The most frequent thing which people are surprised with at the end of a hypnobirthing course is the amount of evidence based and medical content it includes . Though relaxation is important, the journey of a hypnobirthing couple is much more complex and multifaceted than teaching some basic relaxation skills. So here are some simple but effective tips for you! Enjoy!
Your environment has a profound effect on your birthing hormones and muscles. A place that feels safe, intimate and unobserved are optimum environments for your birthing hormones and muscles. No wonder many of us go into labour in the middle of the night! If you have ever see animals give birth they often naturally find seek out the most darkest and private area of the house. You will find a lot of birthing animals behind the garden shed, or under the bed in the spare room hidden away from others. We, like other mammals are no different. Dimmed lights, a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
Speaking from someone who could really do with listening to my own advice, planning really is essential. So make sure you’re organised, so that there is no running about, or last minute stressful panicking. Heck, make sure there is plan a, b and c, to ensure that your mind is relaxed and focussed when baby comes. These may be things like planning for eventualities with child care, that you have ALL the cash for a hospital car parks, or bossing the trial run of your blow up pool if you’re having a home birth.
3. Prepare Your Mind and Body:
Birth preparation classes can have a significant impact on the day the baby comes. As popularity increases in hypnobirthing (thank you duchess of cambridge for that one!) so too does research which supports the knowledge of the benefits of self hypnosis in labour. Classes like hypnobirthing have shown to reduce the length of labour and provide comfort and reduction in assisted births and caesareans (I'll stop there, but I could go on!). Trauma in labour can have both short term and long term effects on mum and baby, and therefore taking a birth preparation class like hypnobirthing can not only provide comfort and calm during labour, but profound effects for long term after birth too.
4. Who is with me?
A bit like watching your favourite sporting event, quite often birth partners feel like an unhelpful extension to the main event, watching it from the side lines, and at times coming out of the process feeling equally traumatised. Yet, if used right, they can be profoundly important and the cornerstone to the whole process. Not only can they be protective of the female in labour, they can also support and provide essential elements. I always say to my clients, it takes a joint effort to make a baby, and it takes a village to raise one, then it should take a partnership to birth one too. Ive heard many people through my classes say “I could not have done it without them”. This is a skill that works both through your labour and then onto parenting together.
5. Show me the data!
Knowing your options, and understanding what is going on in your body is essential. There may come times for some of us when we have to navigate a road away from the normal path of labour. Feeling confident to ask questions with your care givers and know the pros and cons if a more medical journey is required can provide empowerment, confidence and calm when labour veers away for normal. Ive heard couples who have navigated this path excellently say time and time again, it was through asking the right questions and making informed choice which enabled them to feel that in the midst of a troubling time it wasn’t done “to” them, but “with” them, which was the difference between a labour journey being relaxed compared to stressed.
6. And breathe…
It may seem so simple but when you breathe correctly in labour it can provide essential elements to baby and body. Through breathing deep and focussed breaths, oxygen is being inhaled and provides the labouring muscles with fuel to continue, and avoids a build up of lactic acid (ouch!). Long breaths alongside visualisation techniques can help the mind focus, and encourages the body to remain calm and relaxed through each contraction. How crazy is it that our breath can provide so much of what our body needs to birth this baby, and yet, when were panicked, optimal breathing is forgotten and can start of a spiral of events! Remember to breathe properly. Before you began the labour journey, your body had all it needed to grow your baby and it can be the same for many, when they birth their baby.
7. Stay upright and keep moving.
Quite often women choose to do what is expected of them, and therefore lying on their back is what they think is expected. Though lying down is still the most frequent position (around 85% in the USA) a whole body of research have overwhelmingly reported that staying upright and mobile during labour and birth have strong associations with a reduction in second stage, reduction in pain scores, and reduction in assisted deliveries and caesareans. In fact, the Royal College of Midwife is clear about encouraging women to adopt a more upright and mobile position during labour. So get off the bed ladies, and start moving, rocking and dancing to provide some much needed relief and benefit to you and your baby.
Hopefully this has been helpful. Slot some of these in to your box of essential ingredients. All free, and yet all incredibly significant!
Any further questions, dont hesitate to contact us on www.mybirth.co