4. Practise relaxation techniques
Using breathing techniques can help calm your nerves (before and after labour) and control the pain. You can practise all the way through pregnancy to ensure you’re comfortable using them when labour starts.
“Learn some relaxation and breathing techniques. I didn’t do a hypnobirthing course, but I bought a book and CD and it helped enormously with a long and unpleasant induction. Despite it ending in an emergency c-section, I felt I’d had the best possible labour experience up until then, under the circumstances.”
Meditation and visualisation can help you relax through pregnancy and during labour. Even if your labour doesn’t go the way you planned you may still be able to use the techniques you’ve learned.
“The best thing I did was meditation, including positive visualisation. After a difficult first birth I found I could create my own positive space and vibe the second time. I felt calm and together even when I was in pain.”
Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture may also help you relax. Just make sure your acupuncturist is fully qualified and that they use disposable needles at every treatment session. Tell your practitioner that you’re pregnant too, because certain acupuncture points can’t be used safely in pregnancy.
“I was desperate to avoid induction with number 2. I was super stressed towards the end of my pregnancy, so I decided to try acupuncture. The acupuncturist changed my way of thinking and, bit by bit, I started to chill out. Labour started off naturally and I truly believe it was a mindset thing and that I needed to relax and focus on my baby for a bit. A lot of these therapies, whether they work or not, do help you relax, which is important to get the right hormones flowing.”
“Ever since I fainted during a school biology lesson watching a woman in childbirth, I’ve been completely terrified of giving birth. When I fell pregnant I knew I had to take control and do something positive to get me through the next 9 months. I decided to do an intensive hypnobirthing course. It was pricey but worth every penny as from that moment on I felt much more in control. The positive affirmations, real-life experiences, book, CD and practise hypnobirthing sessions made the world of difference in the build-up. I listened to the CD (and podcasts I downloaded) every night without fail for 5 months. I’d usually fall asleep before the end. By the end of my pregnancy I was relaxed and happy, and not particularly concerned about giving birth at all! The hypnobirthing helped me for the first 12 hours of labour. I wasn’t panicked and felt a real sense of calm.”Please Scroll Below for NEXT Page to continue