HOW TO COPE WITH LABOUR, BIRTH & BEYOND…………
Believe you can give birth. Trust your instincts and the mantra that your body knows what to do.
Understand your mind and where it needs to be for birth. Create the best possible conditions for you to switch off that eternally whirring ‘front’/intellectual brain.
Be as active as you can. Think gravity and a nice wide open pelvis.
Breathe. You can not hold on and exhale at the same time.
Hum if you need to- that helps switch off the front brain which is why monks chant. In fact, make as much noise as you like. There seems to be an inverse relationship between how much noise a woman makes and the discomfort she feels.
Consider using water. It makes labour shorter, reduces the need for pain relief and enhances the experience of labour.
Have a doula or another female birth partner. The difference it makes is staggering. All of the above and even more so.
Be aware of your posture and the positions you adopt during pregnancy. A baby in the optimal position at the onset of labour makes all the difference.
Consider intervention carefully. Birth is a delicate balancing act. Upset the balance with care and only out of choice or absolute necessity. Don’t be cajoled into or out of anything.
Do not, under any circumstances, feel you need to justify or apologise for giving birth in whatever way you choose, whether you choose it in advance or in the moment. Guilt is a wasted emotion.
Let go- physically and mentally. That is what birth is, an act of letting go in every sense. Be willing to let go, even embrace it as liberating. It really is.
Accept as much help as possible after the birth.
Give yourself time; to establish breastfeeding, to bond, to get life back to some sort of even keel. You have time, and the baby stage is so so short- even if it doesnt feel it at the time. Remember you are not trying to get anywhere- it no marathon.
Remember that everyone else is muddling through too- and chances are you are doing a good job of it.