I like to be prepared as possible and that was no different for childbirth. I sought advice and help from my Naturopath, Miranda Myles at Carlton Natural Health and also did a lot of research into ways to make labour ‘easier’.
I think that everyone has very different views on pregnancy and what kind of labour they want to have and I am very much of the philosophy that no way is the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.
When I fell pregnant I was absolutely terrified at the thought of going through labour and how much pain I would be in. Immediately I thought that I would book in for an elective caesarean which to me seemed like a way that I could control the situation.
As the pregnancy went on I did some research, spoke to my doctor, Scott Pearce and decided that I wanted to have a natural drug free labour. I was still absolutely terrified though!!!
Here is how I prepared for the birth of Max…
I was referred to Hypnobirthing classes by a friend who raved about the positive experience his friends who did the classes had had. Upon looking into them I decided that this was definitely the path I wanted to go down.
Hypnobirthing is as much a philosophy of birthing as it is techniques. When a mother and her birth companion are able to approach their birth without fear and with knowledge, good support, and tools for the birth – then their birthing can be a positive and empowering experience. (1)
You can read more about Hypnobirthing here
I enrolled in classes with Kate Jones from Believing Achieving and am so glad that I found such a lovely, supportive and knowledgeable teacher. Kate taught my partner and I the Hypnobirthing techniques over four classes from about 27 weeks. After the first class my whole mindset towards childbirth had changed, I felt confident and was looking forward to childbirth. This feeling intensified over the remainder of my pregnancy. As part of learning to Hypnobirthing techniques I listened to mediation tracks and affirmations every day. To some people I spoke to about Hypnobirthing they thought it sounded a little hippyish and way out but it really wasn’t!! If you do one thing to prepare for childbirth whatever path you are planning to take, I highly recommend enrolling in Hypnobirthing classes.
At the start of my last trimester I recommenced weekly acupuncture sessions with Miranda. Acupuncture is proven to prime your body for labour and delivery. Studies show that women who receive regular acupuncture during the third trimester typically have a shorter and less complicated labour.
Midwives tell us that women having treatment have more efficient contractions, their cervix softens and opens smoothly and the pelvic ligaments do not strain. Labour room statistics show: Acupuncture reduces the length of time women spend in labour, especially women having their first delivery and there is a noticeable reduction in medical intervention, including induction of labour, use of epidural anesthesia and cesarean delivery.
Read more at http://www.bubhub.com.au/hubbub-blog/acupuncture-during-pregnancy/#iMYKtS5KrTOUiszm.99
Partus Prep Herbal Tonic
Starting at 34 weeks I took partus prep herbs which were prescribed to me by Miranda. Partus preparators (partus meaning ‘labour’, preparators meaning ‘preparatory’) are a mixture of herbs used during the last weeks of pregnancy to tone and prepare the uterus for labour and expedite recovery. Anything that had the potential to speed up my labour and recovery sounded good to me!!!
Raspberry Leaf Tea
Like the partus prep herbs, raspberry leaf tea is also said to help tone and prepare the uterus for labour. I also drank one cup of this everyday from 34 weeks.
I kept as active as possible right up to and including the day I went into labour. Not only did this make me feel good mentally, I also believe that it helped me to get through labour. Keeping fit and healthy is said to help your body better cope with childbirth.
Next up will be part three- My labour story