OK. Maybe you just found out you're pregnant and are wondering 'how is this going to come out?!', or perhaps you're nearing the end of your pregnancy and it's preying on your mind. You might already have experienced a painful birth and are desperate not to repeat the process.
I'm going to give you my five top actions (better than tips, you actually want to do something about this, right?) in a moment, but first I'm going to put something out there that might surprise you... birth isn't meant to painful. Yup. You heard it hear first. uncomfortable, pressure, stretching- sure. But howling outloud and screaming a la 'One Born every Minute'. Nope. So if you've experienced this, I'm sorry. The big secret that no one tells you is that how you cope (how in control you feel/how calm you are/how much you feel prepared) MASSIVELY affects how you experience your birth. Because where do we experience pain? In the mind. Here we go...
ACTIONS TO TAKE TODAY!
1) BREATHE. This is not panting, holding your breath and pushing whilst going purple in the face, or screaming. Breathe in gently for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6. Think the word CALM as you breathe in and RELAX as you breathe out.Practise this now. And keep practising. Your body believes there's nothing to fear if your breathing slows and obligingly starts to relax immediately.
2) Stay at home as long as you can with dim lighting, lots of nice stroking from your partner and something you like on the box (as long as it's funny/uplifting- though I know someone who watched horror films throughout her pregnancy and labour...). This lets all your body's natural painkilling hormones come out to play.
3) Start thinking now about the birth you'd really like. I totally give you permission- you can have it. Your task for today is to Google positive birth stories (look for ones in the setting you're going for). Check out the Positive Birth Movement and find one near you. Look at positive (yes, positive, birth stories on Youtube)
4) Think about who you want with you at the birth. What's that got to do with pain relief you may be asking...? Think about someone who really gets on your nerves but you try not to let it show (mother-in-law?). Notice how your body is tensing up just thinking about them? That's what causes pain in labour- tension and fear. If it's your partner who's making you feel stressed, see my other blog on coping with a stressed out and anxious partner.
5) FEAR= False Expectations Appearing Real
The terrible outcomes you've been considering are no more real than having an orgasmic birth (maybe Google that!). However, a birth that's much higher up the scale to an orgasmic birth is more likely if you actually say to FEAR: no house room! I'm kicking you out! Fear is the major cause of painful births so just breathe, relax, rehearse your ideal birth in your mind and remember: in a positive birth, pain is not the over riding concern- being in control, calm and confident that you can do this is paramount. And if you follow all the steps, you're well on your way!
For hypnobirthing pain relief techniques, more stuff that REALLY WORKS and free hypnobirthing videos to help you kick out the FEAR, hop over to my Facebook group to connect with other mums who are changing their birthing mindsets one day at a time: