In Part 1 of this series we discussed Holistic Birth Planning: Healthy Pregnancy & Labour through Nutrition & Acupuncture.
In the third part of this series we’ll be focusing on Mental and Emotional Labour Preparation to bring the mind, body and spirit together for a true holistic birth.
Our My husband thinks I’m crazy, why? Well many reasons, but for one because I have had my labour “go -bag” packed for over a month now. I also have the baby car seat sitting near the door and I’ve already bought newborn diapers. For me, I like to have all these little details taken care of well in advance, so I can feel ready anytime the baby is ready. Feeling mentally ready for birth is important to me, so I can allow my baby to come any time he or she is ready. That way, I can also focus on something more important: being emotionally ready for birth.
Ina May Gaskin, who has been described as “the mother of authentic midwifery,” was the first to call the vagina a sphincter. She explains that sphincters do not respond on command and may close spontaneously if we feel threatened or stressed. In Marie Mongan’s book “Hypnobirthing,” Mongan describes being a little girl and watching a barn cat give birth to kittens. She explains how the mother cat was able to halt labour and run away, when a dog began barking.
As humans, we often don’t have to halt labour due to threats. But those biological instincts are still there; meaning stress and fear will interfere with labourif we allow them to.
This is where hypnobirthing comes in. It’s a method that allows you to stay calm and focused and allow labour to happen naturally. There are many classes now that teach you hypnobirthing techniques. I, however, preferred to just read the book by Marie Mongan which came with a CD. What I found most useful about hypnobirthing is that it kept me calm during the early stages of labour. This is where I find your mind can wander most, as the anticipation and the thought of “it’s going to get worse” can create the most stress and fear during labour.
When in active labour, I did find most of my hypnobirthing techniques went out the window. At this point, however, your mind is elsewhere and it doesn’t really matter anyway. Still, I would highly recommend practicing hypnobirthing, or some other form of relaxation techniques, for about 10 minutes a day, in the weeks approaching labour
In our continuing blog series on Holistic Birth Planning, our next blog addresses your concerns around what type of environment you want when giving birth.
Our upcoming blogs will discuss:
Want more information? Check our programs for fertility, pregnancy and early childhood here.