Current lockdown restrictions mean that some maternity units have had to restrict birth partners in shared induction suites.
Understandably this is causing anxiety and upset for women who are due to be induced within the lockdown. Birth partners will be admitted into maternity units once labour is established and their partner is in a private birth room.
If you are being induced on your own, here’s a few strategies for staying calm and managing this time on your own because there might be a lot of waiting if you are starting with pessaries…
Take everything you might need in with you:
*phone/tablet & charger to watch/listen to something
*your birth bags
There can be a lot of waiting when being induced with the pessaries so it can help to be occupied and to relax as much as possible. Sit on your ball, relax on the bed and read, watch, listen to something to help you switch off. Headphones can be crucial in a shared space so you are not affected by the noise from other women.
It may be that you need to support each other to keep calm. Talking, reassuring and encouraging because you are all on your own.
Settle in to your bay – make it comfy for you because you could be here for a while and you will have to work with contractions in that space before you are in established labour.
Ask questions – so you know what is going on, what your options are and a bit of what to expect.
Know how to use your breathing – this is crucial to be calm and focused and to encourage your body to go into labour with strong, effective contractions.
Try not to be scared – you are in good hands, try to relax, ask questions and say what you need to help you to feel as comfortable and as safe as possible.
Accept the situation – this sounds really blunt but focus on being as calm as possible. Being angry, irritated and frustrated is not going to encourage labour to start, it’s just going to make you tired and tense.
Look after yourself – snack when you can, drink plenty of water and make sure you are going to the loo regularly – this all helps to give you the energy you need.
Movement & Gravity – to be more comfortable, especially with contractions, try to move and have gravity for contractions and for rest. This can help your contractions to be more effective.
A TENS Machine – many women find these really effective. Take one in with you to use for contractions and any back pain.
Once labour gets going and those contractions are strong – move, breathe, try to be as calm as possible, listen to your body, ask questions about being assessed and moved into a birth room and when your partner will be contacted.
If you need to do it all on your own because your partner is looking after your older children – you’ve got this. Work with your midwife, say what you need, drink water, snack when you can, move, breathe, say what you need, ask about your pain relief options, dig deep, keep going, you are going to meet your baby soon.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions and you can also book a 1:1 session with me to help with your birth preparation.
Janine Smith | a specialist in pregnancy, birth and parent wellbeing