Trusting Your Instincts by Elizabeth Porter

TIP : Trust Your Instincts by Elizabeth Porter, Birth Doula

If I could magically impart a gift to all my expecting clients, it would be this: Giving them the confidence to trust their instincts.

Stress, fear, endless information, perfectionism are all things that can discourage us from listening to our inner wisdom. I remind people to look at that expanding belly as a tangible reminder to “follow your (growing) gut”.

During pregnancy we tend to place a lot of weight on what the experts tell us. And while information is invaluable, it isn’t always enough. Did your practitioner leave you feeling unheard or unimportant? You can find a new one.

Did the doula you interviewed seem “off”, even though they comes highly recommended? Then they are not for you.

Are you feeling pressured to accept the advice of older and well-meaning loved ones? Trust yourself and do things your way.

Does your ideal birth scenario feel like “too much” to hope for? Do what you can to pursue what your heart wants.

Honoring your instincts during pregnancy will reinforce the same with your new baby. Being sent home with that fresh and vulnerable person can feel overwhelming and scary. But no matter how much or little baby experience you have, your instincts around your infant are powerful and can be trusted. Sure, there’s a lot to learn, but you and your baby will learn, and that process will be less stressful to everyone if you can trust that you are already the expert about your baby. If additional support is needed, you can receive it as helpful augmentation to your parenting rather than as a message of failure.

In my years of work with pregnant and birthing people I’ve become very aware that letting go and trusting the processes of bodies/nature/medicine doesn’t always come easily. We have so many options and expert opinions at our fingertips that it might even feel foolish to look inward as a first option. But I want to encourage my pregnant clients and their partners to listen to their own wisdom while consulting with the professionals and family members. This will help align them with people who will best support their needs and desires in this amazing process of becoming parents.

If you or a pregnant loved one would like to learn more about my consultation around pregnancy, birth and new parenting please visit: or email Elizabeth (

Elizabeth is a practicing birth doula in San Francisco, where she has also raised a family and enjoys walking, knitting and spontaneous rendezvous with her adult children and their sweeties. Learn more at


Jane Austin Yogi IconJane Austin is an internationally recognized Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher and Teacher trainer empowering women and pregnant people to trust their bodies as they transition into parenthood and beyond.

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