As a Mother of four and someone who has been teaching hypnobirthing and birth education classes in Teesside and the North East for over 10 years - here are my top 5 tips for preparing for labour and birth.
1- Learn about labour and birth.
Learn about the process of labour and what to expect - this will help you to feel more prepared. Sometimes the fear of the unknown is actually worse! A good birth education class can take the mystery and worry out of the whole thing.
2 - Talk to Your Birth Partner
Talk to your birth partner about what you'd like to happen during labour and how they can help on the day. They can support you much better if they have an idea what your preferences are and what you'd like them to do on the day. Find out more about how birth partners can prepare and read some real life birth partners comments here
3 - Work on Your Mindset
Boost your birthing confidence by learning positive ways to shift your mindset. Self hypnosis techniques can be a very powerful way of boosting your confidence and feeling more in control. By working with hypnosis we can access the parts of the mind where old outdated habits and fears are stored, and reframe them so that you automatically feel better about birth. We all know that it would help to feel calmer about birth but hypnosis actually helps you achieve this, by taking control of the subconscious programming around birth.
4 - Focus on Your Own Story
During pregnancy you may find an abundance of people willing to share their stories with you - not always positive ones. People love to off-load their own fears and doubts and sometimes they can forget that we may not want to hear all the bad stuff as we prepare for birth. Equally - the positive stories don't mean you have to do birth the same way. Just because someone else has a really positive story, remember, your birth can be as equally positive if it happens in a completely different way. I think this is really important when reading all the good straightforward birth stories - yours might be completely different but you can still feel good about it. Keep in mind that this upcoming birth is your own unique experience.
5 - Tame Those Fears
Preparing for birth in a positive way doesn't mean you can't have fears and doubts -it's what you do with them that counts. get those fears out in the open before the birth and this will go a long way towards helping you have a good birth experience. Talk to your Midwife about anything that is worrying you about what may happen during birth. Addressing your fears can help make them more manageable - so they don't get in the way during birth.