Being pregnant is such a miracle and the most natural thing in the world. Feeling how your body changes and adapts to growing a new life is fascinating. What I don’t understand is why is there this sense of impending doom.
I found that once I was visibly pregnant, people wanted to tell me about their own birth story, which of course had a dramatic and negative climax. Why would you tell me that? Why! Right from the outset I was put in a high risk pregnancy category due to previous medical issues which could affect the labour process. So as you can imagine, I was already on edge.
However I actually found labour to be a very empowering experience and one that I came out of thinking – that was incredible, I would totally do that again. Sadly a lot of the women on the post natal ward didn’t seem to have the same opinion.
I believe what made my experience different to theirs was positivity and preparation. Some of the things that I did to prepare were as follows:
- Stay fit and healthy – I want to try and keep a decent level of fitness throughout my pregnancy to help with the labour process. The further into the pregnancy you get, the harder it is to move overall, but I did as much as I could from avoiding lifts to going to aquafit, anything to keep moving.
- Pregnancy Yoga – This is a great way to stay flexible, stretch out your aching muscles and learn some good breathing techniques. It will also go through positions in which you can labour so you have loads of options available, as you never know how long you will be labouring for and what positions will just feel right on the day.
- GentleBirth classes – I did a GentleBirth class with Birth to Baby and this was one of the best things I did to prepare. Not only was this good preparation for myself, but it was fantastic for my husband who learnt about the birthing process and knew what to do on the day. I started the class with no birthing preferences and finished the two day course with a list of things that I was hoping for on the day.
- GentleBirth tracks and affirmations – as part of the Gentle birth class, you get free access to the GentleBirth app. They have positive affirmations, hypnobirthing tracks and the GentleBirth book. The app assigns you daily training tasks which I tried to fit in every day.
- Stay away from negativity – I decided not to listen to negative stories as much as possible. I also didn’t watch any birthing programs or movies on TV such as Call the Midwife and One Born Every Minute. While these are great shows, I found that they had a negative spin at times that I just wanted to avoid.
Labour is a marathon. Getting yourself into a positive mind frame is the best way to prepare, and remember you will have a little bundle of joy waiting for you at the end of the run.