All posts filed under: Birth Preparation Essentials

A birth plan template for a better birth

When a birth plan focuses on what you want to happen in labour and birth, it can be dismissed as useless if there is no flexibility. So many women comment that they threw their birth plan away and this is why it needs to fit all births and focusing more on care and communication does that. Your birth plan Start with a brief introduction to say hello to your midwife, maybe include what you are aiming for and anything she needs to know such as anxiety, issues with movement, any medical issues. Intro – Hi, I am Kate. I would ideally like a waterbirth and I would like your help to work towards that. However, I also know that birth can be unpredictable so I would like your help to keep me informed, so I know my options and to work with my contractions. I can become anxious so I may need help to manage that and I like to be informed so I know what is going on and what my next steps can …

challenges of birth

Do you know how to prepare well for the challenges of birth?

The challenges of birth will be unique to you – what one woman finds challenging, another woman is okay with. Labour and birth preparation needs to be more than focusing on the straight-forward – challenges exist so there is power in acknowledging them and know more about how to work with them. And I’m not talking about complications of birth, when medical intervention is needed, challenges are normal and can occur during a straight-forward birth. What might the challenges of birth be? the position of your baby, which can cause backache, tiredness and a long labour the intensity of contractions fear and feeling overwhelmed a long labour which can be exhausting a fast labour with powerful contractions which are close together being induced, which can feel more medical than a spontaneous labour having an epidural, monitoring and being on a bed And how can you deal with the challenges of birth? Having strategies to use, going with your instincts and knowing your options means you can make decisions, say what you need and keep putting …

birth preparation

10 simple birth preparation steps that can really make a difference

Birth preparation can be about reading a book and attending some antenatal classes but what do you do with that information? how do you prepare effectively for labour and birth? Having taught antenatal classes and provided birth preparation sessions for 20 years, I know how unique birth preparation needs to be – books and classes can provide information but they may not encourage you to think, question and plan. With birth preparation, it can make a huge difference to… move – listen to your body in pregnancy so you can move and rest to be more comfortable. Use different positions so you are familiar what can work right for you – leaning, kneeling, using a ball. breathe – it’s important to know how to use your breathing and to know how to relax your body. This is a core skill you can use in pregnancy, in all births and with your baby. know how birth works and how varied it can be – a foundation of knowledge means you will have a better understand of …

woman listening on headphones

12 ways to boost your breathing for birth

Knowing how to use your breathing for birth is an essential skill to work with contractions, to stay calm and to manage any panic. Relax & Breathe is simple and effective to use – the key to it is to understand how it helps and to practice to make it work for you. Relax & Breathe is my own take on using breathing and relaxation techniques – I originally used it to manage anxiety and panic attacks and then I developed the technique to use for labour and birth. By focusing on your breathing, on relaxing your muscles and on developing you own technique relax & breathe can be used for: pain and discomfort energy boosts rest and sleep stress, anxiety and panic a clear head and thinking space The benefits of breathing for birth Learning how to use relax & breathe throughout your pregnancy means that you can benefit from it throughout each trimester as well as for your birth preparation. During birth it means you have a skill to fall back on: for …

birth preparation

14 ways to focus on having a straightforward birth

Focusing on straightforward birth This is an essential part of your birth preparation so you are equipped with knowledge and skills to help labour along. If you can have a strong foundation of information with practical skills and strategies to use when you need them, you can focus on what works and adapt if your birth plan needs to change. Of course this doesn’t mean that interventions won’t become necessary, it just means that your preparation and perspective is about what you can do with or without interventions: saying what you need asking questions so you know more about your options movement and gravity – even on a bed using you breathing being supported and informed resting and conserving energy eating and drinking putting yourself at the centre of your care My philosophy with birth preparation is about doing birth on purpose so you have more realistic expectations, so you think about what you want birth to be and so you can be better prepared if your ideal birth doesn’t happen. It’s important not to …