Jan 29

Hello pregnant women and enthusiastic men, welcome to the wonderful world of birth!  I love chatting about birth and I am passionate ab

out women normalising birth and believing in their body.  What amazing, fantastic bodies women have!

In today’s post I would love to give you the best tools that I have found to work as coping strategies during your birthing journey.  If you scroll down to my last post you will find great pieces of information on preparing for your birth, this post is for you during your birth.  Sit back and relax while you learn from my 10years of wisdom with birthing women.

I have personally had the privilege of helping hundreds of women to give birth, I am still in awe of the birthing process and even have a tear in my eyes when I see a baby enter the world today, it is truly beautiful.  Below I will list the stages of labour and what works to relieve pain naturally.  I will not go into medications as I am reserving this post for your natural instincts to come out.  Just remember the best thing to do for yourself in labour is to prepare your mind before hand.  Research different ways in which you can tap into your abundant strengths.  Have a look at my eBook on natural birth if you would like to know a few different avenues to get your education started.

 

Stage 1 – up to 8cm dilated

This stage is the body’s way to get you into the rhythm of labour.  You need to allow yourself to enter your body and become one with your birth.  Allowing this “letting go” will give you strength, it will give you power and it will give you the ability to advance more quickly in your labour.  This stage is your body’s way of gearing up for the whole process.  You body needs a starting point and this is it.  Below is a list of things that you can do during this phase of labour.

  • Rest – help conserve your energy especially if it is the middle of the night.  No need to get up and start pacing the floor and waking everyone up.  Just stay in bed and breath as you contractions slowly was over you in waves.  If you stay relaxed during these early contractions you will be much more likely to stay relaxed as labour progresses forward.

  • Think positive thoughts – tell yourself you can do this and give yourself encouragement.  It is a lot better than fearing what is to come.  Your power is in the moment, you can set yourself for your birth just by the way you think about how it is going in the present moment.

  • If during the day – continue with your daily activities this will normalise everything.  Eat, drink, and move around, do the washing, gardening or take a nice walk in the park.  Make sure you have someone around that will mirror your calm demeanour; this will help you to stay calm.

  • Water – when the contractions start to pick up, thank your body for moving forward in your birth journey, this will empower you and help keep you positive.  Also have showers or a bath to relax; I would avoid the bath if you have just started contractions as this can cause them to halt.  The shower is a great way to stay centred and relaxed as you feel the running water on your body.

  • Massage and touch – get your partner to massage you (have a look at my previous post to learn some great tips with massage).  Relax while they touch you and think of how your wonderful body is responding to your birth.  Touch your belly and talk to your baby, ask your baby to work with you as a team so your labour can be quick, easy and empowering.

     

Transition – 8cm to fully dilated

During this part of stage1 your body will be transitioning to allow your baby to enter the world.  Your will feel like you are on a roller coaster of contractions that seem never ending.  I find the best way to cope with this is to just turn within.  Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.  Say to yourself over and over that it you can do it and you are nearly there.  Hold your partners hand and focus on their strong, capable hands that will help you through this.  Just remember this stage is short lived and is bringing you closer to the joy of seeing your baby for the first time.

 

Stage 2 – fully dilated to the birth of your baby

You feel wide awake and alert in this stage so you should take advantage of this and really listen to your midwife.  The key to this stage is position change.  Use gravity to help your baby come down the birth canal and change positions often to maximise your pelvic outlet.  When you feel the huge urge to push, just allow your body to do it and go with it.  It is really like opening your bowels, this is where you need to push.  And yes, most women do open their bowels when pushing but don’t worry it is meant to happen and normal.  Try sitting on the toilet when you feel the urge to open your bowls, it is a good place to push and you won’t feel like you need to hold back.

 

 

Stage 3 – the birth of your placenta

Ahhhhhh, this feels so great!!  Just concentrate on breastfeeding your baby as this will release oxytocins in your blood stream and you will have a little contraction that will release your placenta and it will slide out.  No bones in this one!  Your midwife will coach you when you are birthing your placenta.  Just make sure you ask to look at it, it is a wonderful organ that has kept your baby alive and growing.  You might even like to take it home and bury it under your favourite tree to honour this magnificent part of your pregnancy.

