One of the best ways to prepare for the birth of your baby is calmly and positively, mixed with a large dose of curiosity! Having worked in antenatal education as an NCT trained Antenatal Teacher since 1990 and an NCT Tutor since 2000; my core beliefs are still stronger than ever. Reflecting back on how I prepared for the birth of my own children together with the honour and privilege of supporting parents as a doula/birth supporter, I know that preparing for the birth of your baby and making that transition into parenthood is more likely to unfold gently and more easily if women and their partners have both prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually.
“Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences” – Rhoda Byrne
There is far too much fear around childbirth at the moment, I see and hear this in my role as an antenatal practitioner and doula. It makes me sad that some parents feel birth is something they simply have to ‘get through’. The birth of your baby will be etched on your hearts forever, so focusing on making it a calm and positive experience for the mother, partner and baby will have a positive influence on the whole family – there is no better way to start your parenting journey.
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf them”
Hormones play a key role in labour, being calm and relaxed helps you keep adrenalin at bay and encourages the free flowing hormone oyxtocin, which bathes your baby, keeping you both calm and beautifully relaxed. I truly believe this increases positive and empowering birth outcomes. There is overwhelming evidence to support the benefits to labouring women if they have strong, loving, calm and relaxed birth support.
“under the influence of Oxytocin, women in labour go off to another planet” Trish Anderson – Consultant Midwife 2003
I believe strongly in women’s innate ability to give birth and feel that they can be inspired by how wonderfully their bodies are designed. They can begin to build up a belief system to increase their confidence in giving birth without fear and embrace the whole experience. The use of language is powerful and can have a huge influence on a woman’s approach to birth. If the birth process can be understood, embraced and affirmed, then women and their partners can approach their births with greater confidence. If a woman feels loved, nourished and nurtured in a safe and relaxed environment, she is more likely to labour beautifully.
“When a woman feels confident in her body, well supported and able to express herself without inhibition, the pain that she may feel can become bearable and one part of the process. She can then respond instinctively with her own resources including her most basic and accessible tools, breath, sound and movement” Dr Sarah Buckley – Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering – 2009