Scared about doing it again? A big thankyou to Veronica Dickinson at Calm Delivery who has written two information-laden blogs on how best to prepare…read the first one here, and we’ll bring you the second one tomorrow…
Women who have experienced a traumatic first time labour and birth can understandably feel considerable anxiety about doing it all over again. Hypnobirthers know that fear has such a negative and adverse impact on labour, that in order to make those first vital steps towards a more confident positive birth, you must learn how to confront and manage these fears. Combined with empowered choices for your next delivery, you can have a positive birth experience.
Some suggestions to help you release fears and prepare for a calm second time birth
- Practice Hypnobirthing. You can learn to release your distress and work with your body for a calm positive birth.
- Open up to friends or family – you will find you are not alone.
- Consult help groups or charities, such as the Birth Trauma Association, they can offer practical advice in preparing for a second birth. You may find it easier to talk to someone impartial and hear other people’s experiences.
- Ask to obtain your labour notes from your local PLS (Patient Liaison Service) and discuss these with your midwife.
- Some NHS trusts are able to offer a ‘debrief’ with a midwife or obstetrician. This can help you to understand how and why your first labour went the way it did, give you a chance to ask questions and help you to make considered choices for your second birth. No two births are the same and being reassured, can promote a great sense of relief and give you the confidence to start planning for your second birth.
- Write a good birth plan and take your time. Consult your birth partner so you have their full support and understanding in the delivery room.
- Make an informed choice on where and how you would like to give birth. If you are low risk, it may be that a home birth or midwife led unit may suit you better. In some cases a hospital environment can add to anxiety and levels of stress.
- Educate yourself and your birth partner. If you have a full understanding of what is happening to your body at each stage of labour you will feel much more in control and able to remain calm. Second time mothers have a real advantage of having already gone through it, so you will find this much easier to comprehend and apply.
- Join the NCT, which will focus on providing you with evidence based information it will really help your birth/labour education and give you skills to make your own decisions.
- Try Yoga – it has been shown to lower stress levels, reduce depression, improve sleep and lower blood pressure. It also focuses on deep breathing and poses that strengthen and increase the flexibility and stamina of the muscles used during childbirth. Pilates, Aqua aerobics or relaxation classes can all help you to relax and prepare your mind and body.
- Help your baby move down into the most ideal position by keeping upright and active as much as possible, before and during labour. Try walking, swimming or using a Pilates ball. An active birth really can keep you focused and positive and result in less need for medical intervention.
- Pregnancy breathing, relaxation and visualisation classes – use deep breathing exercises which will help you relax, and increase oxygen intake. Regular practise will help you focus and stay calm during labour and birth
We’ll be bringing you more from this week, but in the meantime, follow Veronica on twitter @CalmDelivery…