As you head towards the finish line of pregnancy, it’s only natural to think about, and freak out about
And also a bit fearful.
That was me.
I loved watching and reading about birth to learn what to expect. But it didn’t really prepare me for what I should do in
So, I went looking for some better
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1. Birth Skills
First, I was recommended this book on a pregnancy forum: Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills. I downloaded it from Amazon, and wow. It’s awesome and empowering.
I read it right through and then came back to it during the last few weeks of my pregnancy. The book sets out actual exercises you can use during
The way it works is using movement and actions to distract your brain from the pain of
- Movement – for example, stamping, pacing, kicking your legs – It works to use your body’s natural response to pain (adrenalin) actively and also distracts your brain by offering pain-free sensations to compete with the pain of
- Breathing and Vocalising – blow out a candle, make an ‘ahhh’ sound – both breathing and vocalising help to distract you. Breathing activities give you something to focus on, while controlled vocalising.
- Visualisation – visualising the pain as a muscle working and fatiguing while working to bring the baby into position and your cervix opening was really helpful. The pain has a purpose. There’s also some great visualisation exercises for the pushing stage too.
Another thing I did to prepare for
For my second pregnancy, I knew I wanted to get more into this hypnobirthing thing, so I signed up for Hypnobabies and listened to the tracks and did the practice religiously. It really helped me have a calmer pregnancy, better sleep and maybe a better birth.
Tension makes pain worse. Relaxing through contractions (and after) helps to manage the pain.
3. Use a TENS Machine
I was determined to have a natural birth, so I hired a TENS machine from my hospital for my first. A TENS machine uses an electrical current to create a tingly or buzzing feeling. The odd feeling helps to distract and interrupt your brain from interpreting pain signals.
You can dial up the intensity of the machine with the hand device to match your contractions.
The only downside to using a TENS machine is that you can’t use the shower or bath with it on (electronics and water don’t mix).
I decided to try Hypnobabies for my second birth instead of going back to the TENS machine. Was that a good decision? Not sure! But it worked out anyway.
That’s a Wrap
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