Whether childbirth is natural, medical or surgical a women deserves to be emotionally at peace with her birth for the rest of her life.

  1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and support your birth plan. You need to be relaxed and comfortable so limit it to people you know and trust.
  2. Labour is meant to be Active! Keep moving, changing positions, and taking bathroom breaks. Your doula should be encouraging position changes, and bathroom trips every hour.
  3. Listen to your body. You are the expert of you and your baby. You are the most qualified person at your birth to know exactly what to do. Ask your support person to remind you of this. Get into positions that feel most natural to you. Avoid making decisions based on what you “should” do. Relax, take a deep breathe, and take time to “listen in” before making a decision. Your doula should remind you to ask “BRAN” to make informed choices (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Nothing).
  4. Breathing is helpful holding your breath is not. Again, listen to your body. Relax your jaw, mouth,and throat, focus on your breathe and being in a calm relaxed state. This allows the cervix and pelvis to open perfectly with ease.
  5. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize. I cannot stress the importance of this enough.  During a surge visualize your breath being directed down into your uterus, down through your pelvis. Visualize the muscles on top of your uterus gently nudging your baby down and under your pubic bone. Visualise your cervix as a flower opening and expanding as rose would. Finding a certified hypnobirthing instructor in your area is key to mastering visualizations for birth.
  6. Every contraction or surge  is independent of the other. Take it moment by moment. Surender to the process and remember with each surge you are closer to meeting your baby. When you are calm and relaxed nutrient and oxygen rich blood is able to flow to your uterus and baby. Tension, fear and anxiety is counterproductive and shunts blood towards the muscles in your arms and legs.
  7. When you feel like you won’t be able to continue this for much longer, remember you won’t have to!. At this point you are likely at the peak of your labour and the birth of you baby is near. You’re closer than you think. And you get closer with each surge.
  8. Encourage touch. After the birth, ensure baby is kept with you and encourage skin-to-skin contact. Unless urgent routine screenings can wait. The first 90 minutes after birth and critical for breastfeeding initiation and success.
  9. Utilize natural alternatives. Today is all about you and your baby. Hire a doula who knows massage and acupressure. Have acupuncture done before and during labour to relax your tendons, relieve muscle tension and facilitate the natural birthing process.

Allow yourself to receive all the love and support around you. Make clear choices, be confident and trust you are doing everything right. You deserve the best supportive care possible.  There is no right or wrong way, listen to your body and and honor yourself.