Top expert tips for a stress-free childbirth
Although childbirth is wonderfully natural, it can also be a little daunting. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first time or your tenth time, each labour experience is completely different, and some situations simply cannot be planned for.
To help avoid stressful situations and unexpected anxiety or nerves during your own birthing experience or that of someone you know and love, we’ve asked midwife Kate Young for her best tips for staying cool, calm and collected in the later months of pregnancy…
Tips to help you stress less in the lead up to birth…
#1. Now is a good time to think about who you would like to have present at the actual birth. It’s wise to choose those who are supportive, caring, calming and trust-worthy.
#2. Try not to let horror stories you’ve heard about birth bother you. When you’re trying to prepare yourself for your own experience, thinking of other traumatising births will not help you.
#3. Relax. Now is not the time to overload yourself with work or chores. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for assistance from your partner, friends or colleagues. If you’re feeling concerned about more than just general day-to-day stress, speak to your midwife or doctor.
Tips to help you stress less during labour…
#1. Labour takes time, and it is important to remember that it is different for all women. Expecting it to happen quickly can also make the event more stressful. The average length of labour for a first-time mother is around 12 hours, which essentially is one whole day at work including travel time.
#2. Change positions constantly. If you can walk, move around. It will relieve pain and stress and help to keep you focused. If one particular position doesn't work, move. The midwife and your support people are there to help you do so.
#3. If you are tired, rest and sleep between contractions. The time between the contractions is around two to three minutes, so it may not feel like a lot of time but you should make the most of it if you need to.
#4. If you have made a birth plan or have any particular requests, discuss them with your support people before and during labour. This way if you forget personally, your supporters are there to guide you through.
#5. Ask your midwife to discuss your progress during labour and to explain anything that is unfamiliar to you. This includes anything from monitoring equipment, medications you may need or the pain relief options available to you. It will help you to become more comfortable and relaxed in your birthing environment when you know what is around you and the choices you can make.
Have you given birth? If so, did you feel stressed, anxious or nervous in the lead up to your delivery? Do you or any of your friends and family have tips for staying calm and confident during the final stages of pregnancy and throughout the birth?