There are lots of ways we can get ready for labour and birth. With a huge number of antenatal classes available now to learn the tools and techniques you need, lets focus on what those tools might be.
- Birth affirmations:
Birth affirmations help you to have a positive mindset which really helps during labour. Creating a positive feedback loop – the more positive and relaxed you are the less pain you feel which promotes more positive and relaxed feelings…
- Active birth:
Being active in birth doesn’t mean being hugely active, it just means you are free to change positions, get into the most comfy position for you and use your surroundings to suit you. Having knowledge of which positions are going to help at particular stages will help you to not only be more comfortable but use gravity to help descent of your baby, reducing your labour time.
Oxygen helps to reduce pain, promote calm and increase oxytocin – one of the body’s main birth hormones, meaning your birth is not only more comfortable but faster too!
Being calm is a huge benefit in birth helping you to release more oxytocin and fueling your labour. I always think of relaxation in birth as the aim to help get to your goal – having your baby!
- Comfortable surroundings:
You may already know you want a homebirth and a pool, you may have your heart set on the local birth centre, you may feel safer in your local hospital. make sure you have had a tour and are fully comfortable with where you will be. Take with you anything that will help you to feel more at home. Add details to your birth plan to remind your birth partner as well as let your midwife know your preferences. It is also worth mentioning that you need to be eating and drinking little and often to provide yourself with energy.
- Supportive caregivers:
Having a supportive caregiver will help to increase your confidence. It can be really helpful to have a birth plan, which will help your midwife to understand your wishes without you having to explain while having a contraction! You may want to have a doula by your side to support you. And don’t forget your birth partner – going to a couples class together means they will also learn the breathing and other techniques which they can support you with.
- Homeopathy and flower remedies
Having a session on homeopathic remedies with a homeopath can be helpful so that you know what to pack with you and when to use it. All births are different so it is difficult to say which remedies will be needed therefore buying a kit and making sure someone who will be with you can use it will help to get the closest matching remedy to your labour state of being. Flower remedies can be used in conjunction with your homeopathic remedies and your partner may need some rescue remedy too if he is feeling anxious.
A range of massage techniques is useful so that your partner can help you to relax and feel comfortable. Practice makes perfect so if you learn some massage techniques in a class make sure you practice at home too. Some women prefer a light touch massage, while others prefer to have more pressure applied so you never know how you will feel until the day.
Visualising the birth going well can really help. It is also useful to visualise a nice place (real or made up) where you can think of to relax (a park or garden for example) then you will be able to visualise this place during labour. Practice getting into a birth “bubble” at home. Ignore any distractions and let your mind drift if it wants to.
- Aim for a positive birth, not a perfect one.
Remember there is no such thing as perfect – part of relaxing into birth is letting go of the outcome which in turn will help you to feel more positive.
So as you can see there is lots you can learn about before birth to make the experience more positive and enjoyable.
If you want some help preparing for your positive birth, you can arrange a half hour call to discover if working with me is right for you.