Posted 449 Days Ago by Amelia McCarthy DipHB(KG) – Hypnobirthing TeacherSearch by TagsBack to Blog
Pregnancy and birth are an amazing journey. A journey that is incredibly humbling and awe inspiring. Here are my top tips for a positive and calm pregnancy and birth.
1 Don't tell people your exact guess date
From the moment you find out you're expecting, your experiences throughout pregnancy can shape the birth that you have. Recent studies have shown that only 4% of babies are born on their actual guess date. Telling family and friends you are due around the beginning/end of the month or two weeks after the guess date is a great way of ensuring that when the date comes around you will not have an avalanche of calls, texts, emails, faxes, Facebook posts, telegrams, tweets, Morse code signals asking you if you've had the baby yet!
Something seemingly insignificant at the beginning of your pregnancy can really have an effect in the last few weeks. It is so important to be feeling relaxed and calm in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Any added pressure you may feel could considerably affect the production of vital hormones needed to kick start the birth process.
2 Positive language & the power of the mind
As a society we now fear childbirth and see it as a dangerous process that needs urgent medical attention. In some high risk cases this is true and thankfully there are highly trained obstetricians if they are needed. Birth is a natural process, women have been giving birth for millions of years and our bodies are far more sophisticated than we sometimes give them credit for. Birth doesn't have to be scary. It is possible to have a gentle and calm birth even if your journey there takes an unexpected turn. Listening to other peoples’ birth horror stories only compounds our fears. If someone wants to tell you a negative story, ask them to tell you after the baby is born. Words are powerful, some have strong associations. Try to avoid harsh words. For example, 'Contraction' is a very hard cutting sound - this can be exchanged for a word like 'surge' which is soft and has connotations of the sea and the ocean in which every wave brings our baby closer to us. Instead of talking about 'pain' we could talk about the 'power' of childbirth.
3 Inform yourself
Your body. Your baby. whether it’s at home, in a birth centre or an obstetrics unit, you are entitled to have the birth you want! Knowledge really is power. Learn all about the process of birth, how our hormones interact with our bodies to birth babies effectively, what your options are and whether you want to accept/decline certain procedures. What do you want to happen after the birth? A birth plan is a great way to communicate all your wishes with your care providers, you can find templates on the NHS website but also there are some great visual birth plans available on Pinterest. Taking hospital tours and asking any questions you have before the birth will help prepare you for the day. Likewise, if you are having a home birth it is a great idea to check you have everything you need and a trial run with the pool if you are using one.
4 Birth partners
The image of the father in the birthing room has long been of the bumbling birth partner not knowing what to do and getting in the way of the midwives. This simply isn't true. A well informed birth partner can make a HUUUUGE difference. Not only to provide comfort and security for the mother but to be her spokesperson and work with the medical team to provide the very best care. Taking hospital tours and asking any questions you have before the birth are a great idea. During labour the birth partner can help remind the mother to breathe, provide them with drinks, food and anything else they need. Gentle touch and massage from a loved one is relaxing but also releases endorphins which are the body's natural painkillers.
5 Breathing, visualisations and relaxation
Taking a Hypnobirthing class is a great way to learn how to breathe effectively during labour. Relaxation, positive statements and visualisations are great preparation and the more practice you do the more you will feel the benefits when the day arrives. It is also a great way to meet other expectant couples. It has been said that the perfect environment for a baby to be conceived is also the perfect environment for them to be born. Low lighting and privacy helps the mother to feel calm and focused. This can still be achieved in hospital; most birthing centres have dimmable lights. Taking something to the hospital that reminds you of home can help the mother feel more grounded and relaxed. This could be a pillow, blanket, relaxation music, lavender oil.
6 Look after yourself
Life with a new-born can be hectic. Your body has just done something amazing so make sure you get the rest you need. Limit visits. It’s an important bonding time that you don't get again. When family come around make sure you put them to good use. Anyone can wash the pots! Don't be too proud to ask for help, get friends to bring food and any supplies you need. Enjoy every second.
Hear more from Amelia at Happy Soul Hypnobirthing.
Tags:Hypnotherapy Birthing Pregnancy Relaxation Birth Calm