Giving birth is something amazing. Every woman deserves to have a positive birth experience. Learn these techniques before you go into labour.
Every woman deserves to have a positive birth experience
Afterall, giving birth is a natural process for our female bodies.
From the moment labour starts until our baby is born, our labour and delivery process is something that should be enjoyed. Our new baby is on their way and we are going to be meeting them very soon.
Why do many women not have a positive birth experience?
So how come so many women do not have a positive birth experience? We have all the uptodate information but as soon as we go into labour we develop a sudden fear of childbirth. Instead of relaxing when labour starts, we get fearful. Some women say they just weren’t expecting to feel pain and then they start to lose control as their minds take over, instead of concentrating on breathing techniques and ways to stay calm.
This happened with my first born. My water broke before any contractions started. The hospital advised us to come in, they were quiet that evening anyway, as they needed to keep a check on me in case of any infections. Of course, hearing this sent me into a place of fear – “what do they mean infection?”. I had hardly dilated and all of a sudden the pressure was on to deliver my baby before the risk of infection got too high because my water broke so early.
I am a strong believer in mindset and keeping a positive mind creates positive experiences. My first birth ended up with me having an epidural, an episiotomy and vacuum assistance with several “threats” of having to have a caesarean. It wasn’t a positive birthing story and I felt like I couldn’t enjoy my new baby boy as much as I should be able to because of the experience and the recovery time I needed.
Mindset and staying calm during birth
I was determined to have a positive birth with my second baby boy, without fear of childbirth. I read birthing story after birthing story about natural birth, to learn how others were doing it. I wasn’t interested in a hypnobirthing course. I had read a book and listened to a CD with my first and that hadn’t helped me. I practiced breathing techniques and meditation with my second. I felt so calm and relaxed until it came to the final contractions. My baby boy turned his head as he got into position so it took a further four hours to get him out, during which I began to panic again because I didn’t know what was happening.
I believe that if I’d have stayed calm and solely relied on breathing techniques again, instead of letting my mind take over, it would have been easier and less painful towards the end. The birthing story of my second baby boy still remains positive story though, as the process was very calm.
Does childbirth hurt?
My good friend recently gave birth and shared her positive birthing story with me. During the birth of her first baby boy, she says she was surprised that no one had told her it would be painful. She had followed a hypnobirthing course and was sure that she would feel no pain. After her water broke and her contractions got stronger, she suddenly started to wonder what was wrong because it was hurting, sending her more into a state of panic and fear of childbirth. She also set about learning techniques to handle giving birth in a calmer way with her second.
I believe that all first-time mums to be, need to know that there will be an element of pain. So that they are not taken by surprise whilst giving birth.
Mindset techniques and breathing techniques for a calmer birth
My friend, Sian, used mindset techniques and breathing techniques for a calmer second birth. During our interview, Sian talks about how great it was to keep in mind that contractions only last for a short 60 seconds. Imagine how quickly 60 seconds fly past normally. By being able to focus on meditative, breathing techniques and visualisation during these 60 seconds, my friend stayed relaxed and was able to let go and allow her body to do the work for her.
Sian says that the most important part of giving birth calmly and positively was by keeping her mind out of it. It is our minds that create irrational fear. Once we are in a place and state of relaxation, mother nature can come in and work for us*.
By breathing properly during birth and relaxing, the muscles in our bodies will be supplied with the oxygen they need. Also, when we relax, our bodies release more oxytocin, a natural feel-good hormone which stimulates contractions for natural births. The more oxytocin you can produce naturally, the more likely you will have a positive labour and delivery.
*As long as there are no late pregnancy complications of course.
Here is a short summary of great techniques for a positive birth:
Create a birthing plan based on how you will keep your mind calm and focused.
Share your birthing plan with your birthing partner so that they can remind you to concentrate on your breathing techniques, visualization techniques, and staying calm.
Decide what you are going to visualize and keep this picture in your mind’s eye during your contractions (a flower opening up for example).
Find some meditations and positive affirmations to help you through your contractions – I can highly recommend the Freya App from the Positive Birth Company.
Make your intentions clear for yourself, that you are having a positive birth. Write a list of them down in preparation for your birth and repeat these to yourself throughout labor and delivery.
Wishing you an enjoyable and positive birth.