Mentally preparing yourself for labour and birth
I am very much aware that for some or possibly most women, the thought of giving birth is terrifying. I can completely understand this fear. I am lucky though. I was never scared of labour and birth. Actually it was quite the opposite. I was weirdly looking forward to experiencing it. I knew it would be the most intense pain and emotions I would ever experience but I craved to know what it was like. This obviously is because day in and day out I would help women go through this journey. Reassuring them that they can do it, and that they are doing a great job! I didn’t know what they were actually feeling or experiencing. I could only guess.
So when it was my time to face this experience I looked forward to itâ€¦ kind of weird after everything I see right? Actually it is quite the opposite. Because I have been lucky enough to experience birth with all these strong amazing women I have the belief that a good labour and birth is completely possible and it can be beautiful and amazing! It was these women that inspired me in my mental preparation for my labour and birth. After all, if they could do it, why couldn’t I?
As I said above the thought of having to actually birth this baby that you have been growing inside your body for sometimes 9 months can be scary for most women. This is due to the horror stories other women love telling. We love spreading the negative stories. I understand that this is usually their way of debriefing an experience that was most likely very traumatic for them however they need to realise that what happened to them is very unlikely to happen to the women they are talking to. Telling a pregnant women that you had the most horrific experience in the world is not helping her. She doesn’t need to listen to that, she needs confidence and reassurance that birth is completely possible!
I am very fortunate that I have seen so many normal beautiful births so even the horrific ones didn’t faze me or concern me. I had faith that my body could birth my baby and as long as I gave in to the process of labour and let it be it would most likely go well.
This is so important for women to keep in mind throughout their pregnancy. To stay positive about your upcoming birth, after all it is the best day of your life! Seriously!!!
Setting your mind into a positive mind set about labour will only benefit your baby, partner and you. Try surround yourself with positive thoughts and people. This includes educating yourself about birth. Watch the beautiful births on YouTube. Familiarise yourself with natural birth and what your body is actually capable of. Knowledge = confidence so learn as much about the process of labour and birth. Become aware that it is normal to experience early labour for what seems forever but is actually only 5/6 hours. It is normal for it to be what you think is really intense when it is actually not even in full swing. After all you have nothing to compare it to. It’s also normal for you to be really mad at the midwives at the hospital when you call to say you’re in labour and you want to come in and they tell you to try stay at home for another couple of hours. They aren’t saying it so they don’t have to look after you. They are saying it because evidence shows that your labour will be shorter the longer you can stay at home. This is because you’re more relaxed allowing your labour hormones to be more effective.
So look forward to your labour and birth. Be excited about it not scared or anxious. It is the most empowering event you will ever experience!
By BornOnline Midwife Alinta
(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).