Being a soon to be mum is already pretty scary and that is before COVID!
Being a mum of three, I’ve had three different birth experiences and being a midwife I’ve helped 100’s of soon to be mums go through this. These are the things I wish I had of known.
1. It is normal to be feeling nervous
This is of course a new time, but remember women have been birthing forever. You may be pregnant in a pandemic and isolating, but you are not alone. There is so much online education to support you in the comfort of your own home.
Remember, you cannot control the wind but you can adjust the sails.
2. Get educated about the birth process – be empowered
When we know better we can do better. My first labour was a traumatic experience; I was completely unprepared not even knowing what my cervix or uterus was supposed to be doing. Once I learnt how to work with my body during labour, it was a completely different experience. I moved from a place of fear to a place of trust.
Remember knowledge is power.
3. Feel like you can ask questions
To everyone, midwives, Doctors. OBGYN.
Asking questions is how we gain knowledge and peace of mind. Quite often we fear the unknown, so asking questions can ensure you feel in control and confident.
Remember without questions, answers have no place to go.
4. Mindset matters in birth
Science shows us that when we feel fear, it creates tension in the body which leads to pain & discomfort; working against the natural progression of labour.
Stress activates the fight or flight response sending blood to our arms & legs. However when we are calm during labour, blood supply stays around the uterus supporting the natural progression of labour.
Remember to master your mindset and you will master your body.
5. Breathing for birth
Breathing optimally is one of the tools that can take you from feeling fear to feeling calm and confident. We all know how to breathe but often we are not taught how to control our breathing to our advantage during labour and birth. Slowing the breathing rate down and breathing into the diaphragm is one way to calm the nervous system and ensure adequate blood flow to the uterus. It takes practice but practice makes permanent.
Remember water cuts through rock not because of its strength, but because of its persistence.
Being a soon-to-be mum is difficult especially during a global pandemic. But it doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. Having a positive mindset will always give you a positive outcome regardless of how it unfolds.
“I don’t need easy, I just need possible.” Bethany Hamilton
Natlie Short is a qualified midwife, the founder of The Calm Nest. You can find more resources and information about having calm birth at https://www.thecalmnest.com.au/