The latest research suggests preparing for labour using Complementary Medicine makes differences in birthing outcomes. Here, we continue our look at the Basics of Birth Preparation with one of the most important tips – Relaxation.
Relaxation TRUMPS EVERYTHING. A relaxed mind means a relaxed cervix. Do yourself a favour and give yourself something to practice before you go into labour that relaxes you. This could be anything from swimming to walking, yoga to meditation, massages to acupuncture, facials to warm baths. The bottom line is any relaxation strategy is better than nothing when it comes to preparing for labour.
If you practice relaxation, its like a well worn path in your brain. It really is – and becomes a neural pathway that is strong and familiar to your nervous system. The more you do relaxation, the easier it is for your body to drop into it again the next time. And when that next time is your labour – things fall into place much faster.
Relaxation avoids the whole fear-tension-pain cycle, which will slow your labour down.
Relaxation gets you using your breathing better which is the key to a labour with less pain perception, shorter delivery time, more efficient contractions and better coping mechanisms. It makes you a pro when it comes to preparing for labour.
Your Relaxation – Think About:
- Pre-natal Yoga Classes – research showed a minimum of 6 weeks Pre-natal Yoga anywhere up to 12 weeks is great for birth preparation.
- Breath Practice; the Calmbirth ‘Calm Breathing’ or simply practice exhaling longer than you inhale. eg Breathe in for 4 and out for 5. Breathing with a belly can be challenging, but you may notice that you get better at it with practice.
- Relaxation techniques: Yoga, Meditation classes, download a meditation app, hypnobirthing app, listen to hypnobirthing positive affirmations CD, the Calmbrth CD
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
- Gentle exercise
- Warm baths
- Acupuncture sessions – take a look at my Pre- Birth Acupuncture blog post here.
- Connect with your baby – put your hands on your belly, close your eyes and talk to the baby in your mind, as if you would soothe them if they were on the outside.
- Practice makes perfect, or as Calmbirth says: “Practice makes permanent.”
- Did I mention Practice?!? 🙂
The benefits of practicing relaxation techniques include in the event of something happening during the labour or if the midwives plans change, you are able to access resources for coping better with stress, or decisions that weren’t part of the “plan”. You can think clearer and make well-informed decisions and can let go of a situation that in reality is not under your control.
Being ‘present’ at your birth, being flexible in your attitude towards your birth and especially being calm are the makings of a wonderful birthing outcome.
To check out my blog posts on Pre-birth Acupuncture, Labour Preparation Part 1 or Perineal Massage by clicking their respective links. Or to make contact with me to make appointments or ask questions, email me here.
You can go straight through to my store to pre-purchase Acupuncture Labour Induction treatments for yourself or give the gift of Relaxation for a mother-to-be with a Gift Certificate here.