Will positive thinking help during labour?
1 CommentMonday, 14 April 2014 | Admin
I remember when I was about 16 weeks pregnant, I told the mother of a child I tutor that I was pregnant and she asked if I had a birth plan. I laughed. I had only just got used to the idea of the baby being in there – I sure as hell didn’t want to think about getting it out yet!
I knew from an early stage, however, that I wanted to try to be really positive about birth. I’d heard really good things about hypnobirthing and was keen to do this. When I looked into it, though, it was over £200 for a course, and as I knew I also wanted to do NCT classes, it was just going to be too expensive.
Then I found a set of classes near me called Lazy Daisy that blends ideas from hypnobirthing with movement, active birthing and elements inspired by yoga. It was all about having a positive birth and that was exactly what I was looking for. It was cheap too! So I signed up for a set of six, and absolutely loved every minute of them. I don’t think I realised quite what an effect they were having on me until one day I caught myself thinking ‘I’m really looking forward to giving birth’. I know! I really never expected to feel that way.
I couldn’t do the following set of sessions as they clashed with my NCT classes and while I’m really glad that I did these as I’ve met some really lovely people who I can imagine becoming really good friends, the classes themselves began to etch away at my confidence and I started to feel quite anxious about labour. Add to this the fact that I now will almost certainly be induced due to my gestational diabetes, and I felt like I had lost all of those positive feelings.
Now that the NCT classes are finished though, I’m back to my Lazy Daisy classes and although I’ve only had two of the six so far, I can start to feel those positive vibes flooding back. It’s all about learning to breathe and believe that you can labour in a calm, relaxed and pleasant way; instilling positive mental images and reaffirming confident statements.
I’m not totally naïve. I know there will be pain, but I really believe that the right attitude towards things is half the battle and I don’t understand why when you’re pregnant, people insist on telling you how painful it is and about the horror stories they have heard or experienced. It seems that we build a culture of fear around childbirth and we so rarely share positive stories. Stories where people have enjoyed their birth experiences. Stories that give people like me a little bit of hope!
So in my classes, we had to write a positive birth affirmation in the first session that we would then write out multiple times and place in strategic positions around the house so it starts to sink in subconsciously. Mine was ‘I am relaxed, in control and can breathe through anything.’ It’s something that I really hope will be true. I’m not saying I won’t have pain relief if I need it, or that everything will automatically go smoothly, just because I’m thinking positively, but I really believe that the mind is very powerful and you can cope with a lot if you have the right attitude towards it.
In just over a week, my consultant wants to see if my cervix is ‘favourable’ and then may give me a cervical sweep to try to push me into natural labour. I’m doing whatever I can to help things along too – I’ve devouring raspberry leaf tea capsules like they’re going out of fashion; I’m having acupuncture this week with a midwife who believes acupuncture can bring on labour, and I’m doing most of the other old wives tale recommendations! Except eating pineapple of course – too much sugar in it!
I’d really like to go into labour naturally, but I’m feeling positive about induction too. Mainly, I just can’t wait to meet my little boy, who, as of today is fully ‘cooked’ as we have hit the 37 week ‘full term’ marker. Wish me luck!
If you want to read more about my pregnancy journey, do pop over to my blog – www.pitterpatter82.wordpress.com