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April 26th 2018 by Sarah Brooks

Top 3 tips for a POSITIVE birth

 

As I’m sure you’ve heard many times before, birth doesn’t always go to plan. When pregnant with my first child, I had hoped to have a drug free, water birth at our local birth centre but at 39+3 weeks my membranes released (aka as my water’s broke) & my surges had still not begun after 36 hours so we agreed to be induced at the hospital. Despite that day being the most intense of my life & I did need gas & air to move through transition, my first thought after birthing him was ‘wow, I want to do that again!’ The post birth oxytocin high was clearly in full swing & it was such a positive experience. This definitely wasn’t by accident though, so here are my top 5 tips!

  1. Get Informed! Enrolling in an independent childbirth education course (i.e. not a course affiliated with your hospital & it’s policies) is the best money you could spend during pregnancy. Knowledge is power! The extra bonus of the Hypnobirthing Australia program is that along with all the knowledge you will gain about the birthing process, breathing & relaxation techniques, and about how your partner can best support you, you will also learn & practice self-hypnosis techniques which can eliminate your fears & promote the release of endorphins- powerful neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain & trigger a positive feeling in our body (no wonder I looked forward to listening to my hypnosis tracks before bed each night leading up to the birth!)
  2. Chose your caregivers & your birth support team carefully. Everyone in the room on your birthing day can have a positive or negative influence on your experience of birth. Studies have shown, that labour progresses most smoothly when the birthing woman feels calm, relaxed & doesn’t have to use their logical, ‘rational thinking’ part of their brain. So for low risk women, having a known midwife (e.g. an independent or community midwife) through pregnancy & birth is ideal. However, if you are birthing in a hospital where your midwife may depend on who is on roster that day, having a doula there to support both you & your birth partner will be invaluable. On our birthing day, as my surges reached their intensity, my midwife & doula believed I could go on when I doubted I could & their presence put my husband at ease so he could focus all his attention on me. It was a beautiful team effort!
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice! Here I am talking about all the things you can do to create & maintain a positive mindset leading up to your birthing day. Breathing techniques, relaxation including listening to your favourite music to release endorphins, positive affirmations, visualisations, and listening to your hypnosis tracks regularly all help to release our fears & condition our subconscious mind to believe what our physical body already knows. Our body knows how to birth; it is a normal, physiological process, but to do this effectively, any negative thoughts we have about birth must get out of the way first! So just as an athlete practices & trains for months leading up to a big event, we too should do the same for our mind!

 

Wishing you a fabulous birthing day, no matter what turn your birthing takes!

 

For more positive birthing inspiration click here!