5 Tips for a Positive Birth Experience
As a certified Hypnobirthing teacher, I am passionate about sharing valuable information to ensure women — and their partners — are armed with the most helpful information. Here, I highlight five important things to consider ahead of an empowering, life-changing birth experience.
We all know the saying, “knowledge is power,” and it’s true when committed to hypnobirthing — because it is, without a doubt, certifiable birth power. You can’t advocate for yourself and make informed decisions that feel right for you and your baby, if you don’t know what your options are.
Pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable. And whilst we can’t control what happens to us during birth, we can definitely make decisions that will influence it. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you give birth, or even how you give birth – the difference between a positive birth and a negative or traumatic birth is how you feel about your experience.
If you feel in control, and that decisions are made with you instead of for you, if you know what to expect and how to ask the right questions to make informed decisions, then you are much more likely to feel that giving birth was a positive experience.
Make the environment work for you
Think about your senses – what can you smell, taste, touch, see, and hear that are going to make you feel calm and relaxed. Oxytocin – the hormone needed to fuel labour and make labour feel good — is a shy hormone. It needs quiet, cosy, private spaces to show itself, so dim the lights, get your fairy lights out, play positive affirmations or any music that makes you feel good, use essential oils, pack some tasty treats in your birth bag, and get into your comfiest birth clothes.
Choose your birth partner wisely
Birth partners can make or break your birth experience. It’s not going to be very calming for you if you have to deal with a birth partner who’s in the corner freaking out. That’s going to impart a high level of stress and slow down your labour. You need someone who is there to support you, who has your back, who will protect your birth space so you can birth calmly and undisturbed.
Even better, choose a birth partner who is willing to attend a hypnobirthing course with you. Yes, you might be having a baby with another person, and the baby is theirs as well, but the birth is always going to be yours. As much as they would like to, they are not the one birthing this baby – you are.
It’s your body, your baby, your birth, your choice. As they say, “You do you” and choose someone who gets and supports that! A birth partner can be anyone; your romantic partner, a friend, relative, colleague, you can even hire support in the form of a Doula.
“I love the affirmation, ‘My partner is by my side and on my side.’ So choose wisely.”
— Gemma Bowers, Owner, Mind and Body Hypnobirthing
One of my favourite things about hypnobirthing is learning that as the birth person, all you need to do is breathe. Just breathe, relax your mind and let your body do the rest. Breathing will make a huge difference to your comfort level during birth. On a full course you’ll learn practical breathing techniques for a more effective and better birth. Once you understand why breathing and relaxing is so important, you’ll be able to achieve this so your body can work smoothly, and comfortably as it is designed to do.
Make a birth plan
Or, as we like to call them in the hypnobirthing world, “birth preferences,” because that’s exactly what they are — your preferences for how you’d like to give birth. Making a birth plan is important for two reasons:
Your midwives / doctors know what your birth wishes are so they can support you to achieve a birth that’s right for you
You are prepared for whatever turn your birth journey takes.
When writing your birth plan, remember to include things such as your choice of where to give birth, the type of birth you would prefer, as well as your preferences about more medically-managed situations.
To help you get started, I have a free birth plan template for you to download and edit,along with a fully-completed sample birth plan to give you an idea of the sorts of things you need to write.
Contact me today to learn more about how I can support your desire for a calm, positive birth experience!
Mind and Body Birthing offers accessible hypnobirthing courses to help you feel calm and confident as you prepare for birth as a positive and empowering experience.