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August 1, 2019

Enneagram + Birth | Type 3

My goal with these blog posts is to create a resource for mommas who are planning a pregnancy or birth and find a lot of insight through the Enneagram. This is just one tool in your toolbox when preparing for birth but I hope it’s an eye-opening one!

So, let’s dive in! Below is a description of the Enneagram Type Three as defined by The Enneagram Institute. After that, I have some insight from women who are type threes and have given birth. At the end of the post, I’ve shared a few insights and “homework” for you. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

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3: THE ACHIEVER

“Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be—role models who inspire others.”

Jenna’s Experience:

“I am very task and achievement oriented. I enjoy work, work hard, and want to be respected. I am usually pretty pragmatic, balanced, and even-keeled emotionally. On the negative side, I can be too task-oriented and scheduled at times and miss the people in front of me. I can also lack empathy or be able to “enter in” emotionally with some people.

My goal [for my birth] was, most importantly, to deliver healthy babies and, secondly, to feel as little pain as possible. I honestly have a hard time entering in to the desire many women have to experience a very specific type of birth (typically unmedicated). I completely believe women should have the type of birth they want and I don’t judge them at all, I have just never had the desire for a certain experience. That’s probably largely because I’m a very pragmatic and non-sentimental person.

I think because I didn’t have a set list of expectations, I was overall very pleased with both of my births and view them very positively. My second birth was a little harder than my first in that the epidural essentially stopped working a few hours in but it was such a fast birth that it still wasn’t too difficult and I still view it positively. However, it has made me seriously consider not getting an epidural with my third birth (Lord-willing we have another).”

Ashley’s Experience:

“[As a] 3w2, I care very much what people’s perception is of me and I in no way want for it to be negative. First impressions are insanely important. I fear being rejected or unworthy.

I didn’t know my number at the time, but looking back I can see how I set a goal, prayed the crap out of it, and by God’s grace achieved it. I was mentally, physically, and emotionally as prepared as I could be on my own. The rest was up to God! I kept repeating and praying over the verse in Psalms where it talked about The Lord granting us our heart’s desires. I believed it with all my heart.

I honestly wouldn’t [change anything about my birth experience]. It was a dream come true! I am so so grateful.”

Nancy’s Experience:

“Honestly [birth] is one area that I feel like I had to completely let go of my type over and over. Birth is unpredictable and I knew that, so it’s really hard to set goals. I felt like that would set me up for disappointment. But I did take Bradley classes and educate myself for an unmedicated birth as much as I possibly could, and said ‘I’ll do my best.’ That helped my mindset a lot, and I went on to have three unmedicated births!

The best advice I can give is to focus on educating yourself as much as you possibly can, then focus on the word ‘surrender.’ If you plan to do an unmedicated birth, the only way that I got through this way by relying on the Lord the entire time. It’s not su much about our goals as it is experiencing new life entering the world, no matter what that looks like.”

INSIGHTS:

  • When a three makes a goal, they will typically achieve it. While this is great in “regular” life, this is harder in labor. Things can change quickly and as a three, you may have a harder time accepting the fact that you can’t simply achieve a goal when it comes to birth.
  • It may be instinctual for you to set goals for your birth, but be mindful that labor is unpredictable.
  • Threes’ basic desire is to feel valuable – understand and believe that you are incredibly important and valuable. You are the only person who can bring this baby into the world and the only person who can be his/her mother. That’s an incredibly special role.

HOMEWORK:

  • Try to imagine your birth in a new way this week. Don’t think about the goals you may have set or how you imagine your labor progressing. Think about the final moment and meeting your baby. Think about holding your baby in your arms for the first time. Think about experiencing something as magical as birth and how special it is that you get to do that.
  • Creating affirmations for birth (whether physically writing them out or speaking them to yourself) can be extremely helpful in creating a good mindset for labor. Focus on affirmations that remind you of your worth as you labor.
  • Talk to your birth team about your “goals.” Allow them to be honest with you in setting expectations and choose to be open about changing your mindset and goals, if needed.

Are you an Enneagram 3 or have a loved on who is? I’d love to hear your experience or any questions you have in the comments below!

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