prepare for your VBAC and reclaiming your power in the birth room contact me to talk about my VBAC mentoring package. 12 sessions focussed on helping YOU step into your power. x
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