Like many women, I’m fascinated by reading and hearing others’ birth experiences. I want to know all the juicy details, absorb every second from the very beginning to the very end.
However, whilst I’ve listened or read a gazillion negative ones, I’ve only ever heard three positive ones in my 31 years on this earth. JUST. THREE. POSITIVE. ONES. (One was from my next day neighbour who told me she popped out her four kids “like peas”. That was a new one.)
I’ve also watched far too many dramatic episodes of One Born Every Minute and gawd do I wish I could erase those from memory. I’m adding my story to the mix to hopefully encourage any anxious mums-to-be, or anyone hoping to have children at any point, that giving birth doesn’t need to be feared – labour can and should be a beautiful thing.
It’s not always going to be of course, and complications are very real and sometimes uncontrollable, but there is a very real possibility that your experience could be a good one and you should know that.
*Spoiler alert*: mine was.
I truly believe that hypnobirthing and the understanding of the hormones at play during labour, which I learned through hypnobirthing, are to thank for that.
Additional alert: this is a long-ass post because the details are important!
Without further ado…
A Bit of Background – I’ve Always Been TERRIFIED of Labour
With all the negative talk around giving birth, is it any wonder that most of us are miserably anticipating an awful experience? I certainly didn’t begin my pregnancy by expecting it to be anything less than horrific. I was terrified of the perceived pain, which for me stemmed from an injury I endured back in 2013. I dislocated my knee suddenly and unexpectedly in a very public setting (a story for another time!) and it was utterly traumatic to say the least. The pain was unlike anything I’ve ever felt – it was excruciating. In addition to that trauma were a bunch of emotional side effects that I suffered for months afterwards.
How could my body fail me so cruelly and publicly? How come the morphine didn’t even take the edge off? How could hospitals be so scary and lonely? Why did the doctors take so long to get to me and communicate what was happening? How could a night and the weeks and months that followed unfold without me having any input or control over them? (I’m a planner by nature).
That single event had as much impact on me emotionally as it did physically, which was a two year healing process, thousands of dollars spent on physio and, eventually, an operation.
“As Painful as Childbirth”
I once read on an online forum about joint dislocations that they are “as painful as childbirth”. Add that remark to the years of stories I’d heard about the pain (‘traumatic’, ‘horrific’, ‘unbearable’ ‘my friend is in therapy for the PTSD…’ etc.) and it’s no wonder I was waking up in night sweats during the early months of my pregnancy. When I told my best friend over lunch that I was pregnant, I bawled uncontrollably in the middle of a busy London restaurant. Rather than feeling overjoyed about the baby I really wanted, my focus was on the few hours that would enable me to bring him or her into the world. Being the wise lady that my BFF is, she suggested I get therapy.
Seeking Help During Pregnancy
During a holiday to New Zealand at four months’ pregnant, my stomach began to grow and my anxiety and panic grew along with it. It became even more real that I was going to have to get this thing out of me. In hindsight it saddens me that I spent so much time and energy focusing on that rather than the miracle that I was growing, but these fears were very real. One night on our trip, I got connected to the camp site wifi and started googling ‘Therapists in Cambridge’. I decided that it was time to get professional help for my apprehension.
I am lucky enough to live in a city where there are professional birth-related therapists, as well as a charity offering therapy for this very issue. The fact that this charity exists goes to show how wide-spread these fears are among mums-to-be.
I contacted the charity and was offered 6 complimentary sessions to work through my issues. I’ve never attended therapy before and I had no idea what to expect. It was nerve-wracking entering that first session, where I broke into tears as I relayed my concerns around pain and giving birth. Luckily, my therapist was a former midwife and had seen and heard it all. Over the next 5 months, I attended 5 sessions with her where we worked out where my worrisome thoughts had come from and how I could move forward.
They were almost certainly from my knee injury, but also from a lifetime of hearing negative birthing stories. Over the course of my pregnancy we worked through a bunch of exercises to quiet my fretful mind and managed to change my approach to the impending birth significantly.
I would recommend to any mum-to-be who is feeling anxiety beyond normal levels to invest in therapy – even if it’s just a couple of sessions. This mental preparation played a huge part in my positive experience.
One of the things my therapist suggested outside of her sessions was that I tried hypnobirthing. I was willing to give anything a go, so I went right ahead and bought the book and CDs from Maggie Howell’s series, Natal Hypnotherapy.
Hypnobirthing + Pregnancy Yoga + NCT (It takes a village…)
They say it takes a village to raise a child – well I believe it takes a village to nurture a Mum-to-be into one of the most upheaving and chaotic times of her life, too! In my antenatal preparation arsenal I not only attended therapy, I took a weekly pregnancy yoga class, attended 8 NCT classes, and listened to the hypnobirthing CDs a few times a week for about 4 months.
This might sound like overkill to some people, but I believe that with my levels of anxiety and my personal nature (I prefer to over-plan than feel like I’m going to be caught short), this worked for me. If you think about the birth like a marathon – people spend several months training and preparing for the day in a variety of physical and mental ways – well it’s fair to say that I approached labour in the same way!
One of the main things that helped me was the introduction and first chapter of Maggie’s book Effective Birth Preparation. The beginning of the book talks about how birth is both perceived and conducted in traditional societies versus our modern society. It explains how we are simply mammals, and that birth should be a mammalian process whereby our conscious brain switches off, we relinquish fear and we let our body take over to do what it knows to do best. After all, if we are feeling fearful, our fight or flight response will kick in and labour will stop progressing or even stop until we feel safe again. Makes a whole lot of sense, right?
Onto the Birth…
39 weeks + 6 days = Labour Day
I woke up the day before my due date thinking that I might go into labour that day. Not due to any physical symptoms, I just felt ready. In hindsight, the day before I had felt very hot and quite spaced out – I was trying to tell a story to some friends and was having trouble forming sentences – perhaps this was a dead giveaway that labour was near?!
The morning started quite normally for a day on maternity leave; I took the dog to the park, then went to register baby at a nursery (the last thing on my to-do list!) before coming home for lunch. My sister laughed at me as I kept missing my mouth and got soup all down my top – clumsiness certainly was another sign of the imminent event. I felt really hot all morning but I had had quite a high temperature all throughout my pregnancy so I didn’t think anything of it.
Early Signs of Labour
After lunch we were heading into town, and I went to the loo before we left the house. There I had “the show”. This is basically the plug of mucus from your cervix coming away – it looks similar to the beginning of your period – and was a sign that things were going to be happening soon. I felt excited but reminded myself to remain calm – I knew that labour could still be hours away.
Hypnobirthing teaches you to stay as calm and relaxed as possible during labour in order to reduce Adrenaline (the hormone that has been proven to increase pain) and increase Oxytocin (a hormone that can help to reduce pain). So the three of us – me, my husband and sister – carried on with our plans and I drove us all into town. B was attending a talk at the university at 3pm so we dropped him off at the business school and he switched his phone onto silent for it. (Hint – rookie mistake!)
While sis and I were walking round town, I started getting texts from a bunch of friends. Each one said they were thinking of me, hoping I was ok. One dear friend texted to say she had had a dream that we were on a boat together and I wanted to get off to have my baby. I was relaxed and calm and we all made it to shore where we were safe and it was all positive. I was thrilled to hear from friends far and wide – and this particular message made me feel safe and loved. In hypnobirthing speak, my Oxytocin levels were running pretty high!
High Oxytocin Levels = The Gush
While B attended the talk, my sister and I went for a coffee where we chewed the cud and had a really lovely chat about life and love. As I paid the bill and got up to leave… my waters broke. Was it a coincidence that this happened whilst I was hanging out with one of my favourite people on earth? Perhaps, but I suspect the Oxytocin I no doubt released from chatting with my sister may have helped. Side note – Oxytocin is associated with love-making and sex (it’s released during orgasm and is one of the reasons that sex is thought to help induce labour in the late stages of pregnancy), but it’s also the hormone you release when hanging out with friends, stroking pets or generally any time you feel “the warm and fuzzies” of life.
SO many people had told me that labour doesn’t happen like it does in the movies – your waters won’t break in public – but in fact, for me, it did. Your waters can break any time once you’re in labour – most people’s break once they’ve began their contractions and it usually happens in the hospital, but my baby apparently wanted to make a dramatic entrance into the world. So there I was, in a coffee shop in a mall on a busy Friday afternoon feeling like I’ve just wet myself. In complete shock, I looked to the bathroom which had a big ‘OUT OF ORDER’ sign on it and told my sister to “walk, fast!”.
Luckily I was wearing tapered trousers, so the water didn’t gush everywhere. But in case you’re wondering, it definitely felt like a gush.
We power-walked out of the coffee shop and to the nearby library to use the facilities there. After dropping off my library books (I don’t know why I thought this was more important that finding the loos!), I went to the toilet and confirmed that that wasn’t wee in my knickers – hint – it smells like sperm. Ewww… but true.
I knew that this was just the beginning and that it could still be hours before labour really kicked in (this was 4pm, and there were no contractions yet). I was adamant that I wanted to stay relaxed and not increase my Adrenaline levels, something that has been proven to inhibit the progression of labour and increase the level of pain. So I insisted that we stay in town and carry on our day as usual until the contractions started. Yep, even though I was wearing soggy, sperm-smelling knickers…Please don’t judge me for this! It was a bit mad in hindsight, but I couldn’t stand the thought of just going home and waiting for things to happen.
Instead I kept thinking ‘I need to carry on as usual’ and silently repeated my hypnobirthing mantra taken from the hypnobirthing CD: “3-2-1, Relax”.
Keep Calm and Carry On Shopping
We went off to the market and picked up some fruit and generally dilly dallied around some of the stalls. I then had a sudden, intense craving for bread. I’d read somewhere that scrambled eggs on toast is a good pre-labour meal, and I was a bit fixated on having this for dinner. The bread stall was unfortunately closed as it was past 4pm at this point, so I took this as a sign and finally called B and told him I thought we should go home. Luckily his event had just finished, so he said he’d meet us at the car.
At this point, water was still trickling out of me. I was soaking wet by the time we reached the car (imagine wearing a swimming costume and them putting your clothes over the top of it) and I just wanted to get home. Sitting on a plastic bag, my husband drove – and then we hit traffic. Friday night roads in Cambridge are notoriously bad and I have never wanted to be home so much in my life. I started having what felt like mild period pains – the first contractions – but they were super light and I was still convinced that labour was a long way off.
Call the Midwife
When we got home, I called the midwife and she suggested I go to the hospital for an assessment. At about 5.45 we drove to the hospital where I gave a urine sample and swab test, and everything looked normal so the midwife told me to go home and rest. She had booked an induction for 24 hours’ time (there is a risk of infection if you don’t go into labour shortly after your waters break), but she also said I could postpone it until 48 hours’ time if I wanted to. Basically, she thought that labour could happen in the next 72 hours. I was still really relaxed at this point and in no pain whatsoever.
At 6.30pm we drove home from the hospital, stopping off at the shop for bread. I was still craving eggs on toast – (fixated I tell you!) and when we got home I gobbled up a huge plate of eggs, tofu, cheese and toast. I was wanting protein in a big way. I was still having mild twinges (period-like pains) at this point, but barely anything. As I was eating, I realised I was finding it difficult to focus on my sister’s conversation and decided to go have a lie down.
At 7pm, I got into bed and put on my hypnobirthing CD to relax. My dog came in the room, and though he’s not usually allowed on the bed, I invited him up for a cuddle. Within minutes, my contractions started. I wasn’t timing them but it felt like they were coming 3 times in 10 minutes. “3 in 10” is the rule the midwives tell you – meaning it’s time to call the hospital. My sister heard me grunting through the contractions from the next room (a surprise to me, but grunting seemed to help manage the discomfort!), and then she came into the room to time them.
3 in 10!
“They’re coming 3 minutes apart”, she told me. I wasn’t convinced that this could be it though – they had only just started! How could they be so close together already? I carried on listening to the CD and practicing the visualisation that I had been working on for months – picturing myself on a quiet, warm and relaxing beach. When it got to the bit in the CD that said “you may even find the surges pleasurable” (surges being hypnobirthing speak for contractions) I told my sister to switch it off! They weren’t awful, but they certainly weren’t pleasurable. Still, I appreciated the positivity!
B then phoned the birthing centre where a midwife asked to talk me through a contraction. Annoyingly, this one was really short. She timed it as 30 seconds, and advised that I phone again when they were 45-60 seconds’ long. She suggested that I take a paracetamol and get in the bath to ease the pain. I told B to have some dinner as I thought it was going to be a long night ahead and he’d need his stamina! First he ran the bath for me and I got in for one contraction before overheating – I was really hot and I hated being in the warm water so I jumped right out again.
B went and cooked his own dinner while I sat breathing through the contractions on the landing upstairs with my sister. Then, the worst possible smell imaginable came wafting up the stairs – B was cooking seaweed and fish and it was the worst odour ever! I’ve since learned that your sense of smell is heightened in labour, and while I was focusing on breathing “in through the nose, out through the mouth” I couldn’t have imagined a worse smell to inhale! In between contractions I began screaming at him “fish?! fish?!” – I was pretty mad 😉
The next few contractions were timed at a minute long and as I got back into bed I had this feeling that we needed to go to the hospital. People always want to know when it’s the right time to go to the hospital, and the answer given is usually “you’ll just know”. I never understood what that meant until I experienced it. I wanted to get to the hospital, pronto, but I also had this nagging feeling they weren’t going to let me go in since I’d only been having contractions for about 20-30 minutes.
B phoned the midwife again, and when he asked if she wanted to talk to me she said “no need – I can hear her. It’s time to come in!”. I was grunting like a pissed off cow now. This is something we learned in NCT class – things are about to get exciting when the grunts turn from a pig to cow!
At this point I also had my “I can’t do this” moment. Apparently this means that it’s time to start pushing soon and is a great sign to watch out for. I remembered this and the thought that it might be close was both comforting and horrifying.
“I Need to Push!”
As I got up off the bed I suddenly felt the urge to push. This bit was really scary. I honestly thought that I might give birth on the spot. I couldn’t believe how fast it had all progressed – I had only been having contractions for about 45 minutes. I rushed down stairs in between contractions, had one downstairs leaning over my gym ball, walked to the car, and had another really strong one in the car. My dog was freaking out and I’m not surprised. His owner had not only ballooned into a heffer of a woman in the last few months – now she was grunting like a cow and flinging herself over gym balls and onto all fours!
At this point B put our hospital bags in the car and began faffing with his L plates when I screamed “there’s no time for that! Caroline, you drive!” and we rapidly set off for the hospital. I sat in the back of the car clinging on to the baby car seat the whole way. En route to the hospital I had another urge to push and I could feel his head between my legs. This baby was ready to come out of me! Luckily, we live a 5 minute drive from the hospital – I don’t know what we would have done had we lived the other side of town. That 5 minutes was pretty uncomfortable, but what was scarier was the thought of having baby on the side of the road.
My sister kept telling me to “breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth” – which is SO basic but was so helpful as I forgot everything I knew the moment a contraction began. Your conscious brain just seems to switch off and your primal brain takes over. This is actually the goal of hypno birthing, to relax and let your body do what it needs to do – after all it knows what to do better than you do.
Crawling into the Hospital
We parked up right in front of the birthing centre and I practically fell out of the car. Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting down when you’re having a contraction. I flew out, leant over and grunted like a BULL this time, not giving a flying fudge who saw me.
Doctors and nurses were walking past and there was a guy on the phone outside the door – no one quite knew where to look! I got through the first set of doors at the centre and then got on to all fours. A midwife came out to meet me and said “once you’ve got through this one, please come through”. Honestly, I wanted to punch her she was so smiley!! 😉
I was shown to a room where the midwife tried to get me to lie down so that she could measure my bump – it was really uncomfortable being on my back though. My yoga teacher had told us over and over not to get on your back during labour as it is counter productive (gravity assists with the baby coming down the birth canal whilst lying horizontally naturally hinders it). She also recalled that it was really difficult to get up once you’re lying down, so it should be avoided at all costs.
I was so annoyed that they wanted to measure my bump – what was the point when I had a baby between my legs?! – but luckily, the midwife soon saw sense when she realised how far along I was. “Let’s get these clothes off, quick”, she said before examining me and announcing that I was fully dilated. It was indeed time to push – Phew! At this point, I’d been in active labour for just over an hour.
I was quickly hooked up to the monitor and my midwife calmly announced that the baby’s heart rate was dropping low. This meant that there needed to be a doctor present for the birth – and since I was in the midwife-led birthing centre I’d need to go upstairs to the delivery suite. I was calm and relaxed during the journey in the lift (which took all of 3 minutes), continuing to contract on the bed. I really felt a connection with my midwife who seemed confident in her decisions and knew what she was doing.
We reached the delivery suite where a doctor came in and said that I had 10 minutes to get the baby out before she wanted to intervene with the ventouse (a suction cap). The midwife and doctor had a slightly fractious conversation and the doctor agreed to stand outside the door and monitor my progress. I’m really grateful that the midwife was so strong and vocal about letting me try to deliver without intervention. The doctor waited in the doorway while I began to push for my life.
A Word On How to Push a Watermelon out of a Small Hole
The pushing bit is weird and it takes a while to get the hang of. Of course it does, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before, right? Well actually no… it’s like something you do quite frequently!
To put it bluntly, I was pushing through my vagina, but actually that’s not how it works. Even though that’s where baby is coming from, you need to push through your bowels. It took me quite a few pushes to get it right, and I thought I was doing a terrible job as nothing seemed to be happening. I was also aware that the doctor wanted this baby out in 10 minutes. 10 minutes! It was only when my sister screamed: “The biggest poo of your life!” that I got what I was supposed to be doing. I think this bit is key – if you take nothing else away from this story, remember when you’re pushing to pretend to be doing a number 2 not a number 1!
By the way, I was SO HOT at this point. B was fanning me and I was squeezing his hand – rather tightly it turns out. It was at this point that I began to worry about the baby’s heart rate. I told the midwife that maybe the doctor should come in and use the ventouse – I just wanted the baby out and for him or her to be safe. I also think that I was worried that I wasn’t pushing right, and that using the ventouse would be an easy way out.
The midwife told me to keep doing what I was doing and ignored my plea for the ventouse. Again, I’m so glad she did. I had written in my birth plan that I didn’t want any intervention, and while I was in the thick of it that all went out the window. But my midwife was confident in my ability to do it naturally and I’m thankful for that now.
An Out-of-Body Experience
With regards to the pain, the pushing stage was the bit I was most scared of. I’ve heard it referred to as ‘the ring of fire’ – the part where the baby’s head emerges through the va-jay-jay – and nobody wants any sort of London’s Burning re-enactment down south. However, something really surreal began to happen at this point, and I’m not entirely sure how to describe it without sounding like I was on drugs (which I wasn’t by the way – there wasn’t even time for gas and air). I began to feel as if I wasn’t really pushing, like I wasn’t on the bed or even in the room – rather that I was watching the whole thing from afar, like an out-of-body experience. There was no pain, no burning, no fire, just a feeling that I was observing the event rather than living it.
I have no idea how long I was pushing for, I simply didn’t feel any pain. That’s not to say it was easy – my sister told me afterwards that I was blue in the face and she was very concerned about a vein on my neck that was bulging rather frantically – but while it was physically demanding, I didn’t perceive it as pain. The midwife told me to hold on to the back of my legs while I pushed and I gave it my best shot. Then I said to B “I think it’s a boy” (we didn’t know what we were having) and B said that he agreed. I’m not sure if he really thought that, or if he just didn’t want to disagree with me in this moment!
Then before I knew it I was told that it was indeed a boy, my sister began crying, I had a baby on my chest… and voila! I was a mum.
Apparently G came flying out like Superman; there was no head first, shoulders next, rest of the body etc… it was all at once and with one arm in the air. He still sleeps like this sometimes, it makes me smile 🙂
Our little boy was born at 9.09pm. From the first twinges I felt to delivery was less than 4 hours.
From my first real contraction
to delivery was 2 hours 10 minutes.
It’s taken me longer to write this blog post than it took to give birth.
When the midwife asked me if I wanted tea and toast – the famous post-delivery meal that new mums practically inhale, I replied that I was still full from dinner. And I was! It literally felt like 5 minutes had passed since I was sat at the dinner table scoffing down eggs.
I phoned Mum and Dad from the bed to let them know they were grandparents. Before the cord was even cut I was already getting texts from people saying congrats – word travels fast with my Mum!
A Note About the Pain
Being in labour was uncomfortable – yes, but painful – not nearly as much as I had imagined. It was manageable. I didn’t swear once. I didn’t scream. I squeezed B’s hand pretty hard but I took only two paracetamol and never asked for more pain relief. Compared to my knee dislocation (an 11/10 for sure), it was about a 3-4/10.
So… was it the hypnobirthing that contributed to this?
I certainly think so. Here’s what I think really helped me and I would recommend:
- Reading at least the first chapter of the hypnobirthing book Effective Birth Preparation. Understanding how utterly non-conducive fear and panic is to assisting labour. Realising that it’s the most natural thing on earth and should not be feared at all.
- Understanding the hormones involved in labour and that FEAR can slow down or even arrest labour completely – again, hypnobithing and NCT really helped with this.
- Visualising the event before – the hypnobirthing CD enables this, as did having a tour of the birthing centre during my pregnancy.
- Pregnancy yoga – weekly classes encouraged baby to be in the right position, making the baby’s journey down the birth canal a lot simpler.
- Knowing how labour progresses and what signs to look out for. Knowledge is power! (Cheesey but true.) Knowing about the ‘I can’t do it’ moment, the grunt turning from a pig to a cow etc. meant that I was much calmer throughout. (I have my awesome NCT teacher – and Cambridge doula – Sophie to thank for these useful tid bits.)
- Making sure that my birth partners were on the same page as me. I had told both my birth partners – hubby and sister* – that no matter what, I wanted them to stay calm throughout. No Panicking Petes allowed. They were fantastic 🙂
*By the way, research has shown that having a female birth partner can reduce the perception of pain. They also massively help calm Dad down, something that is effective in keeping the general mood pleasant 🙂
How I Felt After the Birth
I was on a high for several days after the birth; it felt like I had won over a lifetime of fear. I felt powerful and strong, and ready to thank my body for doing an amazing job – and to forgive it for the anger I felt about my knee dislocation years earlier. I’ll always carry that feeling around with me – the thought that if I can do that, I can do anything. And what a precious prize I got, too! A gorgeous, chilled out and utterly beautiful baby boy. He’s made life complete in so many ways, and we are all head over heels with him.
Your Body After the Birth
I do think it’s important to talk about what happens after the delivery of your little bundle of joy. First up, that weird icky thing; the placenta. Delivering this was the worst part for me and I wasn’t prepared for it to be. Passing the placenta happens within an hour of baby being born, and I’m not sure why but I really disliked this sensation. It wasn’t painful, just weird, and I wish I’d known how strange that bit would be. And then there’s the day or night after the delivery… Lord do you bleed a lot. The infamous disposable hospital knickers are horrific but necessary and it’s not a sexy time to state the obvious.
It will take lots of paracetamol and lots of rest – and a TONNE of homemade soup (truly the best food ever) – and you’ll soon heal and be able to fully enjoy the time with your little champion. It will also take lots of patience as you aren’t going to bounce back over night – but that’s a post for another day 🙂
That Was a Darn Quick Labour, No?
Although the average first time labour is 10-24 hours, 3 out of the 8 ladies in my NCT group had labours that lasted less than 5 hours’ long. Anything less than 3 hours is called Precipitous Labour, and though it only happens to 5% of the population, it can happen, so be prepared for it. There is no time to get yourself organised once it gets going, so have your bag packed, your birth partner close, and transport to the hospital (if that’s where you’re going) pre-arranged.
Trust your instinct – even if the midwives try to keep you home, you’ll know when it’s time to go to the hospital. Even if your contractions have only been going for 30 minutes, if they’re coming thick and fast and you feel the urge to push or are grunting like a cow, get the car engine running.
Also, don’t ever let your husband cook fish and seaweed when you go into labour! 😉
At the end of the day, my short, natural and low pain labour could all have been due to anatomy / physiology / genetics. However I can’t help thinking that the mind, and its influence on hormones, plays a huge part in the equation, too.
In a nutshell: Hypnobirthing teaches that certain hormones have a big influence on the sensation of pain and that the most important thing to reduce pain is not to be afraid. To keep Adrenaline levels down and Oxytocin levels up, keep calm and remember that this is a totally natural process. Women are doing this all over the world, every minute of everyday. Your body knows how to grow a human being without any input from you (incredible!) – your body knows how to birth that baby, too.
Here’s one of my favourite hypnobirthing mantras:
Note, I was VERY fortunate that I didn’t have any complications and this no doubt contributed to both the speed and lack of pain I felt. There are many things out of a mother’s control that could inhibit or complicate the child birthing process, through no fault of the mother or baby! However, our current culture of ‘labour is painful and something to be scared of’ is not conducive to reducing pain and interventions.
Feeling a wee bit more optimistic I hope? Just remember that…
- If you feel that your antenatal anxieties are beyond normal, consider looking into CBT therapy to examine these feelings and to learn some effective coping strategies.
- Hypnobirthing CDs – I used the Natal Hypnotherapy Effective Birth Preparation CD. There are plenty of other hypnobirthing programmes out there.
- The Effective Birth Preparation Book.
- You can find an in-person hypnobirthing course near you here (UK).
- NCT explanation of the hormones involved in labour.
- Pregnancy yoga classes – use YogaClassNearYou to find a local class.
Know someone who is pregnant – or is scared of getting pregnant? Please feel free to send on my story as a hopefully positive and enlightening experience from one mama to the next 🙂