 

Well, I hope this has helped you during your labour.  Let me know if you used something else that I haven’t written and that other women can learn from. 

Take care and enjoy your birth,

Loretta

 

Jan 22

I wanted to give you a quick reference re

source

to help you plan for your birth.  This list will help keep you organised and also make you aware of some of the most important things you must know before you have your baby.  I have broken it up into 3 parts, Preparation for Birth, Preparation for breastfeeding and preparation for taking your baby home.

 

Preparation for Birth

1.        Positive Mindset – Change thought patterns to positives by recognising what you fear and then counteract this with a   positive affirmation.  Repeat this 100’s of times a day so all you think of is positive thoughts.  Believe in your body and your baby, you were able to get pregnant therefore, you will be able to give birth.  Your body is a powerful and you are too, remember this and trust in it.  See my blog post on Staying Positive. 

2.       Position of your Baby – Adopt positions where your belly hangs.  Your baby’s back is heavy and allowing your belly to hang will bring your baby’s back towards the front of your belly.  This will cause your baby to tuck its head in towards its chest and the smallest part of its head will sit on the cervix evenly allowing you to go into labour without too much delay and make your labour quicker and more regular.  Gentle walking will keep you fit and ready for your journey of birth.  Yoga and stretching will help keep your muscles supple and allow you to be in any position that is comfortable to you during your birth.  Purchase a DVD that you can use at home or go to a pregnancy yoga class to learn great stretches and breathing techniques. 

3.       Good Support People – Have your partner present but also have a midwife or a doula whom you can trust to attend your birth.  Whether you are at home or in hospital, having a person that is a constant during your birth and someone you trust will allow you to switch off and go inwards to your birthing body.  This will give you a quicker labour and a

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great outcome. 

4.       Practice Massage – This is fun, get your partner to massage your lower back and shoulders and let him/her to find out what you like, this will help in your birth as you will used to their touch.  When you are being massaged, learn to relax and go into a state of complete calm.  This will be a trigger for you when you are in labour, as soon as your partner touches you, your body will know to relax.

 

Preparation for Breastfeeding

1.        Inspect your Breasts – You don’t need to do anything to physically prepare your breasts, they are perfect just as they are.  Just stand in the mirror and look at them, look at the shape, the nipple and feel them, get used to holding them in your hand.  They will be doing an amazing job of completely nourishing your baby.  Only a very small percentage of women cannot breastfeed and it is usually because of a medical condition.  If you were able to get pregnant and you have had breast changes during your pregnancy then you will be able to breastfeed.  

 2.       Learn about Attachment – Attaching your baby to your breast correctly is the most important part of breastfeeding.  If your baby is attached correctly he/she will get enough milk, will stimulate you to produce more, will sleep and prevent nipple damage.  Look out for my next couple of blogs where I will be talking about attachment.  A good resource is www.drjacknewman.com 

3.       Go to an Antenatal Breastfeeding Class – Attending a class on breastfeeding will put you miles ahead.  The class will go through attachment and positioning but the main focus should be on what to expect in the first few weeks.  If you are prepared then if won’t seem difficult and you will know what you are doing.  Learning to breastfeed when  you have gone through labour and are sleep deprived is difficult, take some of the pressure off and learn about the basics before you have your baby.

 

Preparation for Taking your Baby Home

1.        Support – Don’t be worried if you haven’t got it all sorted before you leave hospital, breastfeeding will take at least 2 weeks before you feel really confident.  Take the pressure off yourself and make sure you know where you can turn if you have problems when you get home.  Find out where your local child health clinic is or where you can find a lactation consultant.  Make sure you get support early so any problems don’t turn into big ones. 

2.       Learn the basics of Breastfeeding – Make sure you know how to attach your baby correctly on your own, you may need some help arranging pillows once you have baby attached but your partner can do this.  Stay in hospital until your milk comes in (about day 3) as this can pose some challenges if you become engorged and tight.  Your midwife or lactation consultant at the hospital can give you advice on this.  Please stay in hospital or if at home, have help handy when you are learning to feed, it is these early days that your nipples can get damaged to you want to prevent this as best as you can.  Remember, you have never had anyone sucking on your breasts so you are going to feel a little tender, this will get better as your breasts settle down and get used to feeding.  Give it time, it won’t magically happen overnight, be kind to yourself and remember that breastfeeding is a learned behaviour.  My next couple of blogs will give  you great insight into the first few days of your baby’s life. 

3.       Sleep – You will be sleep deprived but your body will get used to this.  Try and sleep as much as possible when your baby is down.  Don’t stay up all day and expect to sleep all night.  Your baby won’t sleep through the night until at least 4 months as they need breast during this time.  Your baby may not sleep through until they are 3years of age or older, don’t worry you will get there.  Just maximise the time when you can sleep.  Get your partner to put your baby to bed so you can breastfeed and then go straight to sleep.  I know it is hard to sleep every time your baby does so choose once or twice during the day where you can rest, then go to bed early at night.  It will get better, just go with it. 

I hope this list has given you some food for thought.  I have compiled it using my 23 years of registered nursing, midwifery and lactation consultant experience.  If you have any further questions on birth or breastfeeding or anything please leave me an email, I would love to help.

Take care and happy mothering,

Loretta

 

Jan 15

Natural birth in Hospital – Is it possible?  Yes!  Women all over the world birth naturally wherever they are living.  It could be a straw hut, a stream, a mansion, a castle and yes a hospital.

It is n

ot about the where you birth it is about how prepared you are for YOUR birth, and I don’t mean prepared in the sense of bringing your packed bag, your music and comfy pillow!  I mean your mind, your mind, ladies, is the key to having the birth you want, wherever you want it.

Why do women worry so much about the nursery, the colour of the cot and if it co-ordinates with the change table.  Women can focus so much on this, but I believe it is all a distraction from the real issue……………….fear of birth!

I don’t mean to be abrupt, but I am sick and tired of where birth is heading and what information women are getting.  It is easy to have the birth you truly want, but it is also easy to be put off the path by other women, health professionals and family members.

So, what is my point?  Well it is that women and men should shift their focus off the material things and put it into planning for the birth they want.  It is not going to matter what rocking chair you sit on when nursing your baby, it is going to be the thoughts in your head of how your birth unfolded and whether you were empowered by it or let down.

So your first step is to go to my website at www.child-birth-otptions.com and sign up for your free mini course on Natural Birthing.  It has all the tools for you to have an amazing birth and it will open your eyes to possibilites that you would never have imagined.

Secondly, you need to immerse yourself in positive thoughts surrounding your upcoming birth.  The way to do this is to firstly start in your mind, really take note to what your mind is saying to you and write it down.  Keep a journal and put all your thoughts in it, this will show you exactly how you feel about birth.  Once you know what your sub-conscious is doing you can then attack the root of your fear. 

Thirdly, you now need to counteract these thoughts with positive affirmations.  For example:

Your sub-conscious is saying “How can I fit this growing baby out of my body”

Your new affirmation is “My body is growing and changing and opens up easily to allow my beautiful baby to enter the world”

When you write your affirmation make sure it is written as if it has already happened, this will give your mind a head start and will strive for this outcome.  The whole key to this is persistence, it has taken a long time for you to materialise your thoughts on birth so it will take some time to change them.  Write your affirmations down, put them on the fridge, in the bathroom and in your car or put a

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reminder in your phone to go off each morning.  Make these affirmations the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night.

Natural birth can be achieved in any setting you just have to mentally plan for it.  Wherever you have your baby you will always have your mind and your education that you have done, you cannot forget this or leave it at home, it will become part of you and give you the strength, courage and determination to have the birth you want.

Your mind is so powerful, it will manifest everything you think of whether positive or not.  Good luck and let me know how it turns out for you.  I am always interested to hear how women are going in their pregnancy and how their birth went.  If you have any questions please let me know and I will answer them for you.

I have a whole stack of great content on natural birth planning and breastfeeding in the first few days and few weeks of your baby’s life.  So make sure you check back here to pick up some excellent tips on breastfeeding in the first few days of life. 

Take care,

Loretta