This lesson focuses on your attitudes about birth and "Self-Care", meaning how can you can physically prepare for birth. Also, the importance of support - who will be with you. Keeping a journal about your birth experience will help you prepare emotionally. It will also record this event for years to come.
This lesson explores the dynamics of emotion and its effects on the human body which influence the labor process. Scientific research is discussed to learn how you can use this information to help manage your labor.
"Self-Care" through labor refers to what you can do, on your own, to manage labor. Because it's recommended to stay home as long as possible before going to your birthing facility, you should practice and use skills at home to help manage your labor. These are transferable sills that you may be able to use in your birthing facility.
Childbirth is unpredictable, just like life itself. So it's good to know about your options available to you. These are options that will vary from hospital to hospital. So its best to go on a tour of your birthing facility. This lesson goes into depth about contractions - fear not, they are manageable.
Let’s Get One Thing Straight
Let’s get one thing straight.
Now that you’re pregnant, I know what you’re thinking – HOW will this baby come out! I know … I’m sending you a hug :-).
One thing you must understand completely: Childbirth is NOT an intellectual experience. No matter your education level. No matter what you read online or off, the books you buy, even what I write about here, will not help you in the labor room. Unless, you PRACTICE what you learn and develop a healthy mindset about birth.
Only YOU will help yourself …
Childbirth, like sex, or ANYTHING you do that’s physical will help you to understand how the human body works. You must tune in to the physical aspects of birth. You must pay attention to physical SIGNALS of labor, even those “Braxton- Hicks” or “Warm-up” contractions you’re having (yes, you’re having them).
Are you feeling them? If not, you’re not tuned in to your body.
Childbirth is a physical, involuntary process – meaning it will happen regardless if you’re alive and well or in a comma! It’s true. So what gets in the way?
Your attitudes, fears, and emotions have the potential to get in the way and make labor challenging. Your body has EVERYTHING it needs to birth your baby – with or without your conscious attention! Now that’s pretty amazing, right?
Let’s talk about your body’s physical signals.
Your body signals you when:
- You feel sick
- You’re cold or hot
- Hungry, thirsty
- Sexually excited
- You need to use the bathroom
- You’re in pain ( I’ll talk about “Pain”)
- You itch
- You have a fever
- You sneeze
- You ate too much
- You’re scared
- You feel tired
And so many more ….
When you go into labor, you’ll experience physical sensations. You must tune in to your body to notice them. If you’re too much in your “Head” thinking about childbirth, worrying too much about it, which creates lots of anxiety, you’ll miss the signals.
Let me ask you a question:
Two or three months into your pregnancy, did you consciously say “I have to grow some legs and toes on my baby, eyes, and fingers!”
No you did not. You just went about your life and maybe forgot you were even pregnant, right? But your body continued to build a baby without your conscious input – amazing, right?
So here’s what you need to start thinking about:
- Be proactive – practice what you learn way BEFORE your due date, practice daily
Own your pregnancy and your upcoming labor
Practice what you learn
Believe in your strengths and abilities
Scan your life – how do you cope when you’re challenged physically and emotionally