When it comes to having your baby, less is more. There is very little we really need to expel our babies except to feel safe, to trust in the process and to feel fully supported by those around us. Seems simple, eh? Although many women don’t get that support or feel prepared enough to be able to surrender to the process.
How Do Other Animals Give Birth?
If you think about any other mammal bearing their offspring, they go somewhere warm, dark, private and comfortable. Somewhere they feel safe.
Farmers know to leave their animals alone when they start to give birth. They know if they start to prod and poke and interfere in the process, the animals are more likely to experience problems. The animals have no choice but to trust in the process; to move around as their bodies tell them to the position that’s least uncomfortable. No one told them they couldn’t do it. No one told them they’d need help managing the pain or how to breathe. They just get on with it.
Why are humans any different?
The truth is we’re not.
Did you know women in comas can have their babies naturally? It’s true.
We live in a world where childbirth is managed by people who have never seen a woman give birth as nature intended. They have never seen a birth that has all the elements most of us need to actually give birth.
We take our education from the TV where it is extremely rare to see an undisturbed birth. The women we see are often screaming; don’t appear to be in control of the process. They are being told what to do. They are not in an innately safe environment.
85% of people in the UK still have their babies in hospital in an obstetric unit. If I think about the majority of people I know, most have ended up giving birth on their backs for one reason or another. And yet, on our backs we have 30% less space to allow our babies out. And this causes more problems. We need gravity. We need to be able to move around.
For more information, read the National Maternity Review ‘Better Births’ which will highlight some of the issues I talk about https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf
Most don’t have great stories to tell. Too many intended to give birth naturally but ended up with c-sections or instrumental deliveries. And this is all in the name of safety and yet, we know that it doesn’t necessarily save babies or contribute to greater maternal satisfaction.
Our fear based culture
In our culture, fear plays a part in the decisions we make around having our babies. What if something goes wrong?
The truth is, there is an element of risk when giving birth but making decisions where fear is at the forefront, I believe, causes more difficulties. High tech does not equal a safer birth experience either for mum or baby.
My number 1 tips for a better birth experience are;
- Surround yourself with people who trust the process and will give you everything you need to make birth happen
- Learn all you can about what environments are conducive to a safe, physiological birth;
- Prepare yourself a mental toolkit to deal with the sensations you’re going to feel
- Release any fears, worries, doubts or anxieties you have. You need to learn to switch your mind off so your body can get on with giving birth to your baby
For you, less may be more. It’s just a question of being informed so you can make the decisions that are right for you!
And if you’d like any help preparing for birth, get in touch. The ‘hypnobirthing’ I teach is based in logic. It can help as it includes relaxation practice, the theory of how birth works and partner work so your birth partner is fully informed too. It will help inform you about your birth options and give you confidence to make the best choices for you.