Birth can be straightforward, can be exciting, intense, life changing, a really strong situation, probably not perfect…
As I explain in my antenatal courses in Barcelona or online, birth is physical but also a physiological and an emotional process.
Your birth will start when your oxytocin levels are high enough that your contractions can start… And basically oxytocin is the love and happiness hormone.
You need to feel relaxed, happy, stress free, let yourself slow down a little, a bit like the feelings you have when you’re on holiday, really.
I know, in our society, this is no easy task, we are so busy with our jobs, social life… How can you be relaxed before giving birth?
So how can you prepare for birth?
1. Take a longer break before baby, you’re never going to regret alone time pre kids, around in the 36 weeks if you can.
2. Go to a pregnancy yoga class, and not only for the body, for the mind. Learn to switch off that mind and relax. Show your body you love it, let it move slowly and gently and love yourself with some quiet time.
3. Have a relaxation ritual at home. Whether it’s yoga, meditation or just eating cake and a nice tea, take time for yourself doing nothing.
4. Deal with your fears. Whatever is in your head and swirling around in there, don’t sit with it. Talk to someone, write it down, clear those fears!
5. Do some research and write down a short birth preferences list. What’s important to you? Why is it important? How will this be achieved? Start the conversation with yourself and your partner.
6. You have to be able to say NO. You are your priority right now. You are growing your beautiful baby…that’s enough. Don’t run around doing a zillion things, now is not that time.
7. Sing to baby. Choose a lullaby now, when they’re in your arms they’ll be able to recognise it and be soothed by it
8. Prepare for after the birth. What will it be like? Talk to other mothers…what is essential? Food should be up there…an extra pair of hands, gather your tribe. And while you’re there ask them the same about their birth stories, get their tips!
9. Listen to yourself. Your body and your baby will send you signs…extra tired, achy back, feeling low…listen and look after yourself. This is a special time, don’t miss it being busy.
10. And above all, be open minded. We never know how your birth will be, often it may be something very different to what you expected. It is important to flow, to trust in the sanitary personnel you have chosen to be with you and to accept what comes…