1. Get off your back!
Choosing a birth position that gets your pelvis into a forward-leaning, upright and open position, can help increase space and make it easier for your baby to move through your pelvis and into the world. Think of positions that you'd have a big poo in! It wouldn't be flat on your back, it's likely to be more like the way you sit on the loo! All 4's, squatting, upright or kneeling and leaning against a partner or a bed for support or floating freely in a birth pool are just some suggestions! Always follow what your body is telling you and adopt positions that feel good for you.
2. Stop with the negatives!
You do not need to listen to Janet, Sue and Trisha's traumatic birth stories! You are not a therapist. Every. Birth. Is. Different. What your body and mind need, are to feel calm and positive, so that your birth hormones can be released and help drive labour forward so that your baby can be born. Doubts, worries and fears can encourage stress hormones to be released which inhibit the progress and labour and increase tension and discomfort. So positives only please!
3. Learn relaxation techniques
A good technique to start with, uses your body’s natural calming hormones and helps to release birth hormones such as oxytocin. Try breathing in for a count of 4 and breathing out for a count of 6… repeat 3 or more times and you’ll start to feel naturally calmer. This technique will help in any kind of birth.
4. Make birth preferences with your birth partner
Take some time to talk about different types of birth, do some research on what choices you want to make for place of birth, pain relief, positions and birth environment, plus preferences if intervention is offered, birthing your placenta and choices when baby is born. Make a few sets of preferences, covering all eventualities, so that you both feel confident that you know what you want to choose or request, even if you have a totally different birth to your ideal! You can do a set A (for your ideal), B (for any curved balls that come up) and C (for Caesarean birth). Then your partner can advocate for you, without the need to disturb you or to make big decisions in the moment, so you can just focus on listening to your body.
5. Ask questions
If your healthcare team have said that you can’t have X, Y, or Z because you have been told you are ___ (insert applicable) or perhaps you “need to have…an induction/Caesarean/extra scans”…. because of ... (again, insert applicable...)
Get really clear on the reasons WHY. Ask for evidence-based information and also how this applies to you as an individual. Not every medical guideline will suit or be necessary for each individual. You always have the right to ask for more information, to go away and weigh things up, see what feels right for you and your baby, do your own research…you can say “No” and you can also change your mind at anytime.
Here’s a good Instagram post on how to get the most out of asking questions, when birth throws you a curved ball. I would also recommend following Dr Sara Wickham on Instagram or you can search her name for her website which is full of excellent evidence-based information.
I can help you with all the above and So much more!
If you and your birth partner would like to go from feeling scared and uninformed about birth, to feeling like a team - calm, confident and prepared about all kinds of birth - I’ve got you!
My Hypnobirthing courses are Science and evidence-based, no weirdness included!! The course is full of practical and informative ways to make you feel more in control and get you looking forward to your birth experience with excitement!