Following on from the TV3 piece yesterday I thought we could share some tips on what other mums did that helped them prepare for a natural birth before labour and what you did on the day that helped you.
As I said yesterday IF having a natural birth is important to you (and not everyone is as motivated) then some antenatal preparation will be really beneficial.
Choose Midwife Led Care - attend the Community Midwives or Midwife Led Unit (if available...) or homebirth.
Talk to other women who have had natural births. Find out what they did.
Involve your partner - he needs to understand how to best support you on the day.
Take a birth preparation class that is focused on natural birth (GentleBirth, or Cuidiu classes) So you have a labour toolkit with lots of options - but not ruling out the epidural.
Find out what options your hospital has for supporting natural birth.
Read books about positive natural birth - Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth and Sheri Menelli's book - Journey into Motherhood which is available free to download online. The Better Birth Book or the Active Birth Book.
Write down some birth priorities and discuss during your antenatal visits
Try to avoid discussing your plans for a natural birth with unsupportive friends/family....you'll just end up with eye rolling and condescending comments about this being your first baby....and unhelpful comments about root canals....
Find a good antenatal yoga class or active birth class.
Stay fit and eat well.
The bath is such an underrated too - it is a MUST for natural labour.
Birth ball (bring your own)
Essential oils - very underused in Ireland and a great tool
Relaxation CDs / Music....anything that will keep your adrenaline levels down.
Don't starve yourself - eat if you're hungry.
So let's get the ball rolling - what are your tips!
Thanks Tracy for this list - i'm looking forward to hearing any other tips.
Thanks also for the link to Sheri Menelli's book. It is wonderful with so many inspiring stories.
Re: essential oils - Are there any specific ones that would be recommended. All my research tells me about the ones to avoid during pregnancy. DH isn't too bad on back massage now - little does he know it's preparation for birthing day
thanks for this Tracy!!
with regard to the TENS machine, i used this first time round and found it brilliant, i used it at home and was 5 cm when i got to hospital. but i was not even thinking of using this time round as i thought it might distract me from my hypnobirthing...do you think this is the case or can you combine both?
raspberry leaf tea to tone the uterus
a necessity imo - perineal massage
yoga - NB for pelvic stretching moves, breathing exercises and practising positions for labour
picture how you would like your positive birth to go and visualise it regularly. in fact in my hypnobirthing class we had to draw our perfect birth and now have the pictures to help us visualise, one of the girls in the class gave birth last week and said she visualised the picture the whole way through and it really helped her!
The TENS is another part of your labour toolkit....some hypno mums find it affects their focus and others have had no problems and found it helpful. It is magic for back labour - see how you go and if it's helpful great and if not then you can use another tool- that's the great thing about having options...you get to pick and choose what works for you.
Visualising is a great tool - it's a pity we spend so much time visualising worst case scenario (worrying!!)
great ill add it to my list so
ok great, i think ill hire one so especially for beginning of induction and then maybe move onto the bath.
i see what you mean tracy by me having it with me its another option for me to use which is true as you never know how things are going to go until you're in the middle of it
Any tips for someone who will have a 2 hour drive to the hospital???
Toblerone - essential oils are excellent but should be treated with the same respect as a drug....they can be [i:1fzpk5cx]very [/i:1fzpk5cx]potent. Some essential oils active constituents can react with drugs in labour so it's wise to talk to an aromatherapist.
Some oils should not be used until you are full term. The most commonly used oils in labour are
Lavender - it has a sedative action and hypotensive (it lowers BP so should not be used along with an epidural)
Jasmine to stimulate surges
Clary Sage to stimulate surges
Pigeonwife - for couples that live a distance from the hospital the timing of when to go is always going to be a concern. Are there any hotels near the hospital that you could check in to if you did go in too early?
Seriously though that's a really good idea Tracey, Thanks.
That is my biggest fear that if I go in too early they will want to speed things up!
Hmmm - I hear Hayfield Manor beckoning
I tell H.Street couples the same thing.....(I hear room service in the Davenport is divine ;-)
Some short videos - [b:3gt2retd]A Healthy Birth - Your Way[/b:3gt2retd]