Due to the birthing culture that we now live in, there is a lack of innate belief in women to birth their babies and a reliance on medical intervention in many cases. Of course, there are times when this intervention is life saving and entirely necessary, it is incredible the things that can be done now! What I mean is, before this intervention is suggested, you should be thinking about how you feel both physically AND mentally and how this could be affecting your entire situation.
The majority of the time that labour slows, it could be corrected by some simple changes, belief in your body and a bit of TLC! Let’s get into it..
Hugs Before Drugs. We spoke about Oxytocin last week, the hormone that is needed to bring on surges (contractions). This can be reduced if we feel stressed. It is such a crucial hormone, that if our surges are not coming, a synthetic form of it can be given through a drip. But how about we try to produce it naturally again before rushing into giving drugs? Even spending 5 minutes with your partner, having a hug, a cheeky kiss and back massage could get things going again.
Turn off the lights. Hospitals are renowned for having the brightest, beaming lights in history. It is totally unnecessary! All that is required is a small lamp, bit of light coming through the window or lights on a dimmer. The neocortex, the thinking part of our brain, just can’t shut off if the lights are bright, or there is a lot of noise. If you can’t stop thinking, you aren’t going to be able to fully relax. That room is yours, do what you need to do with it to make it the best possible environment for you to birth in.
Get some food and drink inside you! Your uterus (womb) is a muscle, which needs energy to function. It takes a lot of work to have a baby and we can’t expect our bodies to run on empty. I understand you may feel nauseous and not want to consume anything, but it is so key. Sips of water or sports drink (non fizzy) and snacks like jelly babies, nuts, bananas or cereal bars can be great. I recommend having a drink every 15 minutes and eating something small every hour, atleast.
Go for a wee! You might not feel that you need to go, due to the pressure of your baby, but having a full bladder can stop you having surges. Plus, it isn’t good to be holding urine for a long time. Try having a wee every 1-2hrs to keep on top of things.
Change position. You need gravity on your side to get your baby out. Although I totally advocate having a lay down for a short period of time, if you feel very tired, it is so important to keep moving. Whether that is laying on your side, over the back of the bed, on all fours, on a birthing ball, in the pool, squatting, leaning on your partner or the side of the bed. The key is changing position and remaining mobile. This will help the head to descend nicely. Laying solely on your back during labour can prevent there being effective pressure on your cervix, so it may not open as effectively.
Easy things to do, right? Yet they are rarely done. This is why YOU need to take control of your birth, get clued up and get the oxytocin flowing! All of this and MORE is covered in all the Little Birth Company hypnobirthing courses – to find an instructor local to you, click HERE or CONTACT us now for more information!
Remember, hugs are the way forward ????