All posts filed under: Birth Space

10 tips for labour and birth

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 …

antenatal classes

What are contractions and what can you do to manage them well?

We know that labour involves contractions but what are contractions? Your baby grows inside your uterus, which contains long muscles. In labour, these muscles need to shorten, to open and dilate the cervix. A contraction is the tightening of these uterus muscles which increase in frequency and intensity during labour and birth. The hormone oxytocin affects the pace and strength of contractions throughout labour and birth. The cervix responds to the oxytocin by opening when it is ripe and ready for labour. Oxytocin receptors across the uterus respond to the oxytocin by creating a contraction, which begins at the top of the uterus and then waves downwards. What are contractions: pattern and pace Every woman has their own pattern of contractions – typically they are about a minute long during established labour but this can vary, as can the pause in-between contractions. While contractions need to be strong and regular to be effective, there isn’t one pattern that is correct. Oxytocin is an essential part of labour and it has an influential role to play …

birth preparation

3 ways to make peace with your birth experience

Being able to make peace with your birth experience can be really beneficial. Labour and birth is such a unique experience and we do need more honest conversations in pregnancy, as well as after birth, to talk through expectations, what went well and how new parents are feeling. And this doesn’t have to be about birth being traumatic, it can be straightforward but still leave you feeling shocked and needing to talk it through. I have spoken to so many women postnatally who say birth was all fine, they are fine but then talk about how different it was, how they wish they’d known something, how they might do it differently next time, how disappointed they might feel, how let down they might feel. Yes it might all be fine but it can also help to talk it through and voice what you are feeling. – high expectations – There can be such high expectations when it comes to birth – of doing it naturally, of waterbirth, of hypnobirthing. This can be important because belief …