If you take anything at all away from this blog post please make it this, EVERY SINGLE LABOUR IS DIFFERENT. Every woman’s experience is entirely different. Whether it’s the early signs of labour, the length of your labour, the pain.. every one is different. I thought I would share positive ways to prepare for labour. Techniques that I have found useful and can be used for any scenario; natural labour, planned induction or C-section.
Preparing for labour can be incredibly scary for some people especially if you are expecting your first baby and have no idea what to expect. Before I was pregnant with my first baby, Teddy, the idea of labour terrified me! It actually made me determined for a long time that I wasn’t going to have children. Obviously I then got pregnant and I did a complete 180. I was actually excited at the idea of labour and giving birth to my baby. Part of that came from thinking, well it’s in there now, this baby has to come out one way or the other so why spend time worrying about something that is inevitable?
My labour with Teddy was not ideal and it wasn’t at all what I had hoped for (55 hours, forceps in theatre and a haemorrhage) but with all that being said, I always found it incredibly empowering and looking back I wouldn’t change it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, i’m hoping my second labour (baby number two is due in February 2020!) is quite different but I am also preparing for the fact that it might be exactly the same, and I am fine with that too.
POSITIVE WAYS TO PREPARE FOR LABOUR
PREPARE YOUR MIND
Try to remember that for every horror story you hear about labour, there is an equally amazing one! Speaking from experience I found that throughout my pregnancies people can’t WAIT to share their negative birth stories and I just zone out. I choose not to listen. Some people are incredibly nervous about giving birth and the last thing you need is to listen to Sandra in the local shop sharing her horrific birth from 50 years ago. I highly recommend searching out positive birth stories (there are so many on the internet).
A new discovery for me in this second pregnancy has been positive birth affirmations and they are amazing! I listen to mine via the Positive Birth Company (I have signed up to their digital hypnobirthing pack) but you can listen to them via YouTube, buy little cards that have them written on or save the pictures to your phone!
It’s also important to know that you have choices, understand your options, know the pros and cons of various situations. These alone can make you feel more confident in making decisions. You will feel in control.
One thing I vividly remember from my labour with Teddy, is roughly 24 hours in.. I was in a bath at the hospital and the midwife said that I was holding my breath through contractions, which in a result was making me tense my body therefore making the pain so much worse. And as soon as I started to breath, I can’t describe the difference in pain and how much less it was. I have been practicing my breathing for a few minutes everyday so when it comes to being in labour I will be comfortable using the technique straight away. The Positive Birth Company also has a section on gentle massage which is something your birth partner can do to help relax you through your labour. Meditation and visualisation are also highly recommended to help you relax.
YOUR BIRTH PARTNER
I believe who you choose to be your birth partner is incredibly important, you want to pick someone who makes you feel safe and who will support you. It’s also important that once you’ve picked your birth partner, that you have openly communicated with them and been honest about any worries or concerns you have.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It is completely normal to feel anxious and worried about pregnancy and labour, it is a huge change, both physically and emotionally! Be kind to yourself. Be sure to talk about your feelings, write them down in a journal or talk to someone; whether that is a health care professional such as your midwife or a partner/friend/family member. Sharing these worries with someone who you feel comfortable with will make the world of difference.
I hope this blog post has helped you and given you some ideas of positive ways to prepare for labour. Just know that, if you are pregnant, you have got this and you’re a fucking badass.