Book focuses on positives of pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth is a time to be celebrated, but many women get bogged down with anxiety about the baby's health, their own body changes and the pain of delivery.

Midwife Karen Buckley saw her sister dealing with such anxiety when she was overdue with her first baby, and it was at this time that Buckley came up with an idea for her first book.

Buckley says she has benefited from affirmations since her teenage years and believed that pregnancy was a time where affirmations would prove useful.

"It's about helping women in that time of their life to make it easier and enjoyable and for them to celebrate," Buckley says.

"Being a midwife I know all the fears and concerns women have."

Buckley collaborated with Gabbi Lancaster, a friend and artist who paints pregnancy portraits, to produce the book.

Both women are working mums, running their own businesses, but that wasn't going to hold them back.

Sweet Surrender took four years to complete, and also includes advice on preparing for birth and breastfeeding.

"It's about surrendering to nature's flow - surrendering your body to your baby, surrendering your breath in labour to the forces of nature, rather than fighting it," Buckley says.

"It's a mindset - the whole idea of sweet surrender. We want to help women to say it's OK to let go and trust your body and believe whatever will be will be.

"The book is about peace and coming to a point of surrender and being happy to celebrate.

"It's to empower and uplift."

Buckley, who works as a midwife in Woonona, says she has used writing to express her feelings and thoughts since a child.

One of her favourite affirmations in the book includes "I am safe and supported; I am strong and resourceful; I feel the power of my connection to all women who have birthed before me".

"Most of the affirmations are just a reminder - most of us already know these things intuitively," she says.

"Each affirmation is based on a fear or concern women have."

She says the book is most beneficial to first-time mums.

"Women who have had two or three babies know it's going to be all right and trust themselves a lot more," Buckley says.

"If women breathe and relax and are in a calmer state everything goes better."

Buckley and Lancaster are already planning their second book, which will focus on the actual birth and a child's first two years.

Sweet Surrender can be purchased at sweetsurrender.com.au.

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