Much of labour and birth is about focusing on the simple things that you can do to work with contractions and to help your body bring you your baby.
There’s a lot of advice out there but keeping it simple and taking it step by step can work well, so you can keep assessing what you need.
Simple tips for labour and birth
- breathe – for focus, calm and oxytocin.
- relax your muscles so you are not carrying tension, which creates adrenaline.
- move and use gravity to be comfortable and to give your baby the room he needs.
- drink water for energy and so you don’t become dehydrated.
- eat little and often for energy and to be more comfortable.
- wee regularly so you can keep your bladder empty – your baby needs that space.
- accept your contractions and the pattern of your labour. There isn’t a right length of labour to aim for so work with your contractions, don’t battle with them – they need to be strong, regular and powerful to bring you your baby.
- rest when you can to conserve energy, you don’t have to be on the go all the time.
- trust your instincts and go with what feels right for you.
- dig deep – labour can be exhausting and painful and there may be times when you just have to keep going.
- say what you need – to be comfortable, to rest, to move, to be informed, to feel safe, to manage energy and pain.
- ask so you always know your options – communication is essential so if you are unsure of anything be involved.
Labour and birth can often feel like it is about what you are allowed to do as part of medical restrictions and interventions.
While there can be some restrictions, possibly to do staffing and availability of options like birthing pools and epidurals, most of the basics you can do without needing to ask permission. And if there is a barrier, ask why and what your options are.
To enhance your labour and birth preparation, you can complete a course or birth guide and book consultations with me. You can message me below with any questions or queries.
Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Copyright: Janine Smith