It is important to recognise that no labour is the same. Every women’s experience is different and that’s what makes childbirth an incredibly unique experience for each family.
Earlier this year, before the arrival of the new roual baby Archie, it was reported that Meghan Markle would be breaking royal tradition by hiring a birthing partner. Reports announced that she would hire a birthing partner to give her “emotional support” during the birth of her first baby to Prince Harry. Birth and postnatal doulas belong to a well-established organisation here in the UK and give support not just to the mother but the whole family during pregnancy, birth and the early weeks with a new baby. Every family’s choice will be different and expectant mothers should always consider all of their options and go with what feels right for them. Would you consider hiring a doula during your pregnancy and/or childbirth?
Preparing for labour can be a scary time for lots of women. The unknown is where a lot of our fears stem from so it’s no wonder why labour can seem frightening. Hormones are off balance for many women also during pregnancy so the different emotions we experience in the lead-up to childbirth can be equally overwhelming.
Let’s start with the point that no two births are the same. Understand your options and do some basic research, but do not get to hung up on another woman’s birthing story. You want to feel in control and less worried about what is to come so try to avoid comparison.
Birth plans… but knowing they might not go to plan
It’s important to prepare and plan for the kind of birth you want and consider your options. Things like water births and pain relief will be on your notes which should help you feel more organised and clear about what to expect. It is also just as important to understand that it might not play out as you have planned and to be open to change and complications on the day.
Taking care of your emotions
The fears and worries that women are presented with during pregnancy and the lead-up to labour is very common. Talking about your feelings, writing them down, taking the time to be open and honest about your worries are the first steps to overcoming them. Taking time for yourself and being kind to yourself is really important so you are able to be your best self when you birth your baby.
Deep breathing exercises
Helps to strengthen deep core muscles in the pelvic floor and can help to decrease lower back pain. Deep breathing is also relaxing and stress relieving and anytime you can take to concentrate on your breathing can be hugely beneficial to you the lead up to childbirth.
Your birthing partner
When you have chosen who your birthing partner will be, although they won’t be a professional who specialises in emotional support, opening up to them and most importantly, communicating with them will help you both mentally prepare for labour. They will be your biggest supporter during labour so it’s important you are open and honest; they will be able to help you in any way they can.
Guest Writer Amelia Cunningham