The belief that you can't go to full-term with your pregnancy is a limiting belief. A limiting belief is a belief that dwells in the subconscious and has a limiting effect on what a person is able to achieve. For example, when you believe that you’ll fail at learning a new language because “language just isn’t your thing.”
You’ll more than likely never even try to learn a new language, or if you do try, you’ll put in minimal energy. Deep down, you don’t believe you can do it. You’ve adopted a stance – that languages are not my thing. You can never accomplish more than what you think or believe about yourself.
So, that’s why I want to shed light on and release a collective limiting belief among many Black women. It has become common place for the Black community to expect, even plan on, our babies coming early. In other words, it is almost routine for our babies to be born before 40 weeks. A common saying in the Black community is that you can "claim" something like a job, car, relationship, etc. before you have it. The idea is to set the intention and believe. It's no wonder that our babies are coming too soon as we have "claimed it."
I can’t tell you how many expecting moms I speak to who are having great pregnancies that begin to say “yeah, my baby will come early.” Where did this notion come from?
However, despite the many environmental and socioeconomic conditions, Black babies are naturally born fighters, even when they are just born too early.
I was once talking to an expecting young woman when she mentioned that her first born was 4 pounds, making that a very low birth weight. According to March of Dimes, a child born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces is classified as being a low birth weight baby. When I asked her if the baby had been born early, she replied “no.” I then asked her how many weeks she was and while she didn’t remember the exact gestation, she estimated that it was between 34 – 36 weeks. I let her know that that a baby born before 37 weeks gestation is considered a premature birth and she simply with “yeah, all my babies have come early, and that’s just how it is in my family.” According to March of Dimes, premature birth is one of the most common causes of low birth weight.
Now, every time I see her, I make it a point to explore options on how she can embrace the idea of going full-term.
While I could share plenty of physical strategies about going full-term, the truth is, your mind, body and Spirit need to first accept the idea that you can go full-term. It is possible for you. Just because you’ve had premature labor in the past, doesn’t mean that you will deliver early again. Just because others in your family or friend circle have delivered early, doesn’t mean it has to be your fate. Just because someone made a trite remark about you being too big and about to explode and deliver any day, doesn’t mean you can’t go full-term.
The reason I’m so passionate about our Black babies going full-term and choosing their own due date is because that’s the absolutely healthiest way to be born and embark on a long, healthy life.
There are two very simple changes in the way we can welcome our children into the world that can have a massive, positive affect on our wellness as a community – carrying to full-term and breastfeeding.
Have you accepted, consciously or unconsciously, that you “can’t go full-term” or will “deliver early?” I would suggest you explore that belief so you can get to the bottom of where it came from.
Understand that it is a limiting belief. As long as you hold on to that misinformation, you’re automatically limited in the quality of pregnancy you’ll be able to achieve. Of course there’s much more to achieving a healthy pregnancy and birth, yet, I want to highlight this common limiting belief within our community. Here are six steps to open up your mind to the idea of going to full-term:
The very best way for a Black baby to start out in this world is to have all the time in the womb that the baby needs.