A Natural Birth
I’m not a midwife or an obstetrician and I have only been down this road twice but I have given this advice to quite a few people now who ask me and friends and clients have told me my advice was a huge help to them so I thought I would take a quick 10 minutes to share.
Giving birth is something that you will only do once or twice in your life, it really is an amazing experience and I am grateful that I was able to turn myself inside out for my two Bubs and deliver them naturally Everything went smoothly for us and we had our healthy Bubs in our arms without too much trouble.
So what is it that is so scary about having your baby? Really, what are we so afraid of? The pain? yes it hurts. The uncertainty? yes, we have no idea how this is going to pan out… at the end of the day, its just a small fraction of time in your life and you will most likely forget the pain, down the track anyway. Here is my take on the whole process. I’ll put it in point form as time is of the essence for me today
Number one; Be open to change.
You might have a plan, there may be certain things you want, or don’t want to happen but things change and your plan could go out the window very fast. Particularly if bub needs urgent assistance. You need to keep an open mind to the fact that you may need medical intervention, you may end up needing a caesarean. Your labour may go for 3 hours or 15 hours. Keep an open mind and just go with the flow with what is happening.
Number two; Expectations.
Go into this process with little expectations. A good birth is one where you both come through the other side safely. That is it and that is all. If you don’t have lots of expectations you wont subsequently have lots of disappointments.
Number three; Failing.
If your birth doesn’t go according to plan you have not failed, if you wish to breastfeed but this is not possible you have not failed… there is no such thing as failing. You pick up and carry on, you learn and move forward. There is no point in beating yourself up about things that don’t go as you planned. I had pethidine when my first was born, she was facing the wrong way and back labouring is a real nightmare. The midwives didn’t tell me though, they told my husband and they told me I would need some sort of pain relief. It didn’t help me at all and I had trouble feeding my daughter as she was jaundiced and so sleepy afterwards, we were both in hospital for 5 days. I learnt from this, I know what I am capable of, how much pain I can tolerate and how strong and resilient I am. The second time, I was stronger in what I wanted and I gave birth to my 4.1 kilo (9 pound) son without any drugs and was home as soon as they would let me leave.
Number four; Your body.
Your body is designed to do this and it will get your baby out into this world with or without you. Trust your body to finish this job it started, it can and it will. So, contractions hurt, but all you need to do is keep an open mind and go with the flow, let your body do what it has to do, there really is no point in fighting it. Help your body instead, work with it. Work with gravity, flexibility, movement. Your body will tell you what it needs for you to do. Just let it all happen. Be present. Give yourself to what you are doing 100%.
Number five; Your mind.
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing. The one and only thing you have complete control over in this whole process is your mind set, your attitude. If you go in there thinking about the pain and how you won’t be able to do it then you will more than likely have a rough time. Sure a natural delivery is not easy, its a marathon, a lot of hard work and most likely the most intense time in your life. You will feel pain beyond your imagination, nothing can prepare you for it but being afraid is one thing that will definately, definately not help you in the slightest. It can actually work against you as your body releases adrenaline too early and this can slow labour down and leave you exhausted. You can absolutely do this, your body is built to do this and your baby is coming out whether you like it or not, whether you are working with your body or working against it. The choice is yours as to whether this is a positive or negative experience. Have your mind in the right place and everything else will just fall into place. Distracting yourself is a great thing, think about other things, take yourself to your ‘happy place’, go back to Europe, blow down a forest with each breath… whatever it is that works for you. Just let go of any negative energy, influences, thoughts… anything that doesn’t keep you strong.
One more thing, Raspberry Leaf. I SWEAR by it! The way it was explained to me was: If you were going to run a marathon you would train and build your muscle strength and endurance so why wouldn’t you give your uterus extra strength to push Bub out… Raspberry Leaf comes in a few forms and I think from memory you start taking it at around 34 weeks. Blackmores has a good range. Basically it helps build the muscle of your uterus to make each contraction more effective. I took it both times, my daughter was out in 8 hours and 40 minutes, my son was out in 2 hours and 45 minutes. Look into it if you wish.
The bottom line, like most things in life it comes down to your frame of mind. Being in this position is a privilege and a good opportunity to lock in the baby names you want while hubby is a little vulnerable
But seriously, try your best to enjoy this time in your life and remember… The mind often gives up long before the body does.