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5 Ways To Prepare For A Positive Birth

a black woman in the bath holding a new born baby. The woman looks ecstatic. A white man kneels by the side of the bath looking happy and smiling at his partner

Pregnancy can be such a wonderfully exciting time but scary and overwhelming too. To help you prepare for a positive, empowered birth I've listed my top 5 tips below.

1. Study

One of the best ways that you can empower yourself to have a positive birth is to learn about birth. Learn how birth works for both you and your baby, how both of your bodies are designed to work together to birth. Read up on your legal rights during pregnancy and birth so that you have confidence in the decisions that you make and your ability to say "no" . Find a great birth preparation course that will prepare both you and your birth partner for labour and give you the knowledge to be able to release any fears you have surrounding birth. The more informed and knowledgeable you are about pregnancy and birth, the better you'll be able to make your own decisions about how your baby is born. This will help you to keep control over your own birth.

2. Relax

I know that this sounds easier said than done, but the more relaxed your mind and body are, the easier birth will be. Oxytocin is an incredibly important hormone during birth, as it gets your contractions started and keeps your birth moving forward. Oxytocin can only be produced when you are relaxed. To increase Oxytocin through pregnancy and labour: breathe slowly and deeply, do yoga, listen to affirmations, dim the lights, use aromatherapy oils, have a massage, watch something funny, have a cuddle with your partner/children.

A really great tip for birth is to relax your mouth and jaw. Breathe through gently parted lips and keep your jaw soft. This relaxation in your mouth directly corresponds to your birthing passageways and openings and will keep them lovely and relaxed for baby to pass through more easily.

A black and white photo of a pregnant white woman in her underwear caressing her baby bump

3. Wait

Did you know that due dates are a total myth? Only 5% of babies are born on their due date and 85% are born after! The problem with due dates, is that they put the pregnant person under an extreme amount of pressure. Pressure from friends and family, constantly wanting updates. Pressure from yourself fed up of being pregnant and wanting baby to arrive. But most importantly pressure from your midwives and doctors who will often start to pressure you into an induction or Membrane Sweep.

The World Health Organisation believe that a baby will be full term somewhere between 37-42 weeks. A much more positive way to view your baby's arrival is as a birth month, which takes the pressure off of that 1 'due date'.

4. Move

How your position yourself during birth is one of the most important factors in having a shorter, more comfortable labour and reducing the chances of tearing. If possible do not birth on your back! Being in an upright, forward leaning position (UFO) opens up your pelvis, creating up to 30% more space. It also helps your baby to work with gravity and descend more easily. The good news is that your body will instinctively move into the position that it needs to be in, so just listen to your instincts. You know your body better than anyone!

5. Breathe

In every one of my pregnancy yoga and hypnobirthing classes we practice breathing exercises to help prepare for birth and to help relaxation though pregnancy. Breathing calmly and slowly will help to release lots of lovely oxytocin, making birth shorter and easier. Breathing your baby down into the world instead of pushing them down is a much more effective way to birth your baby. When we are directed to push through gritted teeth, while holding our breath, our body tenses up and is deprived of oxygen. Breathing your baby down instead increases oxygen, relaxes the body and works with your body's Natural Fetal Ejection Reflex.

For more information on how to prepare for a positive birth, email me to find out more about my Hypnobirthing or Pregnancy Yoga courses.

Written By Naomi Ponting

Certified Pre and Postnatal Yoga Instructor

KG Hypnobirthing Accredited Teacher.

Tranquil Breaths - Hypnobirthing and Yoga Milton Keynes

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