I was thinking about how amazing my own birth was and it really was amazing! I actually enjoyed it despite my daughter being 10lb 3oz and didn't even need a paracetamol...... because I wasn't in pain. Obviously it's this kind of birth experience I hope all the ladies in my classes are working towards but there are some rules..... it doesn't just happen...... I didn't just happen to have a 10lb 3oz baby pain free by chance. This leads me on to my top tips to achieve a fab birth I think if you follow these rules you can greatly increase your chances of having a better birth so with that in mind here they are!
1. The very most important rule of the lot.... BE INFORMED! Get proper antenatal education and i'm not just talking about the kind where you discuss when to have an epidural! Obviously I think HypnoBirthing is the best but whatever antenatal your doing, research it get clued up.... choose a class that will teach you to breath properly, get into good birth positions, and get confident. Talk to the teacher before you book your class ask all the questions you need to. We all know it's an expensive time when your expecting a new member of the family but the fact is you WILL benefit far more from a decent antenatal class and some good books then a designer baby grow so be wise with your pennies!
2. BREATHE! Ok so we all know how otherwise we would just collapse in a big heap so this sounds a little obvious, but the key is to breathe properly....... and that is something that a lot of us aren't good at. The trick is to learn breathing to keep you calm and keep baby an the uterine muscles well supplied with oxygen. Breathing really can make all the difference so learn to do it PROPERLY!
3. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail! And with this statement in mind (and sounding a little like my mother before my exams) I will say this.... you MUST PRACTICE whatever techniques you are learning (hopefully HypnoBirthing obv) if you simply go to classes and don't put the work in you wont get the results you dream of...... (again sounding like my mother) you must put the work in to reap the reward, which is well worth it, and lets face it you only have to practice birthing relaxation and breathing not go on a 12 mile run every day so my advice is DO IT get practicing and get the birth you want..... I practiced like mad for my birth and loved every minute of it!
4. PERINEAL MASSAGE..... yes yes I know your all going all embarrassed and no one wants to talk about it but if you want to birth over an intact perineum and avoid the stitches then this is the one for you! Make sure you do it everyday with olive oil..... even if you don’t like the feeling it's only a few weeks and its much better that loads of stitches!
5. Whilst we're talking about avoiding the dreaded stitches lets introduce the next rule DON”T PUSH! Yes you DID hear me right, don't push...... “surely I read that wrong?” I hear you all cry, but really don't push, don't wear yourself out by holding your breath pushing like mad and turning purple, let your body do it for you let your natural expulsive reflex bring your baby down and simply breathe! Team this up with perineal massage and your on to a winner.
6. STAY AT HOME for as long as possible before moving to the birthing centre! This is to reduce your stress indicators. Lots of people feel panicked by being in hospital the lights and the smells can all contribute to this, your much more likely to stay calm and relaxed at home (which is what we want) so stay there as long as you can! Think about taking things from home into the birth centre like pillows and blankets that make you feel comfortable and relaxed or try a home birth and don't leave home at all!
7. Visualisation is simply mentally picturing a scene..... sounds simple right? Well it is the trick is just to find the right one for you. When going into relaxation visualisation can really help us focus, whether it's visualisation for breathing or just to help you stay in your calm place VISUALISE...... enjoy it, use images you can imagine and draw to the front of your mind easily, use visualisation to your advantage and practice it with your relaxation techniques!
8. OPEN YOUR PELVIS again this sounds obvious but practice (there I said it again) birth positions that actively open your pelvis like squatting or kneeling positions that will open the pelvis and shorten the birth path so baby can have an easy decent...... think about making use of position that utilise gravity to help baby move down and never NEVER NEVER lie on your back unless you absolutely cannot avoid it!
9. You have two choices in pregnancy you can either worry about what may or may not go wrong...... or you can DITCH THE FEAR and enjoy it! Besides which there is a very good reason for getting confident and ditching the fear..... when your scared your body goes into fight , flight or fright, blood travels away from the uterine muscles and they cease (your body's way of trying to slow down or stop labour if you were being chased by a predator) it's your body's defence mechanism to protect baby by slowing your labour but the bad news is this also makes birth more painful....... but we aren't being chased by predators we're just hanging on to fear we don't need to so ditch the fear and let your body work as it should, that way your birth will be faster and your uterine muscles more effective plus you'll feel more in control!
10. Here's one that is completely missed by lots of expecting parents GET EXCITED, yes I've been there and I know there is a lot to sort out when your expecting, you can worry about money and being away from work and sometimes just get caught up in the morning sickness and little niggles of pregnancy BUT remember that your body is doing an amazing thing and start thinking about how EXCITING it will be to meet that little person and get to know them..... in fact start doing it right away! Talk to your baby and interact with them in utero it makes pregnancy even more exciting and helps you get in a great mental space for birth! So go ahead get excited!
So there they are my Top Tips for a Fab Birth........ Make use of them!