Congratulations! You are about to experience one of the most magical events of your life, the birth of your baby.
This is such an exciting time, however it often comes with lots of questions, doubts, fears, apprehensions and worries. Don’t worry, you’re not alone, it’s completely normal and totally understandable, it’s basically the fear of the unknown. Pregnancy and birth is a journey full of unknowns and ‘what ifs? It’s one of the only areas in our lives which we can’t control, which, if you’re a bit of a control freak like me is a scary prospect. That’s why I turned to hypnobirthing. It allowed me to take back some control and ensured that I was fully prepared, confident and excited (Yes, I was excited about the birth!) to birth my baby.
If you have recently found out that you are going to have a baby, these are my top 5 places to start your preparation…
1. RESEARCH & READ
As the saying goes, ‘Knowledge is power,’ and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Birth is one of the most powerful things you will experience and therefore it’s essential that you prepare your mind and body.
Think of birth as a marathon. As a runner, you recognise that 26 miles is probably going to be demanding both mentally and physically, so would you turn up to the starting line of the race without having done any training? The likelihood is no, you would train for months in advance to ensure that you get over the finishing line comfortably. It’s the same with birth, we know it’s probably going to be demanding both mentally and physically, so would you turn up at hospital/home having done no preparation? The sad truth is, many women do and this is when birth can veer from a calm, natural event where mum is in control and ‘running at her own pace,’ into a stressful and sometimes medicalised experience where mum feels out of control.
By researching and reading about how you would like to give birth, you are putting yourself in the driving seat and empowering yourself to have the birth you wish for. As pregnant women, there are many decisions which we will need to make along the way, by researching your options you can make informed decisions so that you are in control of your body and your birth.
My hypnobirthing course will run through the various options available to you so that you are able to make a thorough but flexible birth plan. As a bit of a control freak, this was music to my ears! Although I couldn’t control my labour, I could control my environment and my decisions, as well as a number of variables which affect labour.
You might find these previous blog posts helpful as starting points for finding resources to help you in the research stage.
2. DISCUSS WITH YOUR PARTNER
It’s so important to involve your partner with your thoughts around birth. You both need to be on the same page when it comes to the important decisions such as where you will give birth, how you would like to give birth, what assistance you would like (If any) etc. Even if you don’t go down the hypnobirthing route, it is important that you and your partner discuss your birth so that when the time comes, you are both aligned and ready to navigate birth and all the decisions that you will be required to make along the way.
If you or your partner are thinking about practicing hypnobirthing then again, this is something that you both need to agree on as the birth partners role is vital. If your partner has any questions then I would be happy to answer these or have an initial chat so that you have all the answers you need should you have any reservations about booking onto a course.
3. READ POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES
In the Western World we are accustomed to hearing negative or dramatic birth stories.
Programmes such as ‘One Born Every Minute’ can make us believe that birth is stressful and something to be fearful of. However, it’s important to remember that this is a TV programme which relies on gripping drama and tense moments in order to attract viewers. A calm, uneventful, straight-foward birth isn’t likely to pull them in! The same goes for stories that we may hear day-to-day, as these are often over dramatised to keep us interested!
Watching, reading or hearing about negative birth stories can be extremely detrimental to how we view birth. It’s understandable that hearing lots of negativity surrounding birth can cause us to feel nervous or fearful about it, the problem with this is that fear has a very negative effect on the process of labour and can be detrimental to its progress. Therefore, it’s important that we take the time to reprogramme and re-learn our beliefs about birth. This can be helped by absorbing lots of positive birth stories. You can find lots of these online, here are a few suggestions:
The positive birth company
4. PRACTICE HYPNOBIRTHING
Above everything else, this is the key thing to tick off your list. Every woman can benefit from practising this technique and undertaking the course. Hypnobirthing enables you to take control of your birth, giving you the tools, confidence and knowledge to be able to birth your baby, free from fear, stress or tension. Hypnobirthing is simply a method to keep your mind calm and in control so that you work with your body to let it do what it is naturally made to do!
My hypnobirthing course is the ultimate way to prepare for the birth of your baby, it is both logical and practical and designed to get you in tune with your body and instincts so that on the day, you are ready to birth your baby with confidence.
5. LEARN TO TRUST YOUR BODY & LOOK AFTER IT
Most of us have terrible relationships with our bodies, however, hopefully being pregnant will finally prove to you just how incredible your body actually is. It is more important than ever to look after your body, nourish it, eat a healthy balanced diet and exercise. You need to start to learn to trust your body and trust that it can totally do this, after all, it was designed to give birth. I think so many women grow up disliking their bodies and not treating them very well, with fad diets, over exercising or eating junk food and not really thinking about the consequence that this will have on their physical health. The saying, ‘We are what we eat,’ is paramount now, and I would strongly suggest looking into pregnancy nutrition to make sure that you’re getting all the right nutrients for you and your baby.