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Positive feelings about birth(18 Posts)
Expecting my first (due late Aug). I've pretty much been in denial about the impending birth during the first 2 trimesters but figure its time to get my head around it. I'll cover all the major info at NCT/etc but am interested in cultivating a positive, even excited frame of mind. I was hearing how in other cultures there is no fear & that this is a very western attitude. Can anyone recommend any books on this kind of thing or even better, an online source of info about ridding myself of fear & getting a better attitude!
There are a few self-hypnosis tracks on iTunes, and if you can afford it hypnobirth is good for feeling prepared. I think it's worth thinking about how you find a balance between hoping for the best and being prepared for things not going exactly according to plan.
I think if you can identify what it is you are scared of, it's easier to address. So, if you're scared of the pain, have a look at what's available to lessen pain and what's available to manage pain and which options you think you might be interested in. I think knowledge is power tbh. Often, it's fear of the unknown.
The other thing which I think is hands down the most important part of attitude towards childbirth is an open mind. If you have an absolute idea of what you want to happen and see the other options as a negative, then of course you will be riddled with negative thoughts. More so if you then need any kind of intervention or things don't go to script and you'll feel negative during and afterwards. There is nothing, but nothing wrong with having hopes for what you want whether that is a water birth or a cs under ga and there are ways of trying to tip the scales in your favour depending upon your preferences. However, knowing that it's mostly down to luck and knowing what might happen in each circumstance means you can feel in control, knowledgeable and positive about the choices you can make within the labour and delivery you end up having.
Quite often you see threads where people talk about wanting to hear positive stories of childbirth and what they mean is can you tell me about positive stories of natural childbirth. If I type the bare facts of my delivery with dd for example (31hrs of labour, 8hrs second stage, ventouse, manual rotation, emergency caesarean), there will be some people who say they don't want to hear that, it's a 'horror story'. But what if I tell you it's not? It's the story of a baby who was very stuck and the brilliance of modern medicine saw her born healthy with a healthy mother to love her. What if I tell you that I laughed my way into the theatre during my second emergency caesarean and smiled throughout and felt nothing but joy and positivity?
There are things you can't control. You won't know what will happen on the day. You can be armed with knowledge, an open mind and a supportive birth partner and these are the things which create positivity.
Hypnobirthing, meditation etc can be brilliant too.
Mumsnet will help. If you have a question somebody will have the answer or have experienced the same thing.
I am exactly the same. I'm due in 4 weeks I have done a hypnobirthing course it's really changed my whole mindset about birth.
I'm getting a bit nervous the closer it's getting but I was terrified in my first and second trimester. I would recommend ina may gaskin's childbirth book and read mare mongans hypnobirthing book. They are brilliant.
You can get them off amazon
What a great response saulgood, I am 40+1 and been getting a bit uptight if I'm honest about not going into labour naturally, but you have just reminded me that with my last labour - induction, 24hrs in labour with a totally stuck back to back baby ending in EMCS - was actually fine and I didn't have any problems with it not being 'natural'. I just accepted it.
I second the Ina May Gaskin book and maybe thinking of some mantras for when you are in labour... e.g. reminding your self your body knows what it's doing, that every contraction is one closer to seein g your baby... etc
Good luck for August OP x
I absolutely adore Ina May Gaskin. I do think it's important to read her in tandem with some other stuff or alongside your antenatal classes. Her positivity and attitude is beautiful but you might not be planning to give birth on a farm in Tennessee so knowing what's available locally will help too.
I don't recommend the Mongan birthing book tbh. I burnt it on my fire (I am not kidding). It's worth borrowing through the library then if you don't like something, you can just hand it back.
Can I recommend Juju Sundin's book, birth skills. She tackles head on how to use fear and pain in labour and address it. Was brilliant for me. I've had three births and done active yoga, hypnobirthing and with the last discovered Juju Sundin and suited me by far the most.
Maggie Howell's site has some hypnobirthing tracks to download that I found incredibly helpful
THe mongan book is only really helpful if your going hypnobirthing really x
I found hypnobirthing really helpful as it actually helped me to realise that although I couldn't control how my labour went, I could control how I reacted to what happened and how I coped.
That gave me the control back and kept me calm when things didn't go according ton'plan' x
I second Juju Sundin's book. I thought it was fabulous. For me (control-type) it helped that I felt I had strategies for different scenarios to help me cope with whatever happened. A lot of it is breathing and movement based etc. but it's not all 'natural-birthy'. She has great visualisations you can use if you have an epidural and can't feel contractions, that will help you push effectively and also some of the techniques you can use if to keep calm and focused if an emergency situation occurs which I personally found really reassuring.
I wish you the best of luck OP, but please don't engage with anyone who suggests fear in labour is a very Western attitude. They're usually sporting a full on noble savage complex, and quite often lump the entire non-Western world in together to boot. There are numerous examples of non-Western cultures where childbirth is very much seen as something to fear. Consider the Bible, for example: thousands of years ago, in the ancient Middle East, they saw it as something so painful that it could only be explainable as a punishment from God. Conversely, it's possible to feel positive about birth without being borderline racist.
Hope you will find your NCT class very helpful, I made some good friends at mine.
I gave birth 12 days ago, and used Maggie Howells hypnobirthing book and cd in the lead up.
I can honestly say that it really helped me focus. Labour was just 6 hours with no pain relief.
I also found the Maggie Howells natal hypnotherapy CD excellent - it made me feel calm, confident and excited about the birth in the run up. I was lucky to have a straightforward water birth & the techniques definitely helped me during the labour, but just as importantly for me I felt relaxed and positive in those last weeks, enjoying pregnancy and the prospect of delivering & meeting my baby.
I went into labour the first time thinking, well at least it can't be as bad as morning sickness, and it wasn't!
I didn't do hypnobirthing, but from what I have read, I pretty much followed the same basic principles, and overall it was fine. DS came out healthy, and whilst there was a bit of damage to fix, and labour took almost a couple of days, I was okay with it all...
Take an open mind, look into the available pain relief (I've used TENS to great effect both times) and relax as much as you can! Don't have any markers of "success" such as short labour etc, just work on healthy happy baby and mum.
(My philosophy on childbirth is very "Outer Hebrides" where my maternal line comes from, and from looking at family history, there were no obvious histories of deaths in childbirth etc, so I figure if they could do it in a croft in the middle of nowhere, I could do it in a shiny hospital!)
Another vote for Juju Sundin - great at making you feel better prepared for whatever comes; I felt Ina May Gaskin was good with stories about how "birth doesn't have to be medicalised and a natural birth is wonderful" but Juju Sundin conveyed "a medicalised birth can be a good birth". I think going in with the latter mindset really helped me to come out feeling positive about my birth (EMCS for pre-eclampsia).
Open mind is key. I got transferred out of birth centre and ended up having emcs but I recovered really well from it and feel v positive about experience. I am quite anxious naturally and found hypnobirthing helpful, you need to practice a couple months before. I just got a book and cds. Practiced the breathing all through contractions and felt quite calm, as I had something to do when I had no control of my body!
